Pee Dee State Fair offers ‘something for everyone’
FLORENCE, S.C. — Pee Dee residents began flooding the Florence Center on Thursday afternoon and into the evening for a chance to be the some of the first people to experience The Greater Pee Dee State Fair & Expo.
Florence Center officials celebrated the opening of the inaugural fair with a brief ceremony and a ribbon cutting that included confetti cannons.
The fair will run every day until Saturday, Sept, 16, opening at 4 p.m. during weekdays and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Paul Beard, general manager of Florence Center, said the staff was excited to see the fair finally kick off.
“It’s been a lot of work,” Beard said. “Our entire staff has already been burning the midnight oil, but it will be worth it. Hubert Bullard [fair manager] and I have run and seen a lot of fairs, and this one is by far the biggest. I’m excited to work with him, and he’s done a fantastic job.”
Admission for the first day was free. For the remainder of the fair, admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children 12 years or younger, but the Florence Center will have several promotions, including Scrubs Night, 4-H Day at the Fair, Military and First Responders Night, student nights, as well as a Faith & Family Day. Visit florencefair.com for more information and details.
Residents had the chance to experience more than 50 rides and attractions, including the world’s largest portable roller coaster, as well as entertainment shows, games and tasty treats.
“Other than the state fairs in Columbia and Raleigh, this is the biggest fair in all of the Carolinas,” Beard said. “We’ve got something for everyone, young or old. If you’re into thrill rides, we have thrill rides. If you have kids, we have stuff for them. If you like to be entertained, we have plenty of shows and vendors. That’s not even mentioning the all the fun fair food.”
There will be free parking in the lower deck of the Florence Center, but there will also be two overflow parking lots: At G.E. Healthcare across the street at 3001 W. Radio Drive and at the old Winn-Dixie parking at 124 S. Cashua Dr.
Those free parking lots will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with trolley and shuttle services running from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on those days. Seniors and ADA drop-off will be available in the lower deck of the Florence Center. For more information on parking, visit florencefair.com/directions.
“A lot of kids growing up have never gotten to experience something like this,” Beard said. “For some, Columbia is a lifetime away. This fair will give families and kids a chance to create memories and have a great time right here in Florence.”