SC State Fair 101: What You Need to Know

It didn't take long for people to line up to go inside the South Carolina State Fair.

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - It's here! It's here! It's FINALLY here!

The 148th  opens Wednesday, and we can't wait to find our happy there with you!

'Feel Good About Fun' is the theme for the 148th South Carolina State Fair, which runs October 11-22  at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia.

We know you're as anxious as we are to get there, so we've created this guide with the all the details you need to know.

What's New

If you're like most of us, one of the first things you wonder about is what new foods will be featured at the State Fair. Are you ready for this? New food offerings this year include Buffalo Chicken Gyros, Southern Catfish Sundaes, Fried Bologna Burgers and a '3B' Burger! 

Here are the delicious details.

Buffalo Chicken Gyros features Greek marinated chicken with a cream cheese and cheddar cheese blend mixed with buffalo sauce and served with lettuce, tomato, onions and either ranch dressing or traditional Tzatziki Sauce. Get them at AP Concessions.

Southern Catfish Sundaes combines cut French fries with fried catfish fingerings on seasoned batter, a spicy Remoulade sauce, and a cool white Tarter Sauce. It's being served up at DeAnna's Concessions.

Fried Bologna Burgers are Angus burgers with pimento cheese, fried bologna and chili! They await you at Timmons Concession.

The '3B' Burger offers triple the pleasure with a burger, bacon and brisket plus provolone cheese on garlic toast! Get yours at Carousel Foods.

New on the Midway this year is the BulletTrain! The BulletTrain climbs 33-feet before sending riders on sharp turns, banking curves, super-fast transitions and exhilarating drops - all hallmarks of a great freeform rollercoaster. The ride promises to pack a lot of punch with high-speed thrills!

Related: What's new at the 2017 SC State Fair? (Video)

Concerts, Entertainment & Competitions

Six musical acts are slated to perform at the Pepsi Grandstand during the 2017 State Fair:

All concerts will begin at 7 p.m., with the exception of Sabrina Carpenter, which will begin at 5 p.m.

Grandstand tickets range $15-$30 and include fair admission. You can purchase them online or on site the day of each concert, provided tickets are still available.

As always, there will be plenty of musicentertainers, stage showscompetitions and exhibits to amaze, amuse and entertain you throughout the State Fair. 

RELATED: Three Ways to Avoid Going Broke at the State Fair

Rides & Games 

Whether you're looking for daring and daunting, slow or fast, the fair has a ride for you! Try your hand at a game or two, too!  It's all there for you on the Midway!

New this year is the BulletTrain! The BulletTrain climbs 33-feet before sending riders on sharp turns, banking curves, super-fast transitions and exhilarating drops - all hallmarks of a great freeform rollercoaster. The ride promises to pack a lot of punch with high-speed thrills!

See the 2017 Fair Ride List.

Find out height and ticket requirements for each ride HERE

RIDE TICKETS

Most kiddie rides require 2 - 3 ride tickets, while Spectacular rides require 4 - 6 tickets.

Ride ticket prices are as follows:

1 Ride Ticket: $1.25

22 Ride Tickets: $25

55 Ride Tickets: $60

Buy a Pay-One-Price (POP) wristband to enjoy unlimited rides. You can purchase them online, at most Walgreen's locations or on site at the fair. POP wristbands cost $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends. 

TIP: Hate waiting in line? Buy a Midway Express Access Pass, which gets you to the front of every ride line! Express Access Passes are $15 and must be purchased on site. 

RELATED:

Fair Ride Safety: What You Need to Know

How the State Fair Makes Sure Their Rides are Safe

Ride Safety at the South Carolina State Fair

Attractions

We know you love 'em! There are animals galore to delight and amuse at the 2017 State Fair.

Into crafts and arts? There are plenty for you to enjoy! 

This year's flower show theme is "flowering fun," and you'll find plenty of both in the Cantey Building.

Always a favorite, don't miss this year's agriculture and livestock shows and exhibits! 

WLTX Tent

Make sure you come out and see us! Your favorite News19 anchors and reporters will be out there to greet you and sign autographs!

We'll also be giving away the halo rings and phone holder, our recyclable WLTX bags, buttons, and pencils. The penny press will be back so you can make a souvenir.

And we'll have something different this year: Sound Off 19. Look for the giant microphone where we'll be asking you to sound off on the question of the day!

Getting Around

Where’s the grandstand? Is there a bathroom nearby? Find your way around with the Fairground Map.

Worried about getting around with physical limitations? Wheelchairs and scooters are available for rent at the South Gate

Wheelchairs* - $15 for 2 hours or $20 all day

Scooters* - $45 all day

*Deposit & ID required

Want to enjoy the Fair but don't have all day? Take a few minutes to think through what you want to do there, then take a look at the Fairground Map and plan accordingly.

Tickets

Prices

  • Advance Purchase (before Oct. 11): $7
  • Adults: $10
  • Military: Free (Active, Retired Military and Family. ID required.)
  • Children: Free (0-5-years-old)
  • Seniors:  $7 (Age 55+, On Site)

Be sure to check out the schedule of DAILY DEALS for discounted ticket opportunities.

Where to Buy

You can purchase online, at most Walgreen's locations or on site at the fair.

Parking

Parking in State Fair parking lots costs $5 per vehicle, cash only. 

Handicap parking is available at Gate 6, along with general parking, for cars displaying an official handicap license or placard. There is also a place for dropping off near Gate 6.

NOTE: Parking in fair lots is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking entrances may close when the lot is full.

Social Media

Follow and tag the SC State Fair on social media:

Hashtag: #SCStateFair

Use the #SCStateFair hashtag for a chance to have your posts featured as Fan of the Day! 

Snap much? Don't forget to use the State Fair Snapchat filter to make sharing even more fun!

Security, Safety and Rules

After 6:00 pm, everyone under the age of 18 is required to be accompanied by a parent to enter the fairgrounds.

Anyone wearing clothing or jewelry or other personal items that fair management deems offensive or gang-related will not be allowed on the fairgrounds. 

Surveillance cameras operate throughout the fairgrounds every day of the fair.

The property is under jurisdiction of the Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Columbia Police Department, and about 200 law enforcement officials are on the grounds during the fair.

The State Fair reserves the right to search attendees and their belongings upon arrival.

The following items are NOT PERMITTED at the SC State Fair:

  • Selfie Sticks
  • Backpacks
  • Concealed Weapons (even by permit holders)
  • Outside Food and Beverages
  • Pets (except service animals, leashed on the campgrounds, or as part of an authorized act or exhibit)
  • Segways
  • Tents (unless part of an authorized act or exhibit)
  • Drones

Smoking is strictly prohibited in these areas: Buildings, the Pepsi Grandstand, Kiddieland, all livestock barns and surrounding areas, and horse arena and viewing stands.

More Information

Have more questions? Need additional information? Head on over to the State Fair website.

We look forward to seeing you at the fair!

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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