Carolina Lights Returns Dec. 8 at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds

The S.C. State Fair presents its fifth annual holiday drive-through light show

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 (Columbia, SC) – The South Carolina State Fair proudly presents the much-anticipated return of Carolina Lights, its annual downtown drive-through holiday light show. The Lexington Medical Center Fair Park at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland starting Friday, Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 24 (closed on Mondays).

Now in its fifth year, the holiday drive-through light experience will feature more than 100 individual LED light displays meticulously synchronized to holiday music spanning a nearly two-mile journey inside the fairgrounds. Guests will be captivated by an array of enchanting scenes such as dinosaurs, gingerbread soccer, Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, tunnel of lights, the 12-days of Christmas, plus many more surprises. The S.C. State Fair’s popular chocolate chip cookies, milk and Pepsi products will be available for purchase. New this year, dog treats will also be available for purchase.

“We are thrilled to herald the holiday season with the return of Carolina Lights at the fairgrounds,” says S.C. State Fair General Manager Nancy Smith. “A beloved South Carolina tradition, this year’s presentation will once again feature the cherished classics and include some new and dazzling displays.”

While driving through the light show, guests can tune their radio to 88.9 FM to listen to music that synchronizes with the light displays.

Special Day Promotions

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, active and retired military and their dependents (with proper military identification cards) will be able to purchase a car pass for 50% off at the gate.

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, first responders will be able to purchase a car pass for 50% off at the gate.

Buy Early and Save

Discount car passes ($5 savings) are available at now through Dec. 7, 2023. Beginning Dec. 8, admission is $20 per car, $35 per mini-bus (9-24 passengers) and $70 for vehicles with 25 or more passengers. Passes can be purchased at or at the gate. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

Patrons should enter at Gate 6 on George Rogers Boulevard. To ensure the safety of all and control the flow of traffic, visitors will not be permitted to exit their vehicles. Guests who wish to drive through a second time on the same night may request a re-entry pass at the exit gate until 15 minutes before closing each night.

“Many people often think of the S.C. State Fair as just two weeks in October, but in fact, we operate year-round,” says Smith. “We are a non-profit organization dedicated to offering family-friendly entertainment, celebrating South Carolina’s heritage, giving back through educational scholarships and so much more.”

Carolina Lights will run Dec. 8-24 from 6-9 p.m. Sundays, and Tuesdays through Thursdays and 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The light show will be closed on Mondays. For more information and to purchase passes, visit

Michael Bailey, a trailblazer in the field of photojournalism and a profound political writer, possesses the exceptional ability to distill complex political issues into accessible narratives that resonate with readers of all backgrounds. As the vanguard of the editorial team, Michael not only serves as a new media correspondent but also showcases his distinct talent as a photojournalist. His portfolio is a testament to his expertise in crafting news stories and intimate profiles that vividly portray the cultural, social, economic, and political journeys of minorities, both in South Carolina and beyond. With a rich tapestry of experience spanning media, business, and politics, Michael has emerged as a highly regarded voice and a sought-after commentator, offering invaluable insights into the challenges faced by people of color.

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