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South Carolina State Fair 2012, Fairgrounds: 21 October 2012   16 comments

Posted at 11:33 pm in Uncategorized

(Folks coming in from the link at the forum, you may be interested in my pictures from previous South Carolina State Fairs -- Ted)


Well, as always, the South Carolina State Fair was a good time, with lots of beautiful art, greasy food, neon in motion and oddball retail. If you've read one of these posts before, don't expect anything particularly new this year; it's pretty much the same sights I usually enjoy capturing. I didn't submit anything for the art exhibition this year, so no pictures of the pre-Fair ceremony.

I've got a couple of videos I'll add later as soon as I can get them uploaded to youtube. In the meantime, enjoy!

UPDATE 27 October: First video (cablecars) is uploaded above.







I have several of these -- It's a really good likeness!





You recall our old friend, The Buxom Beer Girl? She's been at the back of the midway ever since I started these State Fair posts:

Well, this year, she's gone! And her replacement doesn't have nearly as much.. personality:

Luckily, our gothic heroine is still fleeing zombies with her.. personality intact:

And this year we have a new Jazz Queen with a really stunning.. personality:

UPDATE 28 October 2012: And last but not least, just Listen To The Music:

16 Responses to 'South Carolina State Fair 2012, Fairgrounds: 21 October 2012'

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  1. Thanks for the photos.... didn't go this year (still not over the queazy feeling from the rides last year)... but the crowd looked surprisingly sparse when you were there. Wonder how the attendance numbers are this year?


    22 Oct 12 at 7:00 am

  2. I think this may have been the first year we did not go since 1978. I dunno, maybe I'm getting old, maybe it just seems that the fair does not change that much from year to year anymore. Maybe it was the weather, to warm for fair weather. Maybe I've been to many times. Anyway, over the past 10 years or so, we really only went just to eat and check out the exhibits.
    Something that I found interesting about fair week, back in the 1980's I was in the electronic retail sales and service business. During the week of the fair my sales would drop off to virtually nothing. Anyone got any thoughts on that. I always thought the fair sucks a lot of money out of Columbia.


    22 Oct 12 at 12:06 pm

  3. @Cheryl - According to an article in The State, attendance this year was up around 10K over last year. We went last Sunday right as it opened and it seemed pretty well packed then.

    I've gone most every year I've lived here, but it's because I like fairs in general more than because I like the SC State Fair. It's definitely getting repetitive though.


    22 Oct 12 at 7:48 pm

  4. It changes, just somewhat slowly.

    Remember all the freak and girly shows that lasted in the midway up into the 1980s? Remember beer? The tic-tac-toe playing chickens? The booth where they would shine lights into eggs to show you how to identify bad eggs? The arcade tent? The straw polls? The big swing cages that you would stand in and rock until they swung all the way over the top? The non-branded rocket?


    22 Oct 12 at 10:17 pm

  5. Went for the first time in three years. There seemed to be much less exhibits that there were in the past.


    23 Oct 12 at 8:26 am

  6. Yes, I remember the freak shows, the woman who turned into a gorilla right before your eyes. It looked like it was done with mirrors. And the cow with five legs, it was just a cow with what looked like a dead cows leg attached to it's side somehow. The girly shows in the big tents, sawdust. I was just 13 years old back in 1970, and a friend of mines father worked the gates during the week before the fair opened while everything was being setup. My friend and I would walk around watching the fair people put up the rides. Those were some rough looking guys. Oh-Man, if you had seen what I saw back then you would not want to get on some of those rides. Almost everybody had a bottle in his back pocket. And when attaching cars or seats to any ride, if one of the four bolts was missing, well three was good enough. I'm sure that has all changed now with the tight regulations in place for amusement parks and rides. And the beer, use to be sold inside the fair, then it was restricted to sales outside the gates. Tasted like watered down draft, but we didn't care, we bought it anyway. Back then 20 bucks would be enough for a great night at the fair, now better take at least a hundred. I did not know until years later, and why, but back when, the fair was here for two weeks. Does anyone else know why?


    23 Oct 12 at 9:36 am

  7. @ted - Only been here since 2006, so I don't remember any of that.

    I haven't set foot on the midway since the first year though - it's so expensive to do any of the rides anymore: a good ride will set my wife and I back $12 for about three minutes, which doesn't seem like the wisest of investments. I never remembered the midway at Florida's fair being that expensive.


    23 Oct 12 at 10:15 am

  8. @ Rick

    "The Ape Woman, the Ape Woman, the Ape Woman is aliiiiiive!
    Watch her change into an ugly. male. gorilla!"

    For some reason, my best friend and I thought that was so hilarious that we kept repeating it to each other. Doesn't take much to amuse 14 year olds. :)


    23 Oct 12 at 2:10 pm

  9. I remember the Ape Woman and a side show in the 1980s, but I don't recall the "freak" shows by that time. Maybe they were there and I missed them. I think around 1985 was when they stopped selling beer. I do remember going once in the late 1960s and seeing a freak show, but I just remember two participants. One was just a fidget (Little Rascals reference), and the other was "Jo-Jo, the Seal Man." He had deformed upper arms. Hard to remember exactly what they looked like, but as I recall, somthing like he had very short to non-existent forearms, so his hands--pretty normal looking--started very close to his elbow.


    23 Oct 12 at 6:48 pm

  10. I miss the snake woman. The painted canvas outside the tent showed her with the body of an anaconda. There were also sword swallowers and fire eaters.


    23 Oct 12 at 8:49 pm

  11. The Mermaid is the one I remember. Talk about oversold.


    24 Oct 12 at 6:38 am

  12. "Zoma time is show time! See Zoma in the snake pit. See Zoma with a gorilla! She's deranged. She's strange! It's Zoma, Zoma, ZOMA!"
    To my dying day; I'll always remember that one.

    John R

    24 Oct 12 at 7:54 am

  13. I remember the siamese twins that were here. Back in the 80's, friends of mine would hide beer in all the pockets of their parachute pants. And what about meeting folks at the rocket? How cool was that? There would be OODLES of people at the rocket. When we had kids, we quit going because of the cost of the rides. Really, it is high and not worth the effort. Pee Wee Gaskins used to work state fairs along the East coast so perhaps he was here at the SC State fair at one time because there WERE some scary individuals working there when I was young.

    Miz T

    24 Oct 12 at 10:43 am

  14. Oh yeah, I remember that barker for Zoma! As I recall that was in the back left (GRB/Bluff) corner of the midway. We riffed on that for our whole time there and the ride back home.

    Except I thought Zoma was a guy. (An extraordinary guy, to be sure!)


    24 Oct 12 at 1:18 pm

  15. Alive! Alive! Shake hands with Lobster Boy! He has the hands of a lobster! ( a"boy" about 30 years old born with deformed hands).

    Alive! Alive! See the Giant Rat, straight from the sewers of Paris! (a South American capybara calmly eating from its dish).

    Jungle Giantess! Straight from the Heart of the Amazon! Ten Feet Tall! (a really amateurish plaster female figure laid out like she was dead, maybe 8 feet long).


    24 Oct 12 at 4:45 pm

  16. OK, first video uploaded..


    27 Oct 12 at 2:20 pm

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