SC State Fair kicks off: new year, new ride, new foods

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The twelve days of the South Carolina State Fair have arrived. Gates open at 3 p.m. this Wednesday, but News 10's Mary King got a sneak peak of some of the new things at the 143rd annual State Fair.

First, there's a brand new ride that State Fair General Manager Gary Goodman says just arrived in the United States. "It was shipped into the Port of Charleston last week and was brought up here and put together," said Goodman.

The ride is called 'Speed,' and according to Goodman, it lives up to its name. "The ride itself is like a giant propeller .The propeller goes up about 125 feet in the air, it pulls about 3.5 G's and the speed is about 13 revolutions a minute," said Goodman.

Just watching it may make you woozy. "From the ground it doesn't look quite as fast as it is when you're in the cars, because while you're in the cars you're turning upside down and rolling over from coming down or going up… It's exciting to say the least," said Goodman.

Goodman says the ride is the first of its kind on the East Coast and seats eight people at a time. "It's not for the faint-hearted, but I think the kids are going to absolutely love it," he added.

If you're less of a ride goer, and more of a food lover, "This year we have a new thing. It's called 'The Elvis' burger,"  said Goodman.  According to Goodman, 'The Elvis' is a grilled hamburger patty with banana's and peanut butter and Goodman adds you can even request it between two doughnuts. Speaking of doughnuts, you can also get a deep fried chicken patty between two raspberry Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. "Which once again is not for the faint of heart," said Goodman.

Goodman says the doughnut burger has been a hit for years now. "When we introduced the Krispy Kreme burger a couple of years ago, our concessioner bought 1000 dozen of Krispy Kreme doughnuts during the 12 days… so our people like to eat," said Goodman.

Goodman says for the first time in a long time, Mexican food will also be an option at the fair. In all there are a little more than 100 food trailers hosted by 40 different vendors.

If you're going to a concert at the fair, for the first time there will be standing room only at the Pepsi Grandstand Stage. Fair officials say you can request a seat in the surrounding bleachers, but you do have to specify that with the ticket office.

Whether it's for the food, the rides, the concerts, the exhibits or the roots of the state's agriculture, there's twelve days of all of it. "It's not just fun and games, it's really a celebration of the way we live in South Carolina," said Goodman.

Goodman says when the State Fair first started in 1869, it was as an agriculture exposition.  "As we have moved through the years, we've maintained our roots in agriculture," said Goodman. "The agriculture in all states across the country has dropped down dramatically, but still that's our heritage and that's what we're here for," he added.

Entry to the fair is just $1 on opening day. After that, it will cost adults $10 to enter at the gate. Members of the military and their dependents are free with a Military I. D. according to the State Fair's website.

The fair will run from this Wednesday until October 21st. Be sure to stop by the WIS tent to meet members of the WIS family over the next twelve days.

For more information on the SC State Fair visit: