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Safety protocols in place for 152nd annual SC State Fair

The City of Columbia's mask ordinance will be in place at the fair. Here's what else the fair is doing to ensure safety.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Wednesday, the South Carolina State Fair is kicks off their 152nd annual fair, and, as you would expect, the fair is taking extra precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

This year, the fair will resume in person after being a drive-thru last year due to COVID-19.  

"People really enjoyed it and appreciated it, but it's nothing like being at the fair," said vendor Butch Netterfield, who is in his 56th year at the state fair. "We predict that it's going to be capacity crowds every day because people are just missing it."

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The General Manager of the state fair, Nancy Smith, said they are excited to have everyone back this year. She said they are also making sure everyone stays safe and healthy when attending the fair.

"As you know, the fair is located in the City of Columbia, and located within the City of Columbia is a mask ordinance," Smith said. "We will be abiding by the mask ordinance, which is enforced by the City of Columbia. We've taken all those precautions into consideration as well as the things that we have done."

Smith also noted, "The fair has always been clean. We've always been noted for our cleanliness of our grounds. But this year we have increased that. We have more hand sanitizing stations throughout the fairgrounds, we tried to implement a lot more contactless options for purchasing your tickets and otherwise."

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Smith said all fair staff, including ride operators will be wearing masks, and sanitizing all surfaces like benches, tables, and rides. 

"They will be sanitizing the rides between each iteration of the rides and giving folks the option, if you don't feel comfortable riding in the same cart with someone, that's your option to wait and ride separately," Smith said.

Another safety protocol being put in place this year is a clear bag policy. Smith said like other large events in the country, this is to ensure the safety of all patrons.

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"We are moving in the direction of other large events have gone for quite some time," Smith said. "It will help your time at the gate to be a little quicker to get through," Smith said.

Anyone who arrives without a clear bag, will be given one at the gates when they enter. The organization will also use enhanced metal detectors at the gates.

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The fair has also updated their youth curfew police. Anyone younger than the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent (21 years and older) to enter the fair after 5 pm.

"This is a great great fair," Netterfield said. "People in Columbia are very fortunate to have the fair. We started selling cotton candy and candy apples at the fair, and we've been here ever since."

"Everyone has been safe and we all wear masks and wear our gloves," Netterfield said. "Sanitization is our biggest object in the food stands. Everything is sanitized, re-sanitized and sanitized again, and that is what I attribute to everything. Clorox, we've been a big customer of theirs this year."

To view all the safety policies and rules for the State Fair, CLICK HERE

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