Members of the Merchants Association of Columbia County are praying for no more rain.
The association has planned the Columbia County Fall Fair for its 37th year - and needs only a little dry weather.
"If the rain will hold off, everything will come together real good," said Bill Becton, association president. "With the 5 inches of rain we had last Wednesday, it is really still wet."
The fairgrounds on Columbia Road already had been graded and leveled to allow the use of more of the property, but recent heavy rains left the ground soaked and soft, Becton said. Construction crews have been tilling the soil on dry days to help the ground air out, and the site will be repacked and graded in time for Thursday's opening night.
"We are looking for a great fair this year," Becton said. "We have done a lot and prepared a lot, but all we have done is for naught if we do not get good weather."
The fair will open with a ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The newly crowned Miss Columbia County Fair, Tori Ray, a Greenbrier High School senior, will help Becton cut the ribbon, and a reception will follow. The fair is open daily through Saturday, Oct. 5.
The Safari Train ride sits idle as the preparations continue to dry the ground so rides can be set up.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
For the second year, the fair is spreading more into agriculture with a goat show drawing livestock owners from all over the state and some from South Carolina. The goat show will be at 6 p.m. Friday in the animal building.
A swine show, the first one at the county fair, will be held the following Friday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m.
For the third year, the fair features artworks by local youths and adults in the 4-H-sponsored exhibits. Last year, more than 500 youth and adult entries were displayed.
"It was an excellent turnout this year," said Paula Poss, county 4-H program assistant. "We have many more than last year. Every year, it has grown."
Visitors can also enjoy the many regulars at the fair - rides, games and food. The Fearless Flores, a motorcycle stunt group, will perform a thrill show daily.
The fairgrounds are on Columbia Road just past Patriots Park.
The fair is open from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; 6 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Admission, including unlimited rides, costs $12 for Friday and Saturday nights and $10 all other days.
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