Since 1957, the Coastal Carolina Fair has provided fun, family-oriented entertainment that appeals to generations across the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The Board of Directors, Fair employees, and volunteer members of the Exchange Club of Charleston staff this annual celebration for charitable purposes. We have always provided a safe, clean venue with a vast array of food, one of the largest mobile midways of rides in America, nationally acclaimed entertainment, and an almost endless array of exhibits that focus on the arts, crafts, agriculture, and commercial areas important to our community. The Coastal Carolina Fair, through the Exchange Club of Charleston, gives back to the community by supporting numerous charities through the proceeds of the Fair. Since 2003, the Fair has raised almost $11 million dollars for the community. With the community’s support, the Coastal Carolina Fair has improved the Lowcountry of South Carolina year after year. With these factors in mind, it is with a heavy heart that the Coastal Carolina Fair Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Fair.
We are living in a unique time of great uncertainty caused by an invisible enemy. To deliver the full fair experience in a safe, clean, enjoyable environment, we must delay staging a fair until conditions improve and changes can be implemented. Our top priority is the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, staff, entertainers, exhibitors, and vendors. As health officials have warned and as we all know, large crowds are breeding grounds for COVID-19.
After careful review, even with substantial additional expenses, social distancing, and the constant sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, it is impossible to provide and maintain a safe way forward for the large crowds and those staffing the fair. In addition, to run a fair and enforce CDC guidelines and government directives from the federal, state, and local level, we would need more police officers, EMS professionals, fire personnel, and medical staff to protect everyone involved. Our greater need would place additional stress on these valiant public servants and agencies they represent. Controlling visitor density in the various venues of the fair, (i.e. exhibit halls, the midway, bathrooms, ticket and ride lines, etc.) is an impossible task. We do not foresee these issues going away during the fall of 2020.
While we are disappointed in canceling the 2020 fair and not being able to put on a quality, safe, and fun fair experience for the Lowcountry of South Carolina, we remain concerned about the dedicated charities in the Lowcountry for which this fair works to support through your patronage. We are currently working on ways to support these local charities and will be announcing upcoming opportunities for you to assist. Please stay tuned.
The Coastal Carolina Fair - one of America’s largest volunteer fairs - will return in 2021 bigger, better, and more fun than ever. We are improving our facilities and grounds, seeking out the best entertainers, finding new fair foods, and recruiting new exhibitors. Our carnival provider, Amusements of America, will return to light up your sight and the coastal night with one of America’s largest and most imaginative mobile midways of rides, games, and concessions. The Coastal Carolina Fair and its hundreds of volunteers from The Exchange Club of Charleston cannot wait to greet you at the 2021 fair.