Exchange Club to review fair safety and traffic

Law enforcement directing traffic as the fair moved out Monday (John Gaddy/WCIV)

By Stacy

LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Everyone packed up Monday, but the fair had record attendance Saturday night.

"This was obscene, like nothing we'd ever seen," said Rebecca Rhine, mother of two children ages seven and four.

Rhine said her family loves going to the fair, but her kids didn't get to catch any of it Saturday. She said after almost two hours in the car, they gave up.

"The kids were tired, hungry and bored. We were pretty disappointed," she said.

Rhine and her family weren't the only ones who hit roadblocks Saturday. Cpl. Bob Beres said the S.C. Highway Patrol had to shut down two exits of Interstate 26 for almost an hour.

"That's the first time we've ever had to do that. Again, it was a record crowd: almost 60,000 people," Beres said.

The fair also had problems inside the gates this year. Officials at the Charleston County Sheriff's Office said a man got stabbed several times during a brawl.

Melissa Engdahl said she and her 6-year-old son,{}felt safe the whole time.

"There was enough police presence to make me feel good. Every body was having a good time. It was a lot of families there," Engdahl said.

Though Rhine and her family never made it in, she still heard about the stabbing. She said metal detectors at entrances would be a good idea, if possible. But, she didn't blame the officers for the commotion.

"There's only so much we can realistically expect law enforcement to be able to handle," she said.

Representatives of the Exchange Club{}said they don't want to{}cap the attendance. They said the{}club will meet to critique this year's fair{}within the next{}three weeks.

The Exchange Club uses all proceeds from the fair to benefit Lowcountry nonprofit groups.