56th annual Coastal Carolina Fair brings extra day of food, fun
Last year you may have been one of those people who waited until the last minute to go to the Coastal Carolina Fair. You rushed around frantically, gathered your things and persuaded someone to go with you. Then you probably waited in traffic for what seemed like forever.
Not this year. The 56th annual Coastal Carolina Fair is open for an extra day of food and fun for the first time in 56 years. In addition to being open on Sunday, Nov. 4, gates will open at 10 a.m. instead of noon Saturdays. They also have rerouted lanes into the fairgrounds.
“Hopefully, this improves the flow of parking. One of the things we try to do once you get here is move you efficiently,” said Joe Bolchoz, spokesman for the Exchange Club of Charleston and a member of the club for 29 years.
In the past, people who came on popular days faced standstill traffic on the way to the fair. Bolchoz said the extra day and extended Saturday hours hopefully will alleviate some of the traffic.
Each year, the Exchange Club makes $1 million in repairs to the grounds. In addition to routine maintenance and plumbing work, electrical updates were made this year. Bolchoz said the public will not be able to notice this change, but it makes things safer for them behind the scenes.
Popular acts like country singer Corey Smith and hypnotist Mark Yuzuik are returning to the fair.
Some of the new acts coming to the Main Stage are Jo Dee Messina and The Village People.
Bolchoz said one of the most captivating new acts is a service dog demonstration on Wednesday on the Parkway Stage and Nov. 2 on the Gazebo Stage.
“We’re showing what they do for vets coming back from war with handicaps. It’s amazing to watch a program that touches people,” Bolchoz said.
Titus the service dog can pick up items, load washing machines, go into refrigerators and lift a 250-pound person off the ground.
The service dogs are rescued from shelters and provided to veterans at no charge. Interested veterans can get more information about the service dogs at the demonstrations.
“It’s worth seeing,” Bolchoz said.
He said another new event worth seeing is the daily lumberjack show at the Gazebo Lawn, where lumberjacks will race up 60-foot trees and give educational demonstrations on timber.
Of course, there will be plenty of rides and food for all to enjoy. Bolchoz said there will be about 62 rides, 28 of which are geared toward children.
He said there will also be fair food staples, where “anything you can fit on a stick” will be fried. There will be a new vendor selling custom steak dinners, too.
“We’re known for our great food. It’s like the largest outdoor cookout you’ll ever attend,” Bolchoz said.
Last year, 231,456 people attended the fair, which was consistent with the year before. The Exchange Club was able to donate $631,000 to 66 local charities and programs last year.
Bolchoz said he hopes that the extra day will not only give fair-goers more time to experience the fun, but also allow them to raise more money for local charities.
Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.