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See S.C. State Fair for a song

The S.C. State Fair kicks off Wednesday in Columbia and runs through Oct. 19. You'll be able to find all your expected attractions – from cooking contests to baby goats to a rollicking midway – plus the 2008 grandstand performers.

All 5,000 grandstand concert seats are reserved and require a ticket; grandstand tickets do not include admission to the fair.

Here's who is scheduled to entertain:

George Jones, 7 p.m. Thursday: Jones, the country singer who once lived hard and fast, has turned down the volume of his personal life. He was scheduled to perform at the fair in 2006 but had to cancel after breaking his wrist. $15

Sugarland, 7:30 p.m. Friday: Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush of Sugarland write the kind of sweet pop that country audiences crave. With The Zac Brown Band, an edgy band by country-pop standards. $25

Mitchel Musso, 6 p.m. Saturday: Musso, best known for his role on “Hannah Montana,” is part of the Disney factory that engineers multitasking personas. With Jordan Pruitt, another Disney-set crowd pleaser. $15

Rodney Atkins, 4 p.m. next Sunday: Atkins might not be considered part of country's elite, but he releases hits – “If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)” and “Watching You,” to name two – like one.

Atkins recently was nominated as the CMA's best new artist for the second year in a row, even though he's had songs charting since 2002. With David Cooler, the Bamberg, S.C., native who sings about the country folks who don't have iPods, e-mail or watch “Project Runway.” $15

Josh Turner, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15: Turner, from the Florence County, S.C., town of Hannah, sold out his performance at last year's fair.

He's been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, was nominated for last year's CMA male vocalist of the year, and he's sold a few million records behind the strength of his baritone-to-bass vocals. $25

tobyMac, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17: The former member of the Christian rap group dc Talk performs insightful rhymes with a full band, The Diverse City Band. He's been touring for close to two decades, and he doesn't plan to stop any time soon. With Jeremy Camp, a songwriter whose songs are one part testimonial and one part therapy session. $15

Anthony Hamilton, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18: Hamilton is an R&B singer with an ability to send feelings and emotions through his songs that serve as reminders of times both good and bad. $15

Art at the fair

The South Carolina State Fair's fine art show usually contains about 1,500 pieces. The artists who take part range from those just starting out to those with years of experience.

Many artists enter because nearly $30,000 in prize money is awarded.

Others do it because a lot of art gets into the show and, well, they know they probably can get in, too.

That also means that visitors, many seeing their only art show all year, get to experience a wide variety of work – the kind of art one might expect to see at a state fair as well as the kind one might see at an edgy gallery.

Along with this show, which is divided into professional and amateur divisions, there's a huge kids' art show.

All of it is in the fairground's Cantey Building. Otis Taylor, Columbia State

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