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Fair, gameday pose traffic headaches

With the S.C. State Fair in full swing on Saturday when the Gamecocks face the LSU Tigers, traffic and parking are going to be a challenge for many.

Gamecock Club parking passes for the fairgrounds will not be honored, the university said Thursday.

The fairgrounds parking lot, which is free, will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for fair and football parking. Parking will be on a first-first served basis on gameday and continue until the lot is full.

No tents, awnings or grills will be allowed.

"We anticipate traffic delays around the stadium and Fairgrounds to escalate throughout the day," said Jim Petrus, USC's associate business manager. "We encourage all fans to arrive as early as possible on Saturday to help alleviate the heavy traffic congestion that will occur closer to game time."

Those with a handicapped parking tag will need to enter off Bluff Road through Gate 10. Those vehicles will be parked along the fence line near Williams-Brice Stadium on a space-available basis. There will be no handicapped shuttle available to the stadium from the fairgrounds.

USC lots will open at 1 p.m. for those with appropriate parking passes, including Williams-Brice Stadium, ETV and Key Road. The Armory lot will open at 3 p.m.

Fans without a parking pass may park in the lots around the Colonial Life Arena and ride the shuttle to Williams-Brice Stadium. The service is free. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at the same location, which is on Rosewood Drive east of the main gate to the fairgrounds.

The shuttle service will begin at 3 p.m. and will continue for two hours after the game ends. Pregame pick-up and post-game dropoff points will be at the Russell House, University Union, Coliseum Lots A, B, C and D and Capital City Stadium. For more information on the shuttle, go to http://www.sc.edu/vmps/gameday.html

Additional public parking for both cars ($10) and RV's ($30), including handicapped parking, will be available at Capital City Stadium on Assembly Street beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Additional RV parking is also available at The Palmetto Company Warehouse, located at 617 Devine St. near the shuttle pick-up point. There are no hook-ups or services available, but plenty of space at $20 per RV. Call 803-206-2377 for additional information.

The State Fair will open at 9 a.m. Fans with a ticket to the football game will be allowed into the fair for free between 3 and 6 p.m. The fair will feature a two-for-one ride promotion from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Game time is set for 8:06 p.m. between the Gamecocks (5-2, 2-2 SEC) and the 13th-ranked LSU Tigers (4-1, 2-1 SEC).

Gates to Williams-Brice Stadium will open at 5:30 p.m. The Gamecock Walk will take place on the stadium tarmac at approximately 5:45 p.m.

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