The amazing solar eclipse was awesome, no doubt about it. And that word “awesome” is just barely adequate to describe it. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. Unfortunately there’s no looking forward to the next one as it most likely won’t occur in our lifetime. Bummer! Fortunately, there are other awesome events that we can look forward to every year and the South Carolina Koi and Water Garden Society’s Annual Regional Koi and Goldfish Show is one of them. This year is even more special as this is the tenth year for this exciting event and you’re invited to come on down to the Simpsonville Activity and Senior Center (310 West Curtis) and join in the fun. The hours of the event are:
Friday, October 6th 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Saturday, October 7th 9:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M.
Sunday, October 8th 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Koi are multi-colored fish and, perhaps surprisingly, many people in our area keep them as pets in backyard ponds. Individuals bring their fish (both koi and goldfish) to be judged (by official, certified outside judges) and prizes are awarded in a variety of categories (a total of 40 trophies will be awarded). The koi to be judged can be found in large blue tanks in the center of the gymnasium, and the goldfish will be displayed in aquariums by the stage. Children love to watch the big koi swim around in their tanks, but they seem to especially enjoy watching the goldfish because they can walk right up to the aquariums and get up close and personal with these little guys. There’s just something fascinating and mystical about fish that makes these living jewels seem so exotic. Whatever it is, this event will provide an unusual and enjoyable weekend outing for the whole family. And it’s all FREE!!
Fascinating and beautiful as they are, however, the show isn’t just about the fish. They are the stars of the show, of course, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Like shopping! In addition to the competition, vendors will start setting up their booths on Friday to sell a variety of items such as hypertufa pots (you’ll have to come and see for yourself what that is, but it’s a very clever and unusual concept), quilts, plants, pond supplies, nets, pumps, fish food, and live koi and goldfish. I especially love the carnivorous plants. Carnivorous means “meat eater” and believe it or not, these plants, which come in all sizes, unusual configurations, and bright colors, actually eat bugs. How cool is that? They also make great gifts. In addition, a real, working pond, complete with plants and a waterfall, will be constructed on site. As in previous years, a beautiful and unique pin has been designed to commemorate this year’s show, and these will be on sale at the welcome desk. Like raffles? Got those, too. Drawings will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.
All fish entered for judging are to be registered on Friday and the judges start their work on Saturday morning. Prizes are presented at an awards banquet on Saturday night (also held at the same site). If you are a koi hobbyist and have fish you would like to enter in the show, you can go to www.sckwgs.org (2017 Koi Show) to print out an exhibitor package which contains all the information and details you need to participate. All exhibitors are welcome and we hope you will pick out a fish (or 2 or 3 or 6) to bring to the show. Have fish in your pond but can’t (or don’t want to) catch them and transport them to the show, but still want to participate? No problem. Visit the booths of our koi and goldfish vendors, purchase the fish you like and enter it in the show. Still have questions? You can call co-chairmen Gene Koch (864-288-2342), Mel Barutha (864-316-2856) or Phil Rose (615-218-4229) for additional information.
Visitors from upstate communities and surrounding states attend this event every year and many of them don’t have a pond or own a single fish. But, whether they come to show their fish, to see the prize-winning fish, to look for a fish to buy, to shop, to just see what it’s all about, or just enjoy the fall festival atmosphere (or all of the above), none are disappointed.
Never been to a koi show? Well, opportunity is knocking loud and clear. The entire event is held inside, so you don’t have to worry about the weather. And you can’t beat the price as both admission and parking are free.
There is a lot going on this time of year, but this might just be one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences of them all. Mark your calendar now and come join the fun.