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Beaufort County Fair returns after 19 years

After being dormant for nearly two decades, the Beaufort County Fair was resurrected last week thanks to the generosity of one man.

Tommy O’Brien spent months seeking other investors and partners but wound up opening up his own pockets to bring the fair back to Beaufort for the first time since 1999.

“Everyone needs to go the County Fair,” O’Brien said. “I didn’t make enough money to break even. I took a loss. But that’s OK, It was worth it just to see that smile on a child’s face. It was all worth it just for that.”

Although this year’s fair was small, many who grew up attending the fair were simply excited to have it back. Beaufort native Jimmy Searson brought his family down from Walterboro and gave the event rave reviews.

“My family and I really enjoyed the Beaufort County Fair and are so grateful that Tommy O’Brien brought it back this year,” Searson said. “My 6-year-old daughter loved it and had a great time. Yes, it was small, but still fun. I hope that Beaufort continues to have a fair and it gets bigger and bigger.” 

O’Brien also funded the circus that came to town in September. 

“The circus company said they will be back next year,” O’Brien said. “So the 2019 circus will be here next fall. As for the fair, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Photo at top: The Beaufort County Fair came back to Beaufort last week. Here the Ferris Wheel in the background is motionless, showing off its red lights, while another ride to the right looks like a flying saucer in this time exposure. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

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