COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Tropical Storm Nestor brought heavy rain and gusty winds to the Midlands starting this morning but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from pouring into Columbia for the face-off between the UofSC Gamecocks and the Florida Gators and another day at the South Carolina State Fair.
It turned out to be a disappointing day on both fronts for the hundreds that braved the rain today. Williams-Brice Stadium and the Fairgrounds sit side by side and fans packed into the area early this morning. However, it was a quiet day at the fair with fair officials saying they had to close 12 of their 62 rides because of the rain.
“We exercise an abundance of caution to make sure our public is safe when they are coming down here and riding,” Scooter Korke, a North American Midway Entertainment official, said. North American Midway Entertainment puts on the South Carolina State Fair.
The slides and rollercoasters were closed, but fairgoers didn’t let the rain stop them from getting on the rides that were still open.
“We brought some ponchos and while the rain is light we were just trying to ride as many as possible,” Effie Howe, a fairgoer, said.
“While they are running them I feel pretty safe with him riding them and I know they will close them down when it’s not safe,” Howe said.
While it was a quiet day at the fair, cheers reached the fairgrounds from Williams-Brice stadium as thousands of fans endured a roller-coaster of emotions.
“It’s a tough game against a tough opponent like that,” Donovon Toomer, a fan who attended the game, said.
Many fans endured the rain the entire game, hoping to see the Gamecocks pull out a win against the Number 2 Florida Gators.
“Without the win, I think we still did really well, but there’s still some room for improvement,” Sam Brunson, a fan who attended the game, said.
Many fans walked out of the game and said they were upset by some of the calls by the refs, but coming off a big win against Georgia last week are looking forward to the rest of the season.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper David Jones said that for both fairgoers and fans today, the traffic was lighter than in years past because of the rain.