This isn’t your father’s fair anymore.
The technology boom has hit the Western Carolina State Fair and they couldn’t be happier about it.
“We’re excited about the marketing campaign ... Facebook and texting,” said vice president of fair operations Warren Lucas. “We needed a change of things in marketing and advertising and we’re pretty excited about it.”
New to the fair this year, with help from the South Company and Ad Triad, are a slew of technological improvements.
Last month a new Facebook page went up, where fairgoers will be able to check-in on the page while at the fair on Oct. 26 to receive discounts on tickets.
There is a new texting service, where you can text 95454 to win prizes and be a part of the club, which allows you to receives messages and contest information.
“We’ve made quite a few changes over the years, I can remember when we had pay phones out there,” Lucas said.
“We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years and we’ve pretty much stuck to the routine, but this seems to be working out. Of course, all of us had to buy new shirts.”
The fair has also updated the website to allow online ticketing and Mega Passes to be purchased on the site for the first time at www.letsrideaiken.com. You can buy the passes, print them out and bring them to the fair where they will scan the bar code on the paper.
Also on the site you can watch the fair be built and see the action live everyday thanks to two streaming cameras. There will be a camera inside the tent and outside on the grounds to see all the fun.
“It’ been going really good, I think everybody’s excited,” said Lucas, who has been with the fair for 36 years. “I’ve had to make changes myself, I even have a smartphone, but I’m not sure I know how to use it.
“For those of us who’ve been here for a long time, this is just what we do. It gets in your blood and you can’t get it out. We want people to come out and have a good time.”
Chris Walsh is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from Valdosta State University and hails from Atlanta.