Growing up, I loved the Texas State Fair. I went almost every fall with my parents or friends. Here in Columbia, I also have the opportunity to go to the State Fair every fall, but the South Carolina fair isn’t quite the same. The Texas State Fair is an all-day, leave you exhausted kind of event, while the South Carolina State Fair is more of a nice evening or afternoon outing. They are both a lot of fun, however.
Thursday evening was College Night at the fair, so admission was free. I met a group of friends there, and we spent the evening wandering around. My favorite part is always the smelly barnyard animals. The South Carolina fair has barns full of cows and pigs that are sweet and not man-crushingly huge, plus a whole room full of different kinds of rabbits, and a petting zoo. There were baby piglets this year, and three day old ducklings. They were just too cute. The fair also had exhibit halls displaying the best jams, handicrafts, cakes, biscuits, pumpkins, and art in the state. And, most importantly, they had fried food. In addition to the regular funnel cakes and corn dogs, there is a stand that sells crazy burgers with doughnuts or ramen, and another with fried candy. My personal favorite is the fried Reese’s, ooey gooey with melted chocolate, and totally indulgent.
So, while Big Tex might not be there to greet you, the South Carolina State Fair still offers that cozy, fall feeling of neon lights, and something battered and fried, and it is almost like being home.