What to know before you go

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A 126-foot-tall Ferris wheel. The creative shows + competitions. The concerts on the Lakefront Stage. All of this could only mean one thing: The Coastal Carolina Fair returns to Exchange Park from October 27 to November 6. 🗓️

The longtime event began as the Charleston County Fair in 1922 at its original location at College Park on Rutledge Avenue.

Between 1924 and 1978, the fair was held at several locations, including the grounds of the Charleston Rifle Club, Marion Square + across from the Johnson Hagood Stadiumwhere the first Coastal Carolina Fair was held.

In 1979, the Coastal Carolina Fair moved to Ladson where it has grown into an autumn staple — and one of our favorite activities each year.

This year, a new company will be providing amusement rides, food, and games, so we want to prep you with everything you need to know before you go. Ride with us. 🎟️

Hours, tickets, parking

  • During its 11-day run, the fair is open from Thurs., Oct. 27 to Sun., Nov. 6, with a seniors day on Wed., Nov. 2. Gates open at 3 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. on Sundays.
  • Tickets are available online, with various deals like 2-fer Tuesday and Military and First Responders Appreciation Day. Admission ranges from $6 to $35, depending on when you buy your ticket.
  • Parking is available around the fairgrounds, including a designated handicapped parking site.
  • Pro tip: Score discounted tickets at your local Circle K.

The concerts

Some big names are headlining the Lakefront Stage.

The lineup includes:

  • Neal McCoy | Thurs., Oct. 27 | 7:30 p.m.
  • ERNEST | Fri., Oct. 28 | 8:00 p.m.
  • J. Howell | Mon., Oct. 31 | 7:30 p.m.
  • Drake Milligan | Fri., Nov. 4 | 8 p.m.
  • Yonder Mountain String Band | Sat., Nov. 5 | 8 p.m.

Giving back

  • More than $10 million in fair proceeds have been donated to the community since 2003. Check out some of the local initiatives + organizations that the fair supports, including the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, the Lowcountry Food Bank, and Dorchester Habitat for Humanity.

The fried fair fare

As always, expect a lot of fair food throughout the fairgrounds, including elephant ears, award-winning jalapeno corndogs, and funnel cakes. Playa Bowls will be serving up superfruit + acai bowls, which should cover your nutrients for the day.

Be on the lookout for the new cookie-dipped turkey leg, for all those turkey leg fans out there. We’ll stick to the funnel cakes.

The festivals

The fair hosts its fair share of competitions throughout its run:

  • Fine Art Show | Oct. 23-Nov. 7 | All day | Exchange Hall | Check out the work of talented local artists from Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Georgetown counties.
  • Chili Cook-Off | Oct. 30-Nov. 3 | 3-7 p.m. | Cultural Arts Building | Who will be this year’s winner of the best chili? Head to one of the three preliminary rounds followed by the finals to find out.
  • Fiddle Contest | Nov. 6 | 1 p.m. | Parkway Stage | $10 | Register to join the fiddle contest featuring adult, high school, and youth divisions with a cash prize on the line.

Final game plan

Of course, no fair is complete without rides + games, and the Coastal Carolina Fair will have plenty of those, too. This events page will also help you map out your visit. Whatever you do, give yourself plenty of time to explore it all — and wear comfy shoes. 🎡





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