Upstate SC Heritage Fair
The Upstate SC heritage fair is a gathering of local businesses, vendors and farmers held between Westminster and Seneca in Oconee County South Carolina. The heritage fair entertains with concerts from local bands, livestock shows, rodeos, dance exhibitions, 4-H youth events, hands-on learning opportunities, farm animal exhibits, and “loads of entertainment” for the entire family. The fair promotes itself as “what a home town fair should be”.
I didn’t realize the fair was in town until a Saturday night and the final day of the fair was the very next day, Sept 29th. We didn’t have anything planned for the day other than a quick herbal medicine class @ Clemson Botanical Gardens, so we loaded up and set off for the fair.
South Carolina Summers
The summer heat in Upstate South Carolina normally isn’t too bad. There’s days when it hits 97 and its hot but the humidity is low and makes it bearable. Not on this Sunday. This Sunday was an overcast cloudy day that looked like it could rain at any minute. Despite being the last days of September. The humidity and heat was absolutely oppressive!
Once we got to the Upstate Heritage Fair Grounds. The parking staff directed us to a large field about 200 yard away from the fairgrounds. Let me stop here and tell you. It was HOT. Not just uncomfortable, I mean oppressively hot like you better stay inside if you have health problems. By the time we hiked up from our truck and got to the ticket booth. The three of us were drenched in sweat! Dont be like us, visit the fair at night!
Heritage Fairgrounds Rides & Games
The price for entry was $5 but the parking was free. The Upstate South Carolina Heritage Fair has the typical fair rides and fair games. Rides from the merry go round swings for the small kids to the vertical spin ride and free fall drop that will make even the strongest stomachs churn for mercy. Being as hot as it was. I opted to stay grounded and let Emily and my son get unlimited ride passes for $15 each. That would give me the opportunity to seek out the nearest shade, take pictures and make fun of their green faces after they got sick of riding.
We moved from ride to ride making about 4 complete laps around the fairgrounds. The actual ride and game area was surprisingly small. I’d say the entire lap of the ride area was less than 150 yards. Quite small.
The game operators seemed really excited to see us there but that’s typical of any fair. Who doesn’t like people screaming at you from 20 yards away to throw darts at their balloons while your frantically trying to wipe sweat out of your burning eyes?
The food vendors at the fair on a Sunday morning were kind of disappointing. I really expected some local food trucks and restaurants to be present. That wasn’t the case. The food vendors at the Upstate South Carolina Heritage Fair seemed to be associated with the fair ride company. As in, Your typical funnel cakes, nachos, candy applies and cotton candy. I’m not saying the best junk foods known to man are disappointing. Just pointing out if you visit the Heritage Fair on a Sunday morning. Don’t expect local food vendors to be setup.
After 4 laps of rides we decided we had our $50 worth of rides and decided to explore the vendors and farm petting area. They have a little gated stall area sectioned off away from the ride area. In the stalls are miniature horses, goats, sheep and a donkey if I recall.
When we arrived at the farm section, the fair was having a Goat contest. They were lifting goats up on tables and letting judges give them a score. Now how do you judge a goat? I have no idea! Regardless. They were all really cute and I thought to myself how awesome it would be to own a prize winning goat!
Moving on from the animal stalls, we noticed the rodeo area. The Heritage Fair holds different type of Rodeo events and from what I hear, this is the main attraction. From bull riding to cowboys showing off their roping skills. It’s pretty entertaining to watch. Unfortunately we couldn’t make the rodeo events but we totally plan to check it out next year.
After we made our way past the rodeo arena we came to the vendor stalls. There were about 10 different vendors with homemade jewelry , bags, dolls and a RedCross station handing out pamphlets. I would imagine it being the fairs last day and a Sunday morning, a lot of the vendors were not setup at the time. I’d expect a little more variety of local businesses on a Saturday or Friday night.
Overall. Aside from the oppressive South Carolina heat. The Upstate SC Heritage Fair was fun for a couple of hours of fair rides and worth the low ticket prices. I’d imagine if you’re into rodeos and live stock, It will make it a even better deal.