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A South Carolina State Fair preview for Columbia, SC

This year’s SC State Fair will take place Wednesday, Oct. 11, and run through Sunday, Oct. 22.

State Fair

The fair will run from Wed., Oct 11-Sun., Oct. 22. | Photo provided by the South Carolina State Fair

Table of Contents

You can’t spell friend without fried. The wafting aroma of fried food is one of the biggest indicators that the South Carolina State Fair our state’s biggest event, featuring ~500,000 visitors — is returning.

So, what can you expect at the fair this year?


Pro tip: Fairgoers can experience unlimited rides with a POP wristband. | Photo by Forrest Clonts and SC State Fair

🎡 Rides

With nearly 70 rides, from heart-pounding high-flying adventures to timeless family favorites, here are some of the exciting rides you can expect:

  • The Zipper: Returning with thrilling vertical G-forces, spins, and delightful surprises.
  • The Wave Swinger: This ride tilts at its peak, offering a cooling breeze as it takes riders of all ages to new heights.
  • Flying Dumbos: This kiddie ride sends young ones soaring.
  • Double Decker Carousel: The enchanting double-decker carousel is making a comeback.
  • Celebration Wheel: A 150-foot Ferris wheel that accommodates up to six people, providing breathtaking views of Columbia.

Pro tip: Purchase a Pay-One-Price (POP) voucher. Fairgoers can experience unlimited rides with a POP wristband. New this year — Pay-One-Price vouchers can be used to enjoy unlimited rides for any ride, including the 150-foot “Celebration Wheel.”

SC state fair pickle pizza

This pizza is kind of a big dill. | Photo provided by the SC State Fair

🍩 Food

Guests can enjoy ~90 food vendors, including 13 new options. Get excited for options like:

  • Billy G’s Carolina BBQ
  • Pumpkin spice funnel cake
  • Dill pickle pizza
  • Donut dog
  • Wisconsin cheese curds
  • Fried salted caramel pretzel brownies
  • Mighty mango tea
  • Oliver Gospel Mission coffee
  • See a map of the vendors here.

🎪 Entertainment

  • CIRCUS | The circus will be performing three 40-minute-long shows each day. Shows begin at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The CIRCUS is free with admission + is located near the South Gate Entrance.
  • Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition | Immerse yourself in the life of Princess Diana with a unique walkthrough documentary showcasing iconic and intimate moments in Royal Family history from Diana’s perspective.
  • Music | See a lineup of shows each night on the Pepsi Place Stage at 7 p.m.
  • See more entertainment options here.

🐄 Don’t forget about

  • Agriculture and livestock exhibits
  • The pig races
  • Located inside the Pro Kitchen Cookie Kitchen, Oliver Gospel Mission will be selling coffee. Buy a cup of coffee and a meal is given to a neighbor in need. Purchase coffee beans, and you provide shelter for someone experiencing homelessness.
  • See more attraction options here.

🎟 Tickets

Purchase discount admission tickets ($10 per person) online or at a Circle K. See all special admission deals.