The South Carolina State Fair welcomed more than 31,000 patrons Wednesday for opening day of the 2017 event.
The official total was 31,821, according to a news release from the fair, down from the 39,383 guests who attended the first day of 2016. The record for opening day fair attendance is 41,022, a mark set in 2014.
Wednesday was a warm and sometimes cloudy day, with a high near 90.
Warm weather and a slight chance of rain are forecast to continue in the Columbia area through Saturday. More fall-like weather is expected the middle of next week, with Tuesday and Wednesday highs in the mid-70s.
Good weather helped push the 2016 S.C. State Fair to near record attendance on opening day.
Fair admission is $10 for all those older than 5, and free for all active and retired military and their dependents (with IDs), as well as children ages 5 and under (with paying adult). Parking is $5 in the State Fair parking lot (cash only).
Fair gates open at 11 a.m. Thursday, and the midway opens at noon. The 148th annual event continues through Oct. 22 at Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Boulevard.