And the Deep-Fried Ambassador is…

About two weeks ago, we put out a call for our very first Deep Fried Ambassador. We were on the hunt for a fried food-eating, thrill-ride seeking, giant pumpkin-loving fan of the N.C. State Fair that would describe their love for the Fair on their blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts for all the world to see.

In exchange, we would invite them to our pre-Fair media lunch, where we debut new Fair foods, spotlight artists and entertainers and cater a lunch to ramp things up for the upcoming Fair. We received 12 entries (you can see all of them in the comments section on the link above), and had a great time reading the many reasons these talented bloggers love the N.C. State Fair. We’re excited to announce, however, that one blogger in particular really caught our eye with her writing, creativity and enthusiasm.


Congratulations to Suzanne, author of the Pretty*Swell blog. We can’t wait to meet her at the media lunch, where she’ll get to blog, tweet, Facebook and photograph the event with a friend, as well as collect her prize pack for the Fair that includes our tickets, State Fair poster, bumper sticker and T-shirt. Check out her post below, and be on the lookout for her return to our blog next week.

Y’all, I’ve stumbled upon an Internet miracle. A glorious find that makes me want to shout YES I’m a blogger and thank goodness for that.

By writing this post, I could become the very first Deep-Fried State Fair Ambassador.

An emissary of awesomeness.

I’m not exaggerating.

Where else besides the North Carolina State Fair can you cheer for pigs racing around a track, marvel at an 800-pound pumpkin, watch 10-year-olds showing livestock they’ve raised, milk a cow and get hurled through the air on top of a giant rainbow?

All while covered in powdered sugar from the heaping tangle of fried dough you just scarfed.

Like I said. Awesomeness.

And this doesn’t even begin to cover it. When I was pregnant a couple of years ago, I watched my first demolition derby at the State Fair. Boy did that baby kick. Er, I guess that could have been from the Italian sausage smothered with peppers and onions I’d just eaten, but still, the derby rocked.

At the fair I always visit the prize cows. And watch the gigantic sow nursing her squealing piglets, a sight that, especially now that I’m a mother, never ceases to amaze.

I’ve walked through the sideshows, paid 50 cents to take a peek at the world’s smallest horse  (I’m not telling. You’ll have to see for yourself.), clutched the side of my cart on the huge ferris wheel as it crept toward the sky. Played game after game after game.

And, oh, the food.

My favorites? Fresh roasted corn dripping with butter, hand-cut fries, a hotdog (or two), a bag of miniature donuts, and if I have any room left, a ham biscuit. And an elephant ear. Ooh, or a fried candy bar. This is why you have to make it a day. Three meals = more options.

Most of all, I love the fair because of my dad. I can’t remember an autumn in my childhood that he didn’t take my sister and me to the fair. We used to have to count backwards from 100 to pass the time in the car. Once we spotted the top of the ferris wheel on the horizon, all bets were off.

My father would drop dollar after dollar until we each won a prize. He’d hold us close on the rides. Let us eat whatever we wanted. Carry all of our loot, including, one year, a cumbersome Michael Jackson poster. And as we morphed into pre-teens, he’d wait patiently while we did it all with our friends, too cool to hang with him.

I’ll always be grateful for those memories. And, this year, I can’t wait to continue the tradition by taking Small Fry to her first State Fair. With my father, of course.

Wouldn’t it be great to do that as the Deep-Fried State Fair Ambassador?

I’d blog from the pre-fair media lunch with the scoop on this year’s festivities, including breaking news on the fair’s newest fried delicacy. At the fair, I’d pound the pavement with my trusty camera and notebook, documenting our experience. The animals, the rides, the exhibits, the food. I can hardly wait to witness Small Fry’s delight.

Interview a carnie?  I’ll do it. Sample every variety of meat on a stick? You bet. Drop 20 bucks to win my kid a plastic trinket? Yep.

All in the name of Ambassadorship. And, of course, in the spirit of my love for the North Carolina State Fair.

Dad would be so proud.

About Cotton Candy

Karlie Justus - blogged for the 2008 / 2009 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: When I'm not blogging for the N.C. State Fair, I go by Karlie Justus--but Cotton Candy suits me just fine. My earliest memories of the Fair are of the times my parents would bring my brother and I up from Asheville, N.C. for a double dose of the Fair and a N.C. State football game. Fast-forward two decades later, and I'm a public information officer for the deep fried celebration whose must-see Fair attractions include the giant pumpkins, decorated cakes and deep fried Oreos.


  1. I love fried foods and I proud of it. Im from the south were it’s done right!

  2. Congratulations Suzanne! I can’t wait to read your interpretation of this year’s fair and am looking forward to the inside scoop you’ll be providing your readers! You’ve got a really great blog and certainly deserved to win this title! Make us deep-fried fans proud!!

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  4. Nothin’ beats going to the fair!

  5. You will not be disappointed by your newly named “Deep Fried Ambassador.” She is by far the best candidate for the job. I think her middle name is “Fried Goodness.”

  6. William Taylor

    Wow Suzanne! Congratulations on becoming the Deep-Fried State Fair Ambassador! Who knew:)? It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person:) While I was reading your blog I could not help finding myself strolling down memory lane with you. The things you mentioned was almost like reading my own story. Prior to arriving to the NC State Fair; as a kid I remember the anticipation being almost too much to handle. Even a couple of months out were exciting! And, just as you are continuing the tradition with Small Fry, I had the pleasure of witnessing the same exciting anticipation with my two boys as I remember having when my father took my brother and me to the State Fair. Thank you for sharing this delightful blog and good luck with your new title as the Deep-Fried State Fair Ambassador!!

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  10. You need to get some of “Rice’s Deep Fried Corn” , it is delicious…right by the indoor flea market, big yellow sign on top of the building….

    DEEP FRIED CORN@!!!!Must get it!

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