It’s never hard to “Find Your Happy,” as the South Carolina State Fair’s slogan implores. For some, the simple act of people watching is sheer happiness. The fair, which begins Wednesday, offers fairgoers 12 days to find their happy.
If you need a nudge, here are some fair offerings that will help with the happy search.
Famously Hot Chef Showdown: Watch as three chefs compete in the second-year event. Travis Ellis (Thirsty Fellow), Carlos Brown (Momo’s Bistro) and Daniel Wood (Blue Marlin) will be featured in the Thursday contest. Darren McGrady, former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and other royal family members, is the head judge. Chop, chop.
POP Rides: Each ride requires two to five coupons ($1.25 a piece), so the pay one price – $20 for unlimited rides if purchased before the fair, $25 during the fair – is an incredible deal. Beginning Wednesday, eight of the 12 fair days are POP.
Grandstand: The fair is more than music, but ... the fair lineup continues to be strong. On Oct. 21, two of country music’s hottest performers – Jake Owen and Eli Young Band – will perform. Nostalgia will be shared by the audience that goes to see Boyz II Men (Oct. 18) and the Doobie Brothers (Oct. 20). Also performing: Thompson Square and Colt Ford, Wednesday; Hot Chelle Ray and All Star Weekend, Friday; O.A.R., Saturday; Love Fellowship Choir featuring Hezekiah Walker, Oct. 14; and Newsboys and Building 429, Oct. 19. Grandstand prices vary, from free for Love Fellowship Choir to $25 for O.A.R.
Petting zoo: The Commerford and Sons Petting Zoo will feature camels, elephants and ponies. Elephants?!
Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito impersonators: Jack Bullard (Nicholson) and Stu Gordon (Devito) are look-alikes who upped the ante by acting like the stars they favor. It’s not just supermodels who get paid just for their looks.
Divas Through the Decades: A musical tribute to, well, divas, including Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Beyonce, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift. Hmm, not sure if all those listed are divas, especially by Beyonce’s definition in “Diva.”
NASCAR Night: Rusty Wallace, Joe Nemechek, Justin Allgaier and Jeremy Clements will be in attendance from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 17. So will Jordan Anderson, a 20-year-old from Forest Acres chasing his dream of getting a NASCAR ride.
Sandscapes: You don’t see sand sculptures like this at Myrtle Beach.
Swifty: Watch Swifty, the swimming pig, in action. Also see piglets race around a track. This is for “Charlotte’s Web” enthusiasts.
“From Field to Fair”: Learn about the state’s agriculture. Here’s an example of having fun while learning.
Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362.