South of the Border is a rest stop and roadside attraction on Interstate 95 and US 301 near Dillon, South Carolina, so named because it is south of the border with North Carolina. The rest area features not only restaurants, gas stations and a motel, but also a small amusement park, shopping (including adult entertainment at its "Dirty Old Man" shop), and, famously, fireworks. Its mascot is Pedro, an extravagantly stereotypical Mexican. It is advertised by hundreds of billboards along surrounding highways. 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.
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. The entire motif of South of the Border can be described as intentionally camp.
Among the billboards advertising South of the Border 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!