Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina State fair begins today meaning we'll have 12 days of food and fun right here in Columbia!

We're helping you find out about the fun things you can do with this quick guide about one of the largest annual events in the Midlands.

Fair Dates:

Wednesday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, October 23

Dates and times for the opening of the gates, as well as the carnival midway hours, vary by day. For a complete daily schedule, go to the State Fair website.


You're definitely going to want to know where to go as soon as you get there. Go ahead and look at their map online to scope out the best rides and food.

Admission Prices:

General admission: $10

Military: Free

Kids 0-5 years old: Free

Tickets can be purchased online at, at the gate, or at Walgreens locations


$5 per visit (cash only)



Daily: $30

Weekends: $35


1 Coupon: $1.25

22 Coupons: $25

55 Coupons: $60

Midway Express Access Pass: $15

Special Promotions:

There will be special event days for deals, including Senior Day, College Day, and Exceptional Citizens Day. You can find a list of those at

News19 Friends at 5: Live from the Fair

We'll broadcast our daily 5 o'clock newscast from the fair every weekday. Be sure to come by and watch or tune in from home!

WLTX Tent:

Ron Diamond:

Magician, illusionist, and hypnotist Ron is a master at all levels of magic and hypnosis. This fair favorite spent seven years as a performer and show designer with Walt Disney Productions and will thrill audiences with his superb sense of humor and timing as he captivates both the mind and the heart. Each show promises something different.

Latin Night:

Join us for Latin Night at the fair, featuring the music of the Palmetto Latin 5, Digital Frenesi and DJ Angel. This special event will also include Zumba demonstrations, salsa dancing, and prize giveaways! Oct 21 5-9 PM

Pepsi Grandstand:

Aloe Blacc - 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14

Dustin Lynch - 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17

Alabama - 7 p.m. - Wednesday, Oct. 19

for King & Country - 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 21

Kirk Franklin - 7 p.m. Sunday, October 23

New Rides:

Charlie Chopper:

Charlie Chopper features four helicopters that soar 50 feet into the sky and gently sway up and down and round and round. Each chopper seats approximately four people, and the race will be on to decide who gets to sit in the cockpit as these two riders control each chopper’s throttle. Children can enjoy this ride alone or with their parents.

Freak Out:

The spectacular Freak Out towers at 70 feet high and seats 16 people, taking them on a thrilling journey into the sky. Passengers are secured by over-the-shoulder harnesses as they dangle in expectation. The seats rotate slowly before the entire boom begins to swing horizontally and eventually travels high into the air at a 120-degree angle in the air as the passenger seats rotate.


This intermediate “tweener” ride features eight 4-passenger cars that allow passengers to spin at will. The ride lifts 7-1/2 feet and tilts at 20 degrees, providing a great visual effect while causing the cars to swing in and out. After the ride lowers, air brakes smoothly bring the cars to a stop to end an unquestionably fun experience.

New Foods:

Sundae Specials:

These are not your average Sundaes but will offer a mix of meats, vegetables, cheese, and various other toppings that are sure to delight the taste buds. The menu offerings include a Shrimp and Grits Sundae, Pulled Pork Sundae, Breakfast Sundae and Bayou Bowl Sundae. They can be found at DeAnna’s Food Concession stand.

All Friend, All the Time:

Birthday cake pops and deep fried mini cinnamon roll pops are among the new deep fried offering being served up this year by Carousel Foods, adding to its popular menu items of fried Snickers, Oreo’s and Reese Cups.

It's Burger-Licious:

New burger offerings to this year’s fair include the parmesan crusted burger and quesadilla burger.

Enjoy the Crunch:

Daley’s Corndogs has added a layer of fresh pickle between its hotdog and golden fried crust, making for a tasty combination served up on a stick. This will have patrons coming back for more.