SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) The Piedmont Interstate Fair is back in Spartanburg but this year, with several changes. Last year at the fairgrounds, shots were fired, leaving a man injured. Now the fair has added more security and new safety equipment.
“We’re excited about everything we’ve done this year, we worked with the Spartanburg Police Department, the sheriff’s department, we have metal detectors this year, we have a youth attendance policy to make sure younger people have an adult with them when they come to the fair,” said Bill Michaels, executive director of the Piedmont Interstate Fair.
Community members said they feel safer enjoying their favorite parts of the fair this year, knowing there’s increased security measures.
“I feel a little safe, but still on my guard because of what happened last year, but it’s safer to me than most places,” said Ronda Heikens, Spartanburg resident.
Residents of all ages are already flocking to the fairgrounds, something the fair committee that works tirelessly for months said makes it worth it.
“It’s a big thing, we have people that have been coming to the fair for 40 to 50 years, this fair started in 1946,” said Michaels.
Soon to be 92-year-old Helen West is one of those people. She remembers coming to the fair when she was 5 years old and to this day, she said, she still enjoys coming for the same reasons.
“I love looking at the old quilts and the old things, the old pictures of Spartanburg, I never get tired of that,” said West.
New rides and a heavier focus on agriculture are some of the other changes to look forward to this year. But for some fair-goers like West, just being with other Spartanburg residents will always be the best part.
“Listen, there’s no other place I’d rather live,” said West. “I mean it’s just a wonderful place to live, don’t everybody come, we’d love to have you.”
The fair will be open through this Sunday, October 15th.