LADSON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Coastal Carolina Fair is returning to the Lowcountry. Gates will open to the public at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th.

Fairgoers can look forward to a brand-new layout and a unique experience.

“It was time for a change,” said Gasper Marino, a member of the fair’s safety committee. “We got a completely different show than everybody’s used to seeing.”

The new layout goes with this year’s fair’s slogan ‘New in 22.’ The fair will feature more than 60 rides and 100 food vendors along with live entertainment, a beer garden, games, and more.

Safety is the number one priority for fair organizers and no stone is going unturned.

In addition to ride inspections required by the state, third-party safety inspectors have been hired to ensure no ride is operational without being thoroughly checked each day before gates open.

The inspectors have been on the ground for a week already while the rides have been built. A step-by-step checklist is closely followed.

They also inspect the fairgrounds and the buildings.

As far as danger coming from outside the gates, the fair’s security committee has that covered as well.

“We actually have bag checks. We’re going to have a clear bag policy this year as well as metal detectors. Best way to put it, I have 3 young children and there’s not a spot out here I would not take them to,” said Marino.

According to the fair’s website, the clear bag policy affects the type and size of the bags permitted onto the grounds — not the items (keys, makeup, combs, smartphones, wallets, and credit cards) that you would normally bring to an event. Guests can still carry these items in their pockets. Guests will also be allowed to openly carry a blanket or jacket into the fairgrounds, though they are subject to search. For the fastest way to enter the fairgrounds, we strongly advise guests to not bring any type of bags, but if you must, below are the specific types of bags that will be allowed:

  • Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that and do not exceed 12” x 6” x12”
  • One-gallon plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, not to exceed 4.5” x6.5” – subject to search
  • Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection.
  • Diaper bags for infants and toddlers. Child must be present. One bag per child.

The Coastal Carolina Fair serves as the largest fundraiser in the Lowcountry for non-profits in the area.

Since the year 2000, an estimated $11 million has been donated to non-profits in the area.

“Primarily we look for individuals that work with prevention of child abuse, which is our national project, and also to support our programs that are part of the national exchange club which are family, community, and Americanism,” said Gary Leonard, a media and PR committee member with the fair. “A year when we had a record year of attendance, we gave out over 800 thousand dollars to our community.”

It is also the largest volunteer-based fair in the U.S. Members of the Exchange Club of Charleston work a collective 14,000 hours throughout the run of the fair as well as in the months leading up to it.

More information about tickets, parking, vendors, entertainment, and other fair details can be found here.