First In-Person Sc State Fair Since Pandemic Opens Wednesday

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina State Fair returns Wednesday after a hiatus brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year's event was drive-thru only due to a high number of COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, Department of Health and Environmental Control officials reported that such cases have dropped below 1,000 for the first time since July. More than 50% of South Carolinians are fully vaccinated against the virus.

State fair officials have instituted new protocols to prevent the virus' spread like increased cleaning, hygiene signage, hand sanitizer stations and reminding guests that in Columbia they must wear a face covering, WIS-TV reported. Guests are also encouraged to socially distance, use card and touchless methods for payments as well as not coming to the fair if they aren’t feeling well.

The fair runs from Oct. 13 to Oct. 24.

The fair includes rides, food, agriculture and livestock shows, crafts and art and a cookie kitchen.