From staff reports
In an effort to give back to the community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit South Carolina State Fair will host its first-ever free, Drive-Through S.C. State Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 20 and Wednesday, Oct. 21 in Columbia.
Find details leading up to the event at www.scstatefair.org and follow @scstatefair on social media.
“In the midst of the worst global crisis of our lifetime, we wanted to give the community something positive to look forward to,” said General Manager Nancy Smith, who also serves as the current chair of the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (IAFE). “Our team is proud to offer a free event where families and friends can experience the joy of the State Fair in a safe and fun environment.”
Guests will enjoy free admission to drive through the fairgrounds and experience unique, car-friendly attractions that highlight South Carolina’s agriculture, history, arts and culture — all from the comfort and safety of their cars. Meanwhile, in a twist on the restaurant drive-through concept, guests will be able to drive into the Lexington Medical Center Fair Park on the fairgrounds and purchase their favorite fair foods.
“The Drive-Through State Fair is going to give folks a snippet of the fair they’ve known their entire lives,” Smith said. “It will certainly look different, but we look forward to sharing this gift with the community. It will truly be a year like no other.”
While rides will not be on the menu in 2020 due to safety precautions, the organization has devised a creative, family-friendly way to experience the food, exhibits, crafts and animals for which the S.C. State Fair is known and loved — in a safe environment.
“As the state’s largest event, we have a responsibility to take care of our neighbors and protect those we love,” Smith said. “To prioritize community health and well-being, our team has spent countless hours developing the best and safest State Fair possible. Safety is always our number one concern, and it is clear to us that the State Fair must adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The State Fair is dedicated to using its facilities and resources to support and serve the community.
“As a 501c3 nonprofit organization ourselves, we exist to serve the community, and we understand the toll that the coronavirus is taking on family farms, concessionaires, exhibitors, small businesses, community groups and countless others,” Smith said. “I’d like to recognize our fellow fairs, here in South Carolina and across North America and beyond, that are also making difficult decisions to best serve their communities. Our state is S.C. Strong, and our fair community is Fair Strong.