The 2018 South Carolina State Fair opened Wednesday in Columbia as fair officials are keeping an eye on the track of Hurricane Michael, which is expected to cross the state Thursday.
“Weather is always something that the fair has to be aware of and while we certainly don’t have tropical systems coming through all the time it is not at all uncommon to have a significant rain event come through,” fair spokesman Bertram Rantin said.
On Thursday, the Fair calendar lists a 7 p.m. Scotty McCreery concert at the Pepsi Grandstand. If the fair is closed or any of the events are canceled, Rantin said the information will be posted on its social media accounts.
Meanwhile, South Carolina football fans who usually park and tailgate at the fairgrounds will have to find another place to tailgate on Saturday.
“There’s no reserved Gamecock Club parking,” Rantin said. “Parking is $5 per vehicle and it will be first-come, first served and there are no tents, awnings or alcoholic beverages allowed.”
But fans could enjoy their pre-game tailgate at the fair.
“We will be offering free admission to the fair for USC football ticket-holders before kickoff,” he said. Gates at the fair open Saturday at 10 a.m. and kickoff for the Gamecocks against Texas A&M is at 3:30.
Fans should use gates 6 or 10 for parking.
Each year, the fair pays $300,000 in college scholarships to South Carolina students. 50 recipients receive $1,500 per year through the two or four years of their undergraduate degrees. Any South Carolina student planning on attending an in-state university can apply.
“There is an application process,” Rantin said. “There’s an essay and we look at certain things but there are no restrictions in terms of their majors, which is also what we think is wonderful. Our goal is o help educate the youth in general.”