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The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The South Carolina State Fair 2015....And DINOSAURS!

One of the things that I look forward to every year is attending the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia. 

The state fairgrounds are located at 1200 Rosewood Drive in downtown Columbia, South Carolina near Williams Brice Stadium and have been a yearly tradition at that location since 1904.

The South Carolina State Fair brings 12 days of entertainment, fair rides, food, interesting exhibits, animals, garden and craft shows, and much more. The fair is South Carolina's largest recurring event, attracting nearly 500,000 people annually. 

State Fairground's Historic Marker.

The modern state fair got its start in November 1839, when the State Agricultural Society of South Carolina was organized in Columbia. Sixteen years later, reorganized as the State Agricultural And Mechanical Society of South Carolina, the fair received a $5,000 appropriation from the legislature and erected buildings at its first site on Elmwood Street.

In 1861, Confederate authorities occupied the fair’s buildings, using them as a place to make war munitions.  In 1865, Sherman's army burned the buildings.

In April 1869, the Society was resurrected. The City of Columbia partially reconstructed the buildings, and private funds were raised to create a statewide fair. At that time, the legislature appropriated $2,500 annually to assist the Society.

In 1904, the Society moved the fair to its present location on Rosewood Drive because the fair outgrew its old location. 

In 1912, the Society bought the Hippodrome Building, which had been used for the 1908 National Republican Convention, and moved the building from Norfolk, Virginia, to Columbia.  The National Corn Show was held in the Hippodrome Building on the South Carolina State Fair grounds later that year. That building was destroyed by fire in 1966 and was replaced by the modern Hampton and Ruff Buildings.

In 1969, the South Carolina State Fair acquired a Jupiter intermediate range ballistic missile -- named Columbia -- designed by NASA's rocket team and built by Chrysler. The Rocket had been a gift to the City of Columbia from the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s.  It’s become a popular landmark on the fairgrounds and a meeting spot for fair-goers -- as well as people looking for missing loved ones in the crowded fairgrounds.

Today, the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina has full responsibility for operation of the fair and its grounds, year-round. Though it is called the “State Fair,” it is not state-owned nor is the fair funded by any appropriations from the State of South Carolina.  It operates as a private non-profit organization with a mission of funding education and has provided more than $3 million in scholarships since 1997. 

The following are photos of my trip to the 2015 South Carolina State Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 24th with my youngest brother Alex. 

Every year the SC State Fair has an incredibly detailed sand sculpture with a different theme.
The Jupiter Rocket Columbia - One of the SC State
Fairground's most famous attractions.

The theme for this year's SC State Fair is one of my all-time favorite subjects: Dinosaurs! There was an outstanding child-friendly exhibit set up featuring models of various species of the prehistoric creatures.

My brother Alex posing with a new friend.
LOL I could not resist! I always wanted to ride a Triceratops.
Front view of a Dinosaur themed sand sculpture on display with the other fair exhibits.
Rear view of the Dinosaur themed sand sculpture.

The Minions from DreamWorks Pictures animated film  Despicable Me -- a favorite of this blogger.

Some of my favorite exhibits include the amazing and outstanding displays of food, flowers, artwork, photography, and award-winning handicrafts from across the State of South Carolina.

One piece of artwork however -- a political piece called "Breaking With Tradition"  based on the year's tragic events (both the Charleston murders and the subsequent SC Legislative surrender of the flag on the Soldiers' Monument to the forces of hate and reaction) -- warranted a flagging by yours truly. Yes, I always keep at least one small Dixie Cross on me for just such occasions.
Note that I do not do this out of disrespect for the author of the piece, but rather in protest of the message it sends. The surrender of the Dixie Cross and acceptance of the false view of it as a modern symbol of hatred and racism is both regressive and serves only the cause of racial division.
Mmmm....fried mushrooms for lunch.
"Its so fluffy!!!"
My brother Alex, on the other hand....
"We all live in a yellow submarine...."
One of my favorite classic fair and carnival rides:
The Tilt-A-Whirl.
Yours truly riding another classic fair ride: The Scrambler.
The sun sets on another visit to the SC State Fair.

Well folks, I hope that y'all enjoyed these photos from the SC State Fair. Until next time, God bless and keep you. 

Safe travels. 

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