This Oct., the 150th South Carolina State Fair brings racing piglets and double decker merry-go-rounds to Columbia

Big fun, big yum


Now in its 150th year, the South Carolina State Fair is going all out this October, with the fun kicking off on Oct. 9 and running through Oct. 20. Tickets start at just $7 if purchased before the fair starts. You can peruse all ticket options and ride vouchers online at scstatefair.org.

And — early bird gets the $1 admission — hand the gatekeeper one dollar in cash on Oct. 9 and you’re good to go on opening day.

In addition to the usual fanfare, this year’s state fair has some special features like the “150 Celebration Wheel,” a 150-foot Ferris wheel with temperature controlled gondolas (yeah, you read that right). The fair’s iconic rocket, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be decorated as a giant birthday candle.

A free circus will perform three times daily with hour-long shows under a big-top tent near the South Gate Entrance (peep the handy map for the locations of all the attractions at this year’s fair). Expect circus acts like the globe of death, duo silks aerialists, show camels, and more from an international cast, led by ringmaster Ian Garden. 

In addition to that baller Ferris Wheel, this year’s fair rides include a double decker merry-go-round, the ‘morbid mansion,’ and classic ‘twister.’

New this year, free concerts take place on the Pepsi Place stage, including acts like The Tams, The Latin Caravan, Tokyo Joe, Reggie Sullivan, and more. Check out the full list of entertainment online.

Guests can check out live animals throughout the fair, from a daily petting zoo to a Border Collie herding exhibition to a “high energy” piglet race.

As always, the food offerings will be gut-busting (in the best ways possible): there’s a chili mac attack, with mac and cheese, french fries, chili, and jalapenos; a double dog corndog, featuring, you guessed it, two-in-one ‘dogs; and likely to be a crowd favorite, a birthday cake funnel cake with icing and rainbow sprinkles.

The list of fun, food, and animal wackiness goes on. Be sure to peruse all the offerings online. We’ll see y’all at the fair.

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