Fair Trade Veterans Ready for Orangeburg Week; live event is back with security protocols in place |


Bill Prowant and his wife Anissa have been in the fair circuit for a long time.

“I was born into the business,” Bill Prowant said in preparation for the 110th Orangeburg County Fair. “When I was 17 my dad sent me with a route and rides. I’ve been doing this since 1979.”

Prowan is the third generation of his family to be in the fair travel circuit. The Prowant family has been in the fair business since 1932.

Prowant ended up pulling out of the amusement ride business when he partnered with Orangeburg County Fairground legends Jerry and Glenda Price about seven years ago. The prices are sellers of Fiske fries.

The Awards are the second generation of the Fiske French Fries business. Grandmother and Grandfather Fiske started the business in 1938 and have been coming to the Orangeburg County Fair ever since.

“This is the first fair she has ever booked,” said Prowant, referring to Grandma Fiske. “She found the way to cook these fries is kind of a unique way.”

“We’re not allowed to share this with anyone, but our fries are golden brown and crisp,” Prowant said. “They don’t lose their crispness. We have probably the best tasting fries from any fry trailer at any fairground in the United States.”

Over the years, the fries haven’t changed much. About 90% of the potatoes are grown in Ohio and they are so good!

“They (people) love French fries,” Anissa said. “The other thing about people is that this year everyone is so happy to be out.”

Bill said, “It’s fun watching people and in that area you look at people a lot.”

“It’s fun to see them introduce new babies and last year’s husbands and wives got married,” he said. “We made some great friends along the way.”

Anissa said mostly in Orangeburg, where they befriended the Netterfields and the Class families.

“We see them in the spring but we don’t see them until now,” said Anissa.

“You can compare the stories with each other and you’ll find that we maybe don’t have it that bad sometimes,” Bill said. “Most of the people here are great family members and many of them have been in this business like us for almost 90 years and more. There is a lot of history and a lot of family history.”

“You can go back generations, so when you get together it’s always a good time,” Bill said.

In addition to Fiske Fries, the couple also have a fried treat stand.

From Orangeburg, the Prowants and Fiske Fries head to the South Carolina State Fair where Fiske has been present since the early 1940s. They also head to the Carolina Coastal Fair.

Fair challenges

Bill said the most drastic change in fair trade, especially this year, has been the labor shortage.

“It’s not as fun as it used to be,” Bill said. “I think that goes for any business out there. When you’re in this business, it has to be a labor of love in a way.”

“It’s kind of how we felt about it and we still do now, but it’s getting more and more difficult with the food shortage and the labor shortage,” Bill said. . “It becomes very difficult to get things done. “

Bill said labor shortages “have occurred over the past few years, but COVID has certainly done a lot of harm.”

Anissa said that another issue they face is increasing government regulation.

“There are many taxes that are involved in our industry that are different from others,” she said. “Our industry covers a lot of transportation costs with different states and different regulations. Workers get paid. There are just a lot of them.”

Bill said the biggest shortage they face is in plastic cups, as well as flour and batter mixes.

“They are nowhere to be found,” Anissa said.

Bill said the couple have a large warehouse in Ohio where they store supplies to get through the fair season.

“We think we have enough to pass,” he said. “So far the fair season has been great. The crowds have been great. We weren’t ready for it. We had no idea what the year would bring in May. We were pleasantly surprised. . “

Bill said the couple keep coming back to Orangeburg County for several reasons.

“It’s a beautiful county fair,” he said. “The management here does a great job. They have some great rides. It has the hometown feeling, which a lot of fairs lack. It’s always a pleasure to come here.”

“The people of South Carolina are so friendly,” said Anissa.

The Prowants are just one of the food vendors who will be attending the Orangeburg County Fair.

Other favorites that will be in attendance include Netterfield’s. The Netterfields have been coming to the fair for at least five decades.

Sweet treats like cotton candy, caramel apples, ICEE, lemonade shake-ups, and soft drinks will be available. For those who want a savory snack, popcorn, corn dogs, pizza, soft pretzels, nachos and more are on offer.

Lunch will be available at the fair from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Admission is free at noon.

The fair in person is back!

After hosting a drive-through fair in 2020 due to COVID, the traditional in-person fair is back on schedule.

It is scheduled from Tuesday October 5 to Sunday October 10.

“We are delighted and very fortunate to be able to continue this great annual tradition,” said Matt Stokes, chairman of the Orangeburg County Fair, thanking city and county councils for their support of the fair.

The event will also bring new protocols to ensure the safety of all participants.

The fair will be secured against COVID.

Hand sanitizer stations and hand washing stations will be available throughout the exhibition grounds, according to the fair’s website.

Cashless payment options are available and encouraged.

Social distancing will also be strongly encouraged, especially during periods of possible extended exposure such as queues, at exhibitions, in exhibition halls and restrooms.

People will be required to wear face coverings when attending the fair in order to meet the City of Orangeburg’s mask mandate.

The ordinance imposes the wearing of masks in large gatherings in the city. The fair is considered to be a large gathering.

Salon staff will increase cleaning of facilities, including bathrooms and frequent public contact points. Hygiene signage will be put in place throughout the show.

Despite precautions, fair visitors are reminded by those in charge of the fair that they attend at their own risk. Individuals are encouraged to assess their own health risks to determine whether they are comfortable attending the fair.

Attendees are encouraged to check for symptoms of COVID-19 for themselves before visiting the show.

Also new this year, participants will have to comply with a mandatory transparent bag policy.

“This policy is similar to those implemented statewide, in line with the new level of security expected of large, high-traffic events and festivals,” the fair’s website says.

Approved bags will consist of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no larger than 14 inches by 6 inches by 14 inches. A logo no larger than 4.5 inches by 3.4 inches may be displayed on one side of the clear bag.

Clear plastic gallon Ziploc freezer bags are permitted. Small pouches the size of an average hand as well as medically necessary items are also allowed.

Banned bags include handbags, backpacks, camera cases, drawstring bags, fanny packs, tinted bags, tote bags, mesh bags, briefcases, luggage and laptop bags.

Fair admissions

Admission is $ 10 with children under 10 free. Parking is free.

Metal detectors will be in place and people with disabilities will use the main entrance to the fair.

The prices of the journey tickets include:

  • Single ticket: $ 1.50
  • Sheet of 22 tickets: $ 20
  • Unlimited Ride Bracelet: $ 25

The magic maze and bungee jumping are cash only. No wristbands or tickets are available for these attractions. Rides require three to five tickets each. There is no refund on the bracelets.

The senior day will be Wednesday and the nursery and daycare days will be Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will also be various gifts for show attendees in honor of the 110th anniversary of the show.

Just fun

Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment, based in North Carolina, will return to present the midway. The company also served the 2019 show.

Some of the new rides halfway through will be the Flying Elephants and the Teacups.

The company also offers a Chevrolet-themed, Italian-built Swing Buggy thrill ride. Swing Buggy is a spectacular musical ride that features free swing vehicles that ride up and down the hills and valleys of the ride.

Built in Italy, the Bertazzon Swing Buggy is the only Italian “Bobs” style vehicle to travel to the United States, according to company officials. The Swing Buggy operates in forward and reverse for an added thrill.

Another novelty this year is a mechanical bull.

Many other rides will also be offered to young and old alike.

Entertainment at the fair includes Lew E the Clown; Oscar the Robot; Dr. Magic Balloons; Magic of Lance Gifford and Company; Cowboy Circus with Danny Grant.

In addition, the Five Star petting zoo and the agricultural exhibition will be at your disposal.

Concessions will include favorites such as Tracy’s Elephant Ears, Netterfield’s, Gator Bites, Cinnamon Buns, Ice Cream and Fiske Fries. Players Barbecue will make its first appearance at the show.

There will be many competitions, including Novelty and Crafts, Art Exhibition, Field Crops and Horticulture, Food Preservation, Quilts, Backyard Poultry 4 -H, an exhibition of goat projects, an exhibition of lambs at the market, an exhibition of pigs at the youth market, young beef cattle and young dairy show.

The fair has nearly 50 sponsors, including Netterfield’s Popcorn and Lemonade Inc .; Orangeburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company; South Carolina Surgical, who are all Diamond Sponsors.


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