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Orangeburg County Fair (copy)

One of the oldest continuous running fairs in the state, the Orangeburg County Fair had its beginnings in 1871. This year's fair runs from Oct. 1-6

Fair-goers can get ready for some side-splitting, belly-shaking laughter as nationally acclaimed Nojoe and TooT's Clown Circus makes it debut at the Orangeburg County Fair.

Fair draws variety of flavors; find everything from fried Oreos to elephant ears

Joey Thurmond and his son, Tyler, bring their award-winning comedy caper to Orangeburg.

The 108th annual Orangeburg County Fair will run Oct. 1-6 at the fairgrounds. Hours will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; from 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Orangeburg County Fair returns Oct. 1

Gates will also open on Monday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. for concessions only. Admission Monday will be free.

Parking is free.

Joey Thurman has been a natural entertainer since high school and spent a portion of his career as talent for the popular World Championship Wrestling organization.

Joey has also appeared on the silver screen with roles in a number of motion pictures including "Avengers: Infinity War," "Pitch Perfect 3," and "Grease Paint"– the award-winning documentary that leads to a docu-series called "Funny Business."

Fair hosts beauty pageant

The "Funny Business" series gained Joey a worldwide following and admiration for his comedy, and ultimately lead him the award of the Clown of the Year in 2009.

Not long after, Joey Thurman was joined by Tyler.

Together, the duo produced a comedy routine that presented them with the 2010 Clowning Duo of the Year.

It was the only time a father and son combination won the honors.

In 2009 and 2010, the Thurmans were named Entertainers of the Year by the Family Entertainment Association.

Also making his Orangeburg County Fair debut is magician and hypnotist Lance Gifford.

Gifford has amazed crowds across the United States for more than 30 years.

"We are ready to add the excitement, the magic and the illusion to Orangeburg," Orangeburg County Fair Association President Matt Stokes said.

Gifford provides so much more than just magic shows and spell binding hypnosis shows. He travels with his own stage. This stage is quite the sight on the midway; it is a whopping 53-feet x 26-feet, completely self contained with professional sound and lighting.

Rides will be plenty for fair-goers.

Unlimited ride wristbands will be available for $25 each day of the fair.

Children ages 6-12 can get into the fair for $6; $8 per person for those 13 and older; children 5 and under are free, as are seniors on Wednesday.

School-aged children will be able to attend the fair for $6 after 5 p.m.

The fair's midway will be operated by North Carolina-based Powers & Thomas and will include about 25 rides, ranging from thrill rides to kiddie rides to family rides, plus a dozen games.

The Orangeburg County Fair is one of the longest-running fairs in the country. Originally, the event primarily focused on celebrating local agriculture, but it has evolved into more of an entertainment event.

Food is aplenty as well, including sweet treats like cotton candy, caramel apples, funnel cakes, Icees, lemonade shake-ups and soft drinks.

For those wanting a salty snack, popcorn, corn dogs, pizza, soft pretzels, nachos and more are offered.

There are two new seafood vendors offering shrimp on a stick.

Tracy's Elephant Ears are also back for a second time.

Lunch will be available at the fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Perennial favorites will also be present, including Netterfield's, Fiske Fries, the petting zoo and the birthday game.

Competitive events to check out include the 4-H/FFA Youth Dairy Heifer Show, the Commercial Dairy Heifer Show, the Youth Beef Cattle Show, the Youth Barrow Show and the Meat Goat Project Show.

Exhibits will feature the works of local artists, ornamental horticulture, quilts and canned goods as well as the 4-H backyard poultry project.

The fair has nearly 40 sponsors.

Security will be in place at the fair, and those attending will be checked with a wand. Individuals are asked not to carry concealed weapons or knives into the venue.

For more information about the 2019 Orangeburg County Fair, visit orangeburgfair.com.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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