Read a new blog daily from staff writer Dwaun Sellers. See more of his work, too, at gocolumbia.com.
Dear State Fair Diary,
How I’ve missed you. How the Midlands has missed you. The recent Columbia floods not only damaged homes and roads, but eroded the city’s morale. Events that could have been a bright spot in a difficult week were rescheduled or just canceled altogether.
We needed a pick me up. We needed the fair.
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And, as of Wednesday, you’ll finally be here.
Like Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries, the fair is an annual event worthy of a celebration. It’s an excuse to break dietary restrictions, ignore monthly entertainment budgets and stay out past your school- or work-based bedtime.
I got a sneak peek at the grounds Tuesday, before the fair opened its gates to the public, and I have to say, it was like being behind-the-scenes at Disney World. Some things are still magical, while others are just better left unseen. Nevertheless, as I looked around at the hordes of crewmen and women busying themselves with tasks to make sure the rides, games and booths were ready for opening day, I was pleasantly surprised that so much had changed – and yet, so much had not.
Many of the food and entertainment vendors you love are back, with new merchants sprinkled throughout the grounds, sure to turn you into a regular within a matter of days.
With the flood and its aftermath, the fair’s return offers sense of normalcy.
So for the next 11 days, plan to inject some carefree fair fun into your day and diet.
You’ll find me there doing the same.