South Carolina State Fair

Our kids thought that Allendale's Cooter Fest (on Mother's Day weekend) was great. Then, they were amazed by the Orangeburg County Fair. They could not imagine how the SC State Fair could be any better.

They were wrong. And we all had a great time.

Thanks to our local 4-H representative, we had wristbands for free admission for the 5 of us. Along with close and free parking, we were already off to a good start.

We didn't arrive until close to 1PM, so we started with a small lunch. Steak sandwich, chicken tenders, hot dog, chips, and a lemonade (to share). $26. Ouch.

We walked around a bit, winding up near the cattle (we were looking for our 4H friend, but never saw her and her son, who I think was "showing" his heifer). Fortunately, the kids avoided stepping in any "cow pies."

Past the petting zoo, you could buy a ticket ($5 per person) to ride either a pony, camel, or elephant. Elephant should always beat the pony. The kids enjoyed the wobbly ride, and petting the elephant's skin.

We "only" bought 22 tickets (for $25), but it took us a surprisingly-long time to use them up. Sender really enjoys the tamer rides. Which is also surprising to me.

Hannah road the "Crazy Mouse" with me. Rather, she convinced me to join her. Here's a view from waiting in line.

Here's a video of us on it. I was more concerned with holding onto my phone than I was about my own daughter. What a great dad, right?

The kids really wanted to try their skills at games. We successfully steered them away from the most rigged or difficult games (the rigged basketball shooting, and the impossible ring toss). Elijah tried a multi-person Whack-a-Mole, and came in dead last. He was heartbroken.  

But they all tried throwing darts at balloons. Each balloon popped would mean a prize. They each got three darts, and they each popped the balloon on their final throw (Sender somehow hit one of the prizes with his first throw. Oops.) We came away with 3 new stuffed animals.

By far the best deal of the day was our fried desserts. We got the sampler platter, and added the fried butter for $1 extra. Have you ever had these? Here's our opinions:
  1. The Milky Way and Reese's Cup were good, but a little too sweet for my taste.
  2. The Oreo was incredible.
  3. The butter was even more incredible. It's a little square or ball of better, with cinnamon. Tastes like a Krispy Kreme "Hot Now" doughnut, with cinnamon. 
We talked to some of the guys who worked there and found out a couple of cool facts:
  1. For the week (plus a few days) of the SC state fair, this one booth will sell 15,000 fried Oreos. (How many calories is that?)
  2. During the fair, this booth will use one ton of funnel cake batter. That's 2000 pounds, and doesn't count all the funnel cake, elephant ear, etc, kiosks throughout the rest of the fairgrounds.

Hannah (upon seeing a sign for fried Cool-Aid) said, "You can get deep fried ANYTHING here!"

It had been about 18 years since my last state fair, but I have a feeling that it won't be that much longer to my next one.

Edit:  I was right. See these photos from the 2012 State Fair.

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