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‘Everything’s dried up and ready’: Horry County Fair hopes to rebound from slow start

The Horry County Fair returns to Myrtle Beach Speedway

The Horry County fair is back from April 19 through April 28. The fair will be at the Myrtle Beach Speedway and features fried foods, carnival rides and a beer garden. Learn more about the event here.
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The Horry County fair is back from April 19 through April 28. The fair will be at the Myrtle Beach Speedway and features fried foods, carnival rides and a beer garden. Learn more about the event here.

Everyone loves a fair. Everyone except Mother Nature, that is.

The good news is there’s still plenty of time to make it out to the 2019 Horry County Fair at Myrtle Beach Speedway to enjoy rides, food, entertainment and more.

“Yesterday it was cloudy and a little bit windy so we were down in comparison to previous years,” Myrtle Beach Speedway General Manager Steve Zacharias, said in reaction to the fair’s first day (Friday) being canceled and a lackluster Saturday because of foul weather. “But we’re getting ready to have our special days — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week are always good for us as far as crowd goes.

“So those are coming and then tomorrow — the last day off school for some of the kids here in the county — it’s supposed to be 75 and sunny tomorrow, so it’s going to be a perfect day to get out one last time and go out to the fair.”

Severe thunderstorms that produced rainfall and high winds passed through the area Friday, causing Zacharias and Co. to cancel the first day of the fourth annual event.

“Obviously something like this is very weather-dependent,” he said. “But I know the crowd’s coming back here in the next few days.”

The fair is scheduled to run through April 28. In past years, over 70,000 people have attended the 10-day event, which is offering up many of the classics people expect from such an event: a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, prizes, petting zoo and, of course, plenty of fried foods.

“We have a little bit something for everyone. . . . Once they get up to 2 or 3 years old on up to grandma and grandpa we’ve got things that people can ride,” said Jim Strates, whose Strates Carnival Company is operating the fair.

Zacharias said the first day was “OK” considering the weather and hopes business will pick up in the coming days.

“There’s a ride for everyone. There’s adult rides, there’s kids rides, there’s a whole kids zone down there. There’s something for everyone.,” he said. “You can [be in] high school, college. I mean, we’ve got our beer garden here for the adults. So I think as a family or for anyone who wants to just come out and do something fun on the weekends, this is the perfect spot for you.”

The speedway held racing action Saturday and is bringing in the Bandits Big Rig Series — semi-truck racing — next Saturday, both among the features Zacharias believes separates the Horry County Fair from other fairs.

“We’re trying to go off from what the general fair does,” he said.

On Monday through Thursday the fair will be running from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it will be open from noon to 11 p.m. Admission ranges from $2-$5 and is free for children 4 and younger. The unlimited ride wristband costs $25 most days, but it’s $10 Tuesday-Thursday.

Despite a slow start, Zacharias and Co. are optimistic that this year’s fair will be a success.

“Everything’s rolling,” he said. “Everything’s dried up and ready for next week.”

Staff members Tyler Fleming and Josh Bell contributed to this report.

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David Wetzel serves in both editor and reporter roles for The Sun News. An award-winning journalist, he has reported on all types of news, sports and features stories in over a decade as a member of the staff. Wetzel has won awards for sports column, feature and headline writing.


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