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South of the Border's large neon welcome sign.
South of the Border is a rest stop and roadside attraction on Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 301-U.S. Route 501 near Dillon, South Carolinamarker, so named because it is just "south of the border" – the border between the U.S. states of South Carolinamarker and North Carolinamarker. The rest area features not only restaurants, gas stations and a motel, but also a small amusement park, shopping (including adult entertainment at the "Dirty Old Man Shop"), and, famously, fireworks. Its mascot is Pedro, an extravagantly stereotypical Mexicanmarker bandido. It is advertised by hundreds of billboards along surrounding highways, starting 175 miles away. Well-known landmarks in the area, the irreverent signs feature Pedro, wearing a sombrero and poncho, counting down the number of miles to South of the Border.

Part of the film Forces of Nature was filmed at South of the Border. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, originally from nearby Dillon, South Carolina, worked for a summer as a poncho-wearing waiter at South of the Border to help pay his way through Harvardmarker.

South of the Border was developed by Alan Schafer (1914-2001), who founded a beer stand at the location in 1950 and steadily expanded it with Mexican trinkets and numerous kitsch items. He had a great deal of success into turning South of the Border into a "tourist mecca" because of his location, which was immediately across the border from a dry North Carolinamarker county, and grew his small business into what was, by local standards, an economic empire. South of the Border grew to over a square mile, required its own infrastructure, and had its own fire and police departments. Schafer became reclusive, building a large compound of interconnected houses outside the Dillon city limits. At South of the Border, he kept secret apartments hidden in the backs of restaurants and shops.

The entire motif of South of the Border can be described as intentionally campy.


The 165 foot (66 m) tall Sombrero Tower is one of its attractions.
Among the billboards advertising South of the Border along Interstate 95/Interstate 95 are the following:
* Pedro's Weather Forecast: Chili today, hot tamale! * Keep America Green! Bring Money!
* You Never Sausage a Place! (You're Always a Wiener at Pedro's!) * Keep yelling, kids! (They'll stop.)
* Sommtheeng Deeferent * Honeymoon Suites: Heir Conditioned
* Fort Pedro, Fireworks Capital of the US * Etymologically Correck!
* Howdy, Pardner! * Top Banana!
* Pedro's fireworks! Does yours? * Chili Today, Hot Tamale!
* South of the Border * Your sheep are all counted at South of the Border. (had a rotating wheel with sheep painted on it)
* Caliente! * Smash Hit! (junked car attached to sign)

Gallery of South of the Border billboards

Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_76_-_Kids_Rule.JPG|Kid's Rule!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_76_-_Caliente.JPG|¡Caliente!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_75_-_Fort_Pedro_Fireworks_Unlimited.JPG|Fort Pedro, Fireworks Unlimited!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_75_-_Talk_of_the_town.JPG|Talk of the town!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_71_-_Good_stuff_is_hard_to_find.JPG|Good stuff is hard to find!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_59_-_Everybody_needs_a_little_stuff.JPG|Everybody needs a little stuff!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_58_-_Pedro_no_shoot_ze_bool.JPG|Pedro No Shoot Ze Bool! Who dunnit?Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_31_-_Youll_be_tickled_pink.JPG|You'll be tickled Pink!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_26_-_300_Luxury_rooms.JPG|300 Luxury RoomsImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_26_-_Sommtheeng_Deeferent.JPG|Sommtheeng Deeferent!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_27_-_Roads_Scholar.JPG|Roads' Scholar!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_25_-_Everything_old_is_new_again.JPG|Everything old is new again!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_23_-_Pedros_Weather_Report_Chilli_Today_Hot_Tamale.JPG|Pedro's Weather Report. Chili Today - Hot Tamale!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_18_-_Myrtle_Beach_shop_%28Beach_stuff_for_less%29.JPG|Myrtle Beach Shop (Beach stuff for less!)Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_18_-_Stop_and_smell_the_flowers.JPG|Stop and smell the flowersImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_18_-_Pedros_Leather_Shop.JPG|Pedro's Leather ShopImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_17_-_Around_the_world_Antiques_Shop.JPG|Around the world Antiques ShopImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_17_-_Time_for_a_PAWS.JPG|Time for a PAWS?Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_17_-_WHOA.JPG|WHOA!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_16_-_Worlds_-1_miniature_golf.JPG|New! World's #1 Miniature GolfImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_12_-_Too_moch_Tequila.JPG|Too moch Tequila!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_10_-_You_never_sausage_a_place.JPG|You never sausage a place! (You're always a weiner at Pedro's!)Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_7_-_Rocket_City_The_Fireworks_Supermarket.JPG|ROCKET CITY! The Fireworks SupermarketImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_3_-_The_Peddler.JPG|The Peddler Steakhouse. Steaks, Prime Rib & SeafoodImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_2_-_Pedros_Africa_Shop.JPG|Pedro's Africa ShopImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_1_-_Give_Pedro_the_Business.JPG|Give Pedro the Business!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_-_Hats_around_the_world.JPG|Hats around the world!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_-_Pedros_Indoor_pool_Outdoor_pool_Spa.JPG|Pedro's Indoor Pool, Outdoor Pool, SpaImage:South_of_the_Border_sign_-_Imports_from_around_the_world.JPG|Imports from around the world!Image:South_of_the_Border_sign_-_Imports_from_around_the_world.JPG|TOPS!

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