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2009 SC State Fair Fine Art Premiere Preview & Awards Reception   3 comments

Posted at 11:10 pm in Uncategorized

Dirt Parking at the State Fair, Fairgrounds: 2008   2 comments

Posted at 12:02 am in Uncategorized

I suppose it's a silly thing to get pre-nostalgic about, but to me as a child, a big part of the adventure of going to the State Fair was the getting there. The first years I can remember, my father decided that he didn't want to face the hassle of fair traffic and parking fees, so we would catch the SCE&G Fairgrounds bus at, I believe, the corner of Main & Blossom. These were the only times we rode the bus as kids, and it was very exciting!

Later, I think my mother was less than thrilled at riding the bus and we started to drive, but it was still an adventure -- sort of an imperfectly organized chaos where you followed a bunch of cars, hoped you were in the right lane, and then tried to figure out which guy waving a flashlight you were supposed to follow as they invented a parking lot on the fly. Of course if it were dry, the dust would be flying everywhere, and if it had been wet, it was a long slog through the mud, but it never really occurred to me that the Fair should have anything other than a dirt/grass lot.

As you can tell from the pictures though, that's about to end. It appears that next year, we will have a "real" parking lot at the Fairgrounds. Oh well, as long as they still have the rocket and the handwriting analysis computer, my childhood won't be totally gone!

2008 SC State Fair, Fairgrounds: 19 October 2008   8 comments

Posted at 2:12 am in Uncategorized

OK, perhaps it is a cheat to do a closing on an annual event, and doing this many pictures is certainly way into overkill territory, but I do like the Fair, and I really like neon! Some of the night pictures came out really well, some are just so-so -- the closing-cam is a circa 2001 model that is definitely not meant for anything like night available-light photography but the results are interesting (to me at any rate).

Signs of the times, I suppose, but I didn't see the video game tent anywere back in the midway this year. This may be an artifact of the new(ish) operator. I think in the old days it was Deggler, then Conklin and now American Amusements or something like that. Also, no freakshow of any kind. The had kinder-gentler freak shows (ie, no actual "freaks": "Zoma, the jungle boy!") as late as the 1980s. And I think it's been many years since there was one, but it just occurred to me this year that I hadn't seen the Bingo tent either.

These first shots are from 22 September when I took two photos down to the Cantey building to enter them in the art show. (I thought there were better than some of the stuff that got included, but in the event, both were "juried out" of the show -- oh well!). At this point basically nothing is set up except the permanent buildings (and the sky ride).

The day shots were actually taken on 19 October, after the night shots, but it seems more normal to include them here first since 'day' precedes 'night'.

These night shots were taken on 10 October from about 9pm to about closing time at 11pm. The handwriting computer has been there for my entire life (as far as I can remember anyway!) I don't think they even make the pretense that it's a 'real' computer anymore, (in the beginning, it did look very futuristic and impressive).

These final shots come from Monday 20 October when I went back to the Cantey building to pick up the photos. Almost the entire midway was already gone -- those guys work fast!

UPDATE 14 July 2009: If you enjoyed this post, you can buy products printed with some of these images at the Columbia Closings web store.