Coastal Carolina Fair - kids in swings

The Coastal Carolina Fair returns Thursday at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson and runs through Nov. 4.

Coastal Carolina Fair

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Tom and Rhoda Milligan take a rest before continuing around the lake at the Coastal Carolina Fair on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Wade Spees/Staff

It’s finally here. It’s time for the sights, sounds and smells of the Coastal Carolina Fair as it returns to the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson on Thursday. It’s time for the blinking lights along the midway, the squeals of laughter and fear from the thrill rides and the smell of deep-fried everything. Well, and the smell of the petting zoo. While it’s easy to determine what the Gravitron, Giant Wheel, Haunted Mansion, Mega Drop and Tilt-a-Whirl are, the names of some of the other rides sound a bit intimidating: the Ring of Fire, Sizzler, Tornado and Vertigo, to name a few.

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Christy Ammerman makes sure sons Asher, 2, and Xavier, 4, are buckled into a kiddie-car ride at the Coastal Carolina Fair on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Wade Spees/Staff

If Kiddieland is more your speed, this year’s rides will include the Carousel, Family Swinger and SpongeBob SquarePants’ House. The wee ones will also be able to enjoy some mini-thrills with the Frog Hopper, Flying Elephants, Wacky Worm and more. Live music is always a huge draw to the fair and this year will welcome country artists Joe Nichols, Walker Hayes, Jo Dee Messina and Rodney Atkins, contemporary Christian rock band Building 429, comedian James Gregory and more, as well as local musicians, a hypnotist, bull riders, dancers and choirs. The list of entertainment goes on and on. The website has details on absolutely everything you need or will want to know about this highly anticipated annual family-friendly event.

WHEN: Oct. 25-Nov. 4; 3-9 p.m. Thursdays, Monday-Wednesday; 3-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays;

WHERE: Exchange Park Fairgrounds, 9850 U.S. Highway 78, Ladson

PRICE: $6-$25 options; free for ages 5 years and younger

MORE INFO: 843-572-3161,

Doggie Dress-ups

Terrier orange witch costume - cut for square

In search of more family-friendly Halloween events to share, I discovered that if you’re willing to start early enough, you can enter your dog in six pet costume contests on Saturday.

The fourth annual Bark & Boo Halloween Bash & Pet Costume Contest will be held at Kia Country of Charleston with Mix 95.9. The Charleston Animal Society will have animals available for adoption and will celebrate the organization’s Youth Pet Advocates. There also will be music, food trucks, pet vendors, kids’ activities, games, prizes and more. Donations for the Pet Food Bank requested.

WHEN: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 27

WHERE: Kia Country of Charleston, 2361 Savannah Highway, Charleston

PRICE: Free admission

MORE INFO: 843-747-4849,,

Bulldog princess costume

Saturday is full of pet costume contests from one end of town to the other.

The Rusty Rudder will host its fourth annual Howl-O-Ween and proceeds will benefit Lowcountry Lab Rescue, which will have adoptable dogs onsite. Food and cocktails will be available for purchase and the pet costume contest winner will get a “fun Rudder Prize Pack.”

WHEN: Noon-2 p.m. Oct. 27

WHERE: The Rusty Rudder, 3563 U.S. Highway 17, Mount Pleasant

PRICE: Free admission

MORE INFO: 843-388-3177,

"Standing" dog superhero costume

Workshop will host its second annual Boo Fest, featuring a dog costume contest, photo booth and live entertainment in the courtyard. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and the kiddos are encouraged to dress up for Halloween candy. Special guests and prizes are also planned.

WHEN: Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 27

WHERE: Workshop, 1503 King St., downtown Charleston

PRICE: Free admission

MORE INFO: 843-996-4500,

Mardi Gras dog costume

The biggest part of the ninth annual Fall Festival at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre will certainly be the pet costume contest, presented by Hairy Winston Pet Boutique with proceeds to benefit Pet Helpers. Contest categories include Best Duo, Most Topical/Trending, Best Homemade, Best Inanimate Object, Funniest and Best Overall. The festival will feature additional family-friendly activities and interactive exhibits, vendors, arts and crafts, food, music and more. Kids are encouraged to dress up for trick-or-treating.

WHEN: Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 27; 2 p.m. pet costume contest

WHERE: Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, 1218 Belk Drive

PRICE: Free festival admission; $10 pet costume contest registration

MORE INFO: 843-216-9900,

Little dog in tuxedo

With the 12th annual Dogtoberfest: Dogs, Dine and Wine Pet Expo, Freshfields Village and Charleston Animal Society “unite pets, Halloween and Oktoberfest,” featuring a dog costume contest, other local rescue groups and adoptable pets, wine and beer tastings, food trucks, additional vendors, blessing of the animals, live entertainment and more.

WHEN: 1-5 p.m. Oct. 27; 3 p.m. dog costume contest

WHERE: Freshfields Village, 165 Village Green, Johns Island

PRICE: Free admission; additional cost for wine/beer tastings

MORE INFO: 843-747-4849,,

During the Tanger SPOOKtacular, Dorchester Paws will present the HOWL-oween Canine Costume Contest and prizes will be awarded for Most Creative Dog Costume, Best Owner/Dog Costume Combo and Fan Favorite. They have some serious rules for entering the competition, so be sure to check out the website for those details. Also, kids ages 12 years and younger are encouraged to dress up for trick-or-treating and onsite will be pets available for adoption, food trucks, crafts, games and more.

WHEN: Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 27; 2 p.m. canine costume contest

WHERE: Shopper Services Courtyard at Tanger Outlets, 4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston

PRICE: Free admission; $10 canine costume contest registration

MORE INFO: 843-529-3095,

Community Halloween Parties

Kids decorating pumpkins

Charleston, Folly Beach, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Summerville all have family-friendly Halloween events through the weekend and on Halloween night.

Hurry up and get those costumes ready, y’all — there are more Halloween events coming up over the weekend and into next week.

The City of Charleston Rec Department will host a Pumpkin Painting Party at Hazel Parker Playground on Thursday (BYOP-pumpkin; decorations provided), a Spooktacular Dance Party at Bees Landing Rec Center on Monday (ages 2-5 years; wear a costume), a Halloween Costume Party at Shaw Community Center on Wednesday (ages 5-18 years) and a Ghostly Get-Together at Bees Landing Rec Center on Wednesday (ages 12 years and younger; wear a costume), but the biggest Halloween event will be the Trick-or-Treat in Hampton Park on Friday. In addition to candy, there will be a costume contest, games, arts and crafts, hayrides, pony rides, jump castles, live music and more. This special event in the park is designed for ages 12 years and younger. See website for details on all of the recreation department’s Halloween events.

WHEN: Trick-or-Treat: 4-6 p.m. Oct. 26

WHERE: Trick-or-Treat: Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Drive, downtown Charleston

PRICE: All events are free

MORE INFO: 843-724-7336,

The Folly Beach Civic Club will host its 44th annual Trick-or-Treat & Halloween Party at Folly River Park on Wednesday, featuring a costume contest, games (I think my favorite may be the eyeball toss), treats, prizes, a cake walk, entertainers and more. The costume contest will be divided into age groups 0-4, 5-8 and 9-12 years, as well as family categories.

WHEN: 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 31; 7:30 p.m. costume contest

WHERE: Folly River Park, Center St. at E. Indian Ave., Folly Beach


MORE INFO: 843-513-1836,

Star Wars kids

There are plenty of community Halloween and trick-or-treat events to choose from for the weekend and into next week.

The annual Goose Creek Halloween Carnival at the community center on Saturday will include a costume contest, carnival games with candy and prizes, crafts, a cupcake walk and more. The costume contest is divided into age groups 0-3, 4-7 and 8-12 years.

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 27; 6 p.m. costume contest

WHERE: Goose Creek Community Center, 519-A N. Goose Creek Blvd.


MORE INFO: 843-569-4242,

The City of Isle of Palms will host its annual Halloween Carnival at the recreation department on Wednesday, featuring a costume contest for children of all ages, games, face painting, jump castles, candy, prizes, a haunted house and more.

WHEN: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31; 5:30 p.m. costume contest

WHERE: Isle of Palms Recreation Department, 24 28th Ave.


MORE INFO: 843-886-8294,

Candy in pumpkin

There are plenty of community Halloween and trick-or-treat events to choose from for the weekend and into next week.

The Mount Pleasant Rec Department will hold its Halloween in the Old Village on Tuesday, designed for ages 2-5 years, with trick-or-treating (costumes encouraged), games, face painting, a jump castle, pony rides and more.

WHEN: Noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 30

WHERE: G.M. Darby Building, 302 Pitt St., Mount Pleasant


MORE INFO: 843-884-2528,

Park Circle will host a kids’ event and an adult event on Wednesday. The second annual Treat Walk, hosted by For The Exceptional, will be an opportunity for kids to trick-or-treat with representatives from local businesses and organizations. The third annual Brainsquasher event is officially hosted by Holy City Brewing, but DIG in the Park, The Mill, Madra Rua and The Sparrow are all getting in on the action with craft beers and a costume contest.

WHEN: Treat Walk: 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31; Brainsquasher: 8-11 p.m. Oct. 31

WHERE: Both events: Felix C. Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Circle, North Charleston

PRICE: Free admission

MORE INFO: Treat Walk: 843-603-4636;; Brainsquasher: 843-225-5623,

Businesses and merchants in downtown Summerville have organized the Moonlight Madness & Halloween Zombies Night for Friday, featuring a haunted house, costumes, a witch’s brew, special sales, treats and additional surprises in stores and out.

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 26

WHERE: Historic downtown Summerville

PRICE: Free admission

MORE INFO: 843-821-7260,

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Reach Liz Foster at 843-937-5581. Follow her on Twitter @TheDizzyLizzieB