The S.C. Highway Patrol has reopened Interstate 26 exit ramps that were closed earlier tonight due to heavy Coastal Carolina Fair traffic.

“It’s a nice Saturday night, the weather’s nice, and it seems like everybody decided to go to the fair tonight,” said Cpl. Bob Beres.

Around 8 p.m. fair-bound traffic was backing up College Park Road and S.C. Highway 78 all the way to the Interstate 26 exit ramps, prompting the highway patrol to shut down I-26 exits 203 (College Park Road) and 205 (Highway 78).

Exit 203 was reopened at 9:25 p.m. when the backup eased, and Exit 205 was reopened at 9:46, Beres said.

The Highway Patrol said parking lots at the fair were full, but Joe Bolchoz, media chairman for the fair, said spaces remained available. He said ticket windows will remain open until 11 p.m., and the fair will stay open until 1 a.m.

“Parking is limited, but we are exiting traffic, so we do have spaces,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people coming through the ticket windows right now.”

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.