One more day.
The S.C. State Fair opens Wednesday for a run through Oct. 25.
Counting down, here are a few things you need to know.
Last day for discounts on tickets, rides
Tuesday is the final day to buy discount gate admission tickets and ride vouchers on the State Fair website and at Walgreens stores.
Advance tickets are $7 ($10 during the fair).
Advance discount ride vouchers are $23 ($28 during the fair).
Admission throughout the fair is $7 for seniors 55 and older. Free entry is offered this year for retired, active military and dependents (bring ID), along with children ages 5 and under (with paying adult).
Admission is $1 for everyone on opening day, with tickets available only at the gate.
Dates and hours
For admission gates and buildings; Midway hours may differ
▪ Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, plus Oct. 19 and Oct. 23: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
▪ Saturday, plus Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 24: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
▪ Sunday, noon-10 p.m.; and closing day, Oct. 25,: noon-9 p.m.
Youth entrance policy
All youth under age 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent 21 and older to be admitted to the fair after 6 p.m.
Anyone age 18 and older may be asked to show a valid driver’s license for proof of age to be admitted without a parent after 6 p.m.
Anyone age 18 and older without a valid driver’s license and not accompanied by an adult will not be admitted after 6 p.m.
Pay to park
The free ride is over, so to speak, if you are parking in the fairgrounds lot.
This year, parking is $5, cash only.
On the plus side, net proceeds will benefit those affected by the S.C. floods.
On the stage
Tickets are on sale for Grandstand entertainment.
Among performers scheduled to play: Country star Thomas Rhett (Wednesday) and multiple Grammy winner Gladys Knight (Sunday). Pop singer Shawn Mendes, who is playing Friday, is sold out.
Other Grandstand headliners include Australian Christian pop rock band Newsboys, Christian music band Israel and New Breed (free), country singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and Army ensemble The Volunteers (free).
Introducing some of the new foods on tap this year:
Southern Belle Burger: A burger with bacon, pimento cheese salad, and fried green tomato.
Bacon cinnamon roll: A cinnamon roll paired with some salty bacon.
Sriracha Fire and Ice Kreme: Sriacha’s good on everything, right? So why not serve it atop soft-serve ice cream? Oh, and while you’re at it, throw in some corn chip crunch and top it all off with whipped cream.
A new roller coaster
There’s a new addition to the Midway – the Blitzer.
The roller coaster, with more than 950 feet of track, includes twists, tight turns and steep drops.
The land of the dinosaurs
The National Entertainment Group will present “Wild About Dinosaurs,” featuring an animated and life-like baby Tyrannosaurus Rex that will roam the fairgrounds. The dinosaur roars and swishes its tail.
It’s sure to be a hit with the younger set, along with the exhibit, “Fossil Dig.”
Changing of the exhibits
The new Goodman Building, connected to the Cantey building, offers 36,000 square feet of space for exhibits.
And with its addition, there will be some changes in where your favorite exhibits are housed.
All agricultural entries now will be in the Ellison Building.
Fine and student art, photography and flowers now will be displayed in the Cantey Building.
The Goodman Building will include a shopping area.
Look for changes, too, to the north gate entrance to the fairgrounds, including new state-of-the-art ticket booths and security measures.
On the rise
A favorite icon at the fair has risen to new heights.
The Rocket, just inside the fairground’s north gates, was raised 12 feet this summer and placed on a new base to give it additional visibility.
The Rocket, named Columbia, is a medium-range ballistic missile and was given to the city of Columbia in the early 1960s by the U.S. Air Force. In 1969, the disarmed missile was erected at the fairgrounds.
And in case you were wondering...
Along with wondering about new fair foods, we always want to know – will there be a University of South Carolina home football game during the fair?
The answer, this year, is yes.
That game , which happens to be homecoming, falls on Saturday..
The opponent? Vanderbilt.
There had been some early talk about possibly moving the game, given concerns about using resources needed to help with flood recovery efforts.
But as of this writing, the game is still on for here in Columbia.