South Carolina State Fair begins in Colombia


The event, which upgraded to a drive-only version last year, returns in its entirety.

COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina State Fair is back in Colombia, a year after the pandemic forced it to become a drive-thru-only event.

The 152nd annual tradition kicked off at noon on Wednesday, and within minutes, thousands of people walked through the turnstiles to enjoy the rides, food and fun. The event runs until October 24. For more information on times and tickets, visit the South Carolina State Fair website.

Last year’s in-person event did not take place and instead a drive-thru version was performed, where people could drive in and buy fair trade food, but could not access the rides. . A fair attendee said, “I’m just glad we can come back to the fair instead of having to drive across and enjoy the food and rides at the fair.”

RELATED: Security Protocols In Place For 152nd Annual SC State Fair

Because the pandemic and the virus still exist, there are security measures. State Fair chief executive Nancy Smith said the city of Columbia’s mask ordinance is in effect, so all staff will wear face coverings.

Smith said staff will sanitize all surfaces like benches, tables and rides.

Another security protocol put in place this year is a transparent bags policy. Smith said that, as with other major events across the country, it is about ensuring the safety of all customers. Anyone arriving without a transparent bag will receive one at the gates upon entry. The organization will also use improved metal detectors at the doors.

The fair also updated their youth curfew policy. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent (21 and over) to enter the show after 5 p.m.

Below is an overview of all the fun activities to do at the fair, as provided by the fair managers:

Taste some of the most delicious and unique food in our state

With over 90 food stalls, customers will find everything from innovative indulgences (fried cookie dough and burgers to donuts) to SC State Fair staples (Fiske fries and foot-long corn dogs), to lighter fare. (the ultimate Greek salad) – lures all types of food lovers across the state. Customers can enjoy a variety of new dining options this year, including “Steak N Eggs Sundae” from DeAnna’s Food Concessions, seafood delicacies from Atlantic Seafood, fried lava cake from Carousel Foods, roasted corn from the Meatball Factory Deli and caramel apple cinnamon buns from Grandma Brown’s Cinnamon Rolls. Plus, hot cookies and milk await guests in the expanded Cookie Kitchen, now located in the Rosewoods Lounge. Visit to learn more.

Enjoy new and classic rides
With 60 rides, this year’s SC State Fair is sure to create some special moments – from dizzying thrillers to family fun, including two new kids’ rides, DUMBO and Tea Cup. DUMBO sends the children spinning in the air for joy. DUMBO’s brilliant colors – accompanied by bright lights and animated parrots – are sure to make this new family ride a fan favorite. Tea cup consists of a turntable, inside of which there are four smaller turntables with six cups. Passengers can manually rotate the cups via a central steering wheel.

Discover a diverse and unique range of entertainment

  • CIRCUS at the Fair: The free daily CIRCUS at the Fair returns for a second year and will feature a brand new, larger tent, new acts and an all-new show. Get ready to experience thrills under the new marquee. Led by Ringmaster Ian Garden, CIRCUS acts will include performances by Urias Globe of Death, Nicknina Sisters, Joseph Bauer Wheel of Destiny, Duo Petrov Juggling, The Upside Down Man and Adam Kutchler (the clown). Visit to learn more
    • CIRCUS will present three 40-minute shows each day next to the Ellison Building, near the South Gate Entrance. Start of the shows at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Daily admission to the CIRQUE is free with your entrance ticket to the show. Each show presents a variety of exciting new entertainment from a renowned range of traditional and unique circus acts.
  • Super Celebration Wheel: The popular Celebration Super Wheel will be back – towering over the halfway point at a breathtaking height of 150 feet. This Rolls Royce of Ferris Wheels features 36 air-conditioned gondolas, each accommodating four to six people, which provide luxurious, fluid rides paired with stunning views of the fairgrounds and Columbia. The spectacular design of LED light at night can be seen for miles across the Columbia landscape. The Celebration Super Wheel costs $ 12 each way and $ 20 for the one-time chance to ride the VIP Gondola (cost is not part of the POP wristband).
  • Music: Music has always been important to SC State Fair and its fans. Enjoy musical performances from Diamonds & Whiskey, Bombshell, Renata the Band, Geru Y Su Legion 7, Dennis Lee Band, Thistle & Lace, Carl Brunson, Swingin ‘Medallions and more.
  • Heritage village: Visitors to the fair can experience the wonders of yesteryear in the Heritage Village where a multidimensional display of entertainment, crafts, bowl-turning and yesteryear pottery will be on display. This year’s exhibit features a glassblower and the educational – yet immersive – experience is sure to leave an impression on family members of all ages.
  • Stage and traveling shows: The SC State Fair will feature a mix of stage and touring performances, including various musical performances, dance groups, animal acts, magicians, jugglers, stuntmen and other performers. Daily shows include: The Robocars: Switching from Cars to Robots, The Walking Piano and the Amazing Giants. You can catch these acts daily while wandering the field.

Discover the natural beauty of South Carolina
The beauty of art and flowers will return at this year’s flower show. The flower arrangements will be scattered among a wide array of artwork throughout the Cantey building. In addition to the potted plant and cut horticultural competitions, several flower shows will be held in the Cantey building at the SC State Fair, including the Ikebana International Chapter # 182, the Garden Club Council of Greater Columbia, Mid-Carolina Camellia Society and the South Society of Carolina Roses.

Explore the works of some of the state’s most talented artists

Guests can take a leisurely stroll through the fine arts department of the Cantey building while admiring the works of some of the state’s best amateur, professional, and student artists. Categories featured include ceramics, pottery, aquatic painting, oil painting, drawing, mixed media, prints, photography, digital photography, open media, and sculpture.

Discover South Carolina’s agricultural roots
The SC State Fair is rooted in agriculture. Residents of South Carolina will compete for bragging rights and a blue ribbon with their local produce including apples, garden carts, large pumpkins and watermelons, Christmas trees, a shoe garden, sugar cane, sweet potatoes and more. There will even be a scarecrow-making competition. Visit South Carolina beekeepers, Clemson Extension and 4H, and stop by the produce stand to purchase produce grown in South Carolina.

Visit with live farm animals
Tour with live farm animals including pigs, sheep, rabbits, horses and more. Watch a donkey and mule show, see a Border Collie exhibit, and get up close and personal with members of the Commerford Petting Zoo, a family-run and run petting zoo featuring pets and exotic animals hand raised.

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