New security measures coming to Coastal Carolina Fair

By Ava

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- In two weeks, the locked gates at the Ladson Exchange Park will open for the beginning of the Coastal Carolina Fair.

"The food vendors will start to arrive. The carnival people depending on where they're at and location will start arriving. It will all come together just like a small city," said Joe Bolchoz, media chair for the Coastal Carolina Fair.

Bolchoz said when the gates open, bags including book bags, backpacks and coolers will not be allowed through.


"We have discouraged backpacks for years. There is signage out there that's been out there. [We've] never had any issues with it, but it's been a while since we emphasized it," he said.

According to a release from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, if a person tries to bring a bag to the gate, he or she will have to return it to the car before being allowed inside the fair.

Bolchoz said there will be some exceptions to the rule.

"We fully understand the need of a parent who has small children. They may need certain comfort items for the child, or you may have a medical situation where someone is carrying medication that needs to be in a cooler. We're going to use common sense at the gate. I promise you that," he said. {}

The sheriff's office is also implementing a new lost child safety procedure.

"We're going to have at the kiosk as you enter the fair a ruler where you can stand the child next to the ruler and take a picture of them," Bolchoz said. "And for years we've had in place a tag system. We will continue with that. You can actually put a little tag on your child's shirt with their telephone number and we will hook you up with that child as soon as we find them."

If parents become separated from their children, parents are asked to notify a member of the Exchange Club or a sheriff's deputy to help reconnect them.

The fair begins October 31 and ends November 10.