S.C. State Fair tops previous year’s attendance despite one-day loss to tropical storm

COLUMBIA - October 21, 2018 – The 2018 South Carolina State Fair closed the gates on the 149th anniversary fair Sunday night after welcoming 443,712 guests during the 12-day run.

The fair enjoyed a 16,246 increase over last year’s 427,466 attendance figures despite closing the first Thursday for Tropical Storm Michael – the first time in recorded history.

“We are so grateful to the faithful patrons who came out and helped us experience one of our strongest fairs in recent years,” said State Fair general manager, Nancy Smith, who is in her first year in that role.

This year’s fair reached a new milestone. The first Saturday drew 75,259 guests, the highest single-day attendance ever since the fair added a 12th day in 2006.

“We appreciate everyone’s support,” Smith said. “This was a safe fair with few incidents, which is always the mark of a solid run.”

This year’s fair featured eight musical acts in the Pepsi Grandstand series, including two free shows with fair admission. The Oct. 16 Fantasia concert was a sellout. The fair also offered its pay-one-price promotion all 12 days for the third straight year.

“Our goal is always to include a fresh mix of new attractions, while bringing back many of our traditional favorites that our patrons have come to love and expect through the years,” Smith said. “And we feel they were well received.”

The South Carolina State Fair is a self-supported, charitable organization dedicated to educating South Carolina’s young adults and awards more than $300,000 in scholarships each year.

The 2019 S.C. State Fair will run Oct. 9-20 in Columbia when the fair will mark its 150th anniversary, featuring several special offerings including a published History of the Fair and a display of interesting fair memorabilia through the years along with the traditional lineup and new features.

The fair will begin showcasing the 150th anniversary early in 2019, bringing attention to its long-standing community involvement.


The South Carolina State Fair is a self-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating South Carolina's young adults, with over $300,000 in scholarships awarded annually. For more information about the South Carolina State Fair, its programs or licensing opportunities, contact Nancy Smith at 803-799-3387 ext. 116 or nancys@scstatefair.org.

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