South Carolina State Fair doubles previous year’s opening day attendance

39,416 guests turn out as fair debuts free daily circus

The 150th anniversary South Carolina State Fair opened the gates to lots of enthusiasm and near record-setting crowds on opening day, Oct. 9.

The fair welcomed 39,416 visitors to the fairgrounds Wednesday. That number was double last year’s opening day attendance and within 2,000 of the record set in 2014 since the fair added an extra day in 2006.

“This was an exciting start to our special anniversary event,” said State Fair manager, Nancy Smith. “We are thrilled that so many people came out to help us launch this very special birthday, and we are anticipating another great year.”

During Wednesday’s special $1 gate promotion, guests enjoyed many of the fair’s traditional favorites while lining up for several new attractions including a free daily CIRCUS at the Fair. The circus performed to near capacity crowds in the 1,300-seat arena during all three performances on Wednesday.

The hour-long circus shows begin at 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day under a 48-foot big top tent beside the Ellison Building near the South Gate entrance.

The 2019 S.C. State Fair features several exhibits and promotions honoring the 150th anniversary. Among those are a special pictorial cancellation stamp by the United States Postal Service; a published history of the fair, “Meet Me at the Rocket” by historian Rodger Stroup; and a S.C. State Fair “Prize-Winning Memories” wall in the Ellison Building.

This year’s Sandscapes features a 150th anniversary-themed display in the Goodman Building. A special exhibit on “The Food We Celebrate” is being  presented by the S.C. State Museum and the S.C. Humanities Council each day in the Ellison Building.

“Our fair has such a rich history in this state, and we want to showcase what it has meant to so many people for so many years,” Smith said.

The South Carolina State Fair continues through Oct. 20 at Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Boulevard.  There is no increase in ticket prices this year. The fair gates open at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“We are so grateful for 150 years of support from our community, and we hope the whole state will come and celebrate with us,” Smith said.


About the South Carolina State Fair

The South Carolina State Fair, a self-supporting 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was organized in 1869 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting South Carolina’s agricultural roots while supporting statewide education.  The South Carolina State Fair has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships since 1997.  The State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina brand has always been associated with highlighting the best of our state.