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Rodger Stroup: A History of the State Fair

Feb 8, 2020

  • Venue: Horry County Museum
  • Address: 805 Main Street,, Conway, SC
  • Time: 1:00 PM

The Horry County Museum and the AVX Foundation present a lecture by J. Grahame Long on February 8th, on his book Meet Me at the Rocket: A History of the South Carolina State Fair.

In the early 1700s South Carolinians were gathering to exchange information about crops and livestock, and small rural fairs were held, enhanced by horse racing, raffles, and other diversions to draw in the populace. The State Agricultural Society of South Carolina was founded in 1839 and held its first annual fair and stock show in November of the following year. In 1869 the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina was founded to revive the fair and has presented a fair in every year except 1918. The South Carolina State Fair has a long and storied history from those early days to its current “meet me at the rocket” days. Those initial fair goers would have been astonished to see the rocket, a Jupiter intermediate-range ballistic missile, greeting them as they arrived on the grounds. Join us as we explore South Carolina’s agriculture and industry, its science and art and history through the State Fair.

Rodger E. Stroup is a graduate of Wofford College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He has been the director/curator of the Historic Columbia Foundation, deputy director of the South Carolina State Museum, and director and state historic preservation officer of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. In 2009 he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina

The program will begin at 1 pm in the McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway SC. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email