Operators of the Coastal Carolina Fair in Ladson, which opens for a final day today, were still counting up the ticket sales Saturday night from a huge crowd that caused traffic backups all the way to Interstate 26.
Fair spokesman Joe Bolchoz said the event has seen upwards of 60,000 visitors on busy Saturday nights in the past, and may have sold even more tickets this year. An 11th day was added to the fair schedule this year to handle demand.
Traffic heading for the fair was so heavy around 8 p.m. Saturday that the S.C. Highway Patrol closed the exit ramps from Interstate 26 at exits 203 (College Park Road) and 205 (Highway 78). Cpl. Bob Beres said the exits were shut down to keep the line of vehicles from backing up onto the interstate. “It’s a nice Saturday night, the weather’s nice, and it seems like everybody decided to go to the fair tonight,” said Beres.
Exit 203 was reopened at 9:25 p.m. when the backup eased, and Exit 205 was reopened at 9:46, Beres said. Hospital-bound traffic was allowed to exit during the closures, he said.
The Highway Patrol said parking lots at the fair were full, but Bolchoz said spaces remained available, though limited. Ticket windows were open until 11 p.m., and the fair was scheduled to stay open until 1 a.m.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.