The Horry County Fair is back.
The fair, which starts at noon on Friday and runs through April 28, will take place at Myrtle Beach Speedway. The fair is offering rides, games, treats like fried Oreos and funnel cakes and live entertainment including pig racing.
Myrtle Beach Speedway General Manager Steve Zacharias said the event is open to all age groups.
“There’s something for everyone,” he said.
Dunk tanks and teacup rides are some of the fair’s offerings this year in addition to a beer garden, petting zoo and different contests. New attractions for this year’s event include a claw ride.
Zacharias said arranging the fair each year has proven to be a learning experience for organizers.
“The first couple years, I don’t know if any of us really understood each other as far as how we should function for vendors [and] how the county works,” he said, adding that obtaining a needed permit for the speedway’s first fair was “a struggle at first.”
“Now everyone’s understanding that the fair’s perfect for the county, it’s perfect for us [and] it’s perfect for the locals,” he said. “Everything just flows a lot easier.”
This year, more rides are being offered and Zacharias hopes this will result in shorter wait times. Also, the fair’s layout has also been tweaked in an attempt to make everything run more smoothly.
Zacharias added that local vendors have the opportunity to set up shop at the fair.
The event’s “free stage” will feature multiple musical performances including from Gal Friday at 8 p.m. Friday and Whisky Run at the same time on April 26.
April 27 is Superhero Saturday at the fair which will feature a costume contest, parade and fireworks.
Myrtle Beach Speedway contracts James E. Strates Shows to provide the fair's midway portion. Zacharias said he remains astounded at how organized the company is and enjoys watching the fair’s attractions get set up.
“It’s amazing to watch this whole process,” he said.
Zacharias said the idea for the fair — which is put on by Myrtle Beach Speedway itself — stemmed from his children.
“We used to go to the Cabarrus County Fair in North Carolina,” he said. “When we moved here, they asked where the nearest fair was.”
He began doing research and discovered a fair hadn’t taken place in Horry County in a while. Zacharias eventually met John Strates with Strates Shows in Florida.
“It’s just kind of been going ever since,” Zacharias said. “It’s turned out great. Once that first year happened, we saw how successful it was and how much everyone loved it so we just kept digging.”
Saturday will see racing at the speedway’s half-mile track starting at 4 p.m. Those who pay for fair admission who want to watch are able to receive a $5 discount. Zacharias said spectators will get to view late models, trucks and Chargers race that day.
On April 27, “big rigs” will come to the speedway. During the Bandits Big Rig Series Race, drivers navigating “semi-trucks made out to be race trucks” will try to make their way around the track.
While races are held at the speedway each year, it has also acted as a venue for companies other than Myrtle Beach Speedway. Events like monster truck shows have been able to draw crowds to the entertainment complex.
“We’re always trying to grow,” Zacharias said. “I’ve always said this is 48 acres of open property so we can do just about anything.”
Myrtle Beach Speedway is located off of U.S. 501 next to Tanger Outlets at 455 Hospitality Lane, Myrtle Beach.
For more information about the fair, including the price of admission, visit horrycountyfair.com.