Columbia, S.C. – The countdown is on for the return of the 154th South Carolina State Fair and discount admission and ride tickets are officially on sale. Buying tickets in advance offers significant savings of up to 50%. Tickets can be purchased now through Oct. 10 at a participating Circle K location or at SCStateFair.org.
“The South Carolina State Fair embodies the spirit of our state, and we can’t wait to see everyone come together in October to enjoy rides, food, competitions, agriculture and the wonderful experiences that make our fair so special,” says S.C. State Fair General Manager Nancy Smith. “This year we have a record-breaking number of new foods and drinks, as well as two world-class traveling exhibitions.”
Meet Me at the Rocket
The official theme of this year’s fair is “Meet Me at the Rocket,” a nod to the beloved tradition of gathering friends and families at the iconic S.C. State Fairgrounds. The S.C. State Fair, which will run Oct. 11-22, stands as a testament to the vibrancy of South Carolina, and for more than 150 years, has served as a cherished platform for creating unforgettable memories. As the state’s largest event, the S.C. State Fair captures the essence of South Carolina through a 12-day showcase of exhibits, competitions, foods, rides, entertainment and more.
2023 S.C. State Fair Highlights
Record-breaking number of new foods and drinks
Whether you’re an adventurous foodie seeking unique combinations or someone who craves the comfort of fair classics, this year’s S.C. State Fair selection of 13 new food and drink options will offer something for everyone and all taste buds to enjoy.
“We’ve curated a remarkable selection of new and enticing food options that celebrate both tradition and innovation,” says Smith. “From the nostalgic delight of Fried Twinkies on a Stick to the bold adventure of Dill Pickle Pizza, every vendor represents a fusion of tastes and cultures that make our fair so diverse in flavor.”
Below is a list of what’s new to this year’s fair. Learn more at scstatefair.org/foodmap.
Billy G’s Carolina BBQ
Fried Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
Fried Twinkies on a Stick
Fried S’mores on a Stick
Mexican Street Corn Sundae
Wisconsin Cheese Curds
Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake
Mighty Mango Tea
Dill Pickle Pizza
Watermelon Arnold Palmer
Oliver Gospel Mission Coffee
World-class traveling exhibitions to be on display
From live music to stilt walkers and the free daily CIRCUS at the Fair, entertainment will be around every corner, including two mesmerizing traveling exhibitions: Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition and Remembering Our Fallen.
“This year we are proud to present two amazing, yet very different exhibitions,” says Smith. “In addition to honoring those who lost their lives to the Global War on Terror in the Remembering Our Fallen exhibition, we are thrilled to be the first-ever fair in the world to bring the Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition to its fairgrounds.”
Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition
Be immersed into the life of the world’s most beloved Princess at the Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, a walkthrough documentary capturing some of the most iconic and intimate moments in Royal Family history. Embark on a journey through Princess Diana’s life from a perspective you’ve never heard before – hers. For the first time in his 60-year-career, Princess Diana’s favorite Official Royal Photographer and trusted companion, Anwar Hussein, shares the untold stories of Royal life and the Princess that we could not take our eyes off.
Accredited by the Royal Family, Anwar and his two sons, Samir and Zak, make up the longest-standing family of Official Royal Photographers, having collectively spent more than four decades working side by side with the iconic Princess and her family. Anwar, in particular, changed the way we see the Royal Family by taking casual photographs that captured the subjects’ lives and emotions.
Named one of the "Top 12 Immersive Experiences Around the World You Need to Visit” by CNN, the exhibit has sold out in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and Puerto Rico. Since launching in 2021, it has become a fan-favorite event, being featured in People Magazine, Variety, Access Hollywood, as well as the LA Times, and has accumulated a 4.9 out of 5-star guest rating.
Remembering Our Fallen
Discover this traveling tribute to our military fallen from the Global War on Terror, Remembering Our Fallen, a photographic war memorial showcases 34 tribute towers, honoring not only those who made the ultimate sacrifice but also those who served in combat zones and succumbed to invisible wounds. Additionally, a tribute tower has been included to pay homage to our brave military personnel who tragically lost their lives in stateside or non-combat training accidents. Join us in honoring their service and sacrifice at the profound memorial. Learn more at https://www.scstatefair.org/attractions/remembering-our-fallen/.
How to buy discount tickets
Discount admission tickets are $10 per person ($15-$20 during the fair) and discount ride vouchers are $30 per person ($38-$40 during the fair). Exchange a ride voucher for a Pay-One-Price wristband to enjoy unlimited rides. Visit a participating Circle K location or SCStateFair.org to purchase discount tickets now through Tuesday, Oct. 10. Additionally, for the first time ever, Pay-One-Price vouchers can be used to enjoy unlimited rides for any of the nearly 70 rides, including the 150-foot “Celebration Wheel”.
The S.C. State Fair will take place October 11-22, 2023. Learn more at SCStateFair.org.
About the South Carolina State Fair
The South Carolina State Fair, a self-supporting 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was organized in 1869 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting South Carolina’s agricultural roots while supporting statewide education. In addition to the 12-day South Carolina State Fair, the charitable organization manages annual football parking, is a popular event venue and hosts Carolina Lights — Columbia's downtown drive-through light show. The South Carolina State Fair has awarded nearly $5 million in scholarships since 1997. More information can be found at SCStateFair.org.
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