The South Carolina State Fair is celebrating its 150th birthday this year as it runs from October 9 through October 20.
The S.C. State Fair is a nonprofit awarding $300,000 in scholarships per year across South Carolina.
These are all the things you need to know.
You can purchase discount tickets through October 8 at Circle K stores, the State Fair’s North Gate on Rosewood Drive, via FRED the roving ticket booth, or online at the State Fair website.
Opening day, October 9, is also dollar admission day. Guests only pay $1 in cash upon arrival.
“We are so grateful for 150 years of support from our community, and we want the whole state to come and celebrate with us. Our team has been working nonstop with local, national and international partners to make this year’s event the most memorable in our history,” said Nancy Smith, S.C. State Fair General Manager. “We have a lot of very special attractions, entertainment and exhibits lined up to celebrate a very special birthday, so this is a year that you will not want to miss.”
CIRCUS at the Fair
In honor of their 150th year, the State Fair will have a free circus for guests three times a day. There will be three one-hour long shows each day under a 48-foot big top tent, crafted in Italy, beside the Ellison Building near the South Gate entrance.Shows begin at 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and are included with an admission ticket.
Each circus show features circus acts including the High Wire, the Wheel of Destiny, the Globe of Death, the Trained Dog Show, Duo Silks aerialists, America’s Show Camels, and more. You can view details here.
150 Celebration Wheel
The S.C. State Fair will also be debuting a new 150 celebration wheel ride, a 150-foot giant Ferris wheel. The "150 Celebration Wheel" includes 36 temperature-regulated gondolas, each able to carry up to six people. The wheel will cost extra to ride and is not included in the Pay-One-Price wristband or fast pass promotion. Discount passes can be purchased online through October 8 here.
Special exhibits, collector’s items
The State Fair, organized in 1869, continues to have agricultural roots. The theme this year will be "Prize-Winning Memories" and has several special exhibits and collectors items.
These ehibits and items include a special USPS cancellation stamp, a “Prize-Winning Memories” wall, anniversary cake, and more.
You can read more about these special events here.
Free concerts at the Pepsi Place stage
You can view the full lineup here.
New fair foods
The S.C. State Fair has more than 90 food stands including foods like fried cookie dough, donut burgers and foot-long corn dogs. The fair will be adding options like Chili Mac Attack Sundae at DeAnna’s Concessions; Daley’s Double Dog Corndog; Bop’s Kettle Corn in the Heritage Village; the Poppin Gourmet Burger at Carousel Foods; and a special Birthday Cake Funnel Cake in honor of the S.C. State Fair’s 150th anniversary.
Find more food options here.
Visitors can pay $10 admission (cash only) any weekday, excluding Oct. 9, and return it to the booth by 2 p.m. to get cash back.
There are more than 70 rides at the State Fair, including seven new rides, the the Star Dancer, Double-Decker Merry-Go-Round, Morbid Mansion, Twister, Flivver, Love Bug, and the Red Baron.
Read more about the rides here.
You can read more about details and discounts about the 150th S.C. State Fair here.
“Our goal every year is to create a family-friendly experience at a family-friendly price,” said Smith. “As we celebrate 150 years, the best possible birthday present will be to have people from all of our diverse communities across South Carolina come through those gates and make even more prize-winning memories.”