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SC Highway Patrol warns of limited parking ahead of UofSC home game and State Fair weekend

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Troopers from around the state are gearing up to head to the South Carolina State Fairgrounds Saturday, while thousands of fairgoers and more than 86,000 Carolina football fans prepare to do the same.

Trooper David Jones says a team of 100 troopers will be stationed around Williams-Brice Stadium and the Fairgrounds to direct traffic, but fairgoers should plan to be early.

“Historically what we see is fans show up and get the parking spots early,” said Jones. “Fair attendees from the York County area, fairgoers from Charleston or the Low Country come to try and enjoy the fair on a Saturday afternoon and realize that there’s no parking.”

Parking is limited because the Fairgrounds are usually home to tailgaters, but this weekend the area is packed with rides and vendors. Parking lots surrounding the Stadium are first-come, first-serve.

Around noon, troopers will reverse traffic for the football game, making it more difficult for fairgoers to get out of the area.

“If you’re coming to the fair and you’re getting to these parking facilities and they’re already full, it’s going to be very difficult to get away from this area because of those lanes being reversed. So, be mindful, be mindful of the congestion,” said Jones.

The Fair opens up at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and to make sure getting in and out of the area is as quick as possible, Jones suggests arriving early, carpooling, or using a ride share service.

Even experienced tailgaters should know that the area is going to be more packed than usual for a gameday.

“Be mindful of that, limit your distractions, watch for pedestrians,” said Jones. “There’s going to be a lot of out-of-town visitors who may not be coming to the football game who may be experiencing traffic and these tailgaters for the first time.”

The USC Homecoming football game typically falls during the State Fair, but this year is expected to be the busiest since 2018.

Troopers say the weekend wasn’t quite as busy for the past couple years due to rainy weather in 2019 and limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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