The South Carolina Koi and Water Garden Society is holding its Annual Koi Show at the Simpsonville Activity and Senior Center (310 West Curtis) and the public is invited. There is no admission charge and parking is free. The hours of the event are:
Friday, October 19th – 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Saturday, October 20th – 9:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M.
Sunday, October 21st – 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Koi are colored carp and, perhaps surprisingly, many people in our area keep them as pets in backyard ponds. Koi hobbyists bring their fish to be judged (by official, certified outside judges) and prizes are awarded in a variety of categories (a total of 35 trophies will be awarded this year). The koi to be judged are on exhibit in large blue tanks in the center of the gymnasium. Children love to watch these multi-colored beauties swim around in their tanks and often marvel at the size of some of them, which can often measure as much of 36 inches. There’s just something fascinating and mystical about fish that make 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 orchids, bonsai plants, quilts, 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. Brick’s Jewels will have a beautiful assortment of handmade jewelry and A Family Affair will be featuring a wide assortment of yard art, flags, and unique items to provide a conversation piece as well as enhance the beauty of your yard, garden, or patio. Another one of the vendors attending this year is The SC Aquaria Association, who will have information on their club, whose primary interest is tropical and marine fish (freshwater and saltwater).
Like raffles? They’ve got those, too. Drawings will be held throughout the day on Saturday. There will also be a silent auction going on throughout Friday and Saturday with final bids being determined at the awards banquet on Saturday night. You do not have to be present at the banquet to win, but winning bidders must pick up their items on Sunday before the show closes at 1:00 P.M.
Wait, there more! There will also be free face painting for the kids — that’s kids of all ages. Want a fish in bright colors on your face just for fun? How about a princess of a ninja or a pirate? Pick out a design from the face painter’s selection and settle in for a little “self-decorating” just to add a little something special to your day — your very own personal souvenir from the event.
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 (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 (2018 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 select a fish (or 2 or 3 or 6) from your collection 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 four koi vendors, purchase the fish you like, and enter it in the show. Still have questions? You can call co-chairmen Gene Koch (864-616-5052), Mel Barutha (864-316-2856) or Phil Rose (615-218-4229) for additional information.
Hundreds of 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 knockin’ 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 plan to stop by and see what this is all about. ♦