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South Carolina State Fair says it will be in-person this fall

After a drive-through version last year, one of the state's largest events returns to normal this fall.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina State Fair will return as an in-person event this fall, organizers confirmed Monday.

The fair held a news conference about their plans for their 2021 event. The them for this year is "It's Your Moment." The event will be October 13 through the 24. 

Organizers says started early planning for this year's event and are ready to make sure everyone stays safe and still enjoys all the traditional fun.

RELATED: Organizers planning for a more 'normal' SC State Fair this year

The fair will have 70 rides, including two new ones: Dumbo and Tea Cup. There will be various musical shows, dance groups, animal acts, magicians, jugglers, stunt artists. There will also be the arts and craft displays, pig races, and agriculture and livestock exhibits. And finally, we can't forget about the food: over 90 food stands including favorites like the Fiske fries, foot-long corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried cookie dough and donut burgers.

RELATED: SC State Fair accepting competitive exhibition entries

Last year's fair had to be reduced down to a drive in version due to COVID-19  that featured food and some limited exhibits. 

As part of this year's fair, the organization plans many COVID protocols to help keep customers safe. State Fair General Manager Nancy Smith said they'll be following the latest CDC, state and local mask guidelines, have increased hand sanitation stations, offer limited contact payment options, provide increased cleaning protocols and display hygiene signage throughout the Fairgrounds.

“The health of our guests is of the upmost importance, and we ask that each guest does their part by following our latest event policies,” said Smith. “We strongly encourage all fairgoers to evaluate their own potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 before choosing to attend, knowing that vaccines remain the best protection from the virus.”

There will also be extra security as well. Smith was joined at the news conference by Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who promised to have a large contingent of law enforcement. There will be a mandatory clear bag police and updated metal detector technology. 

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