On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

San Giuseppe Salami Co. makes its debut at the Got to Be NC Festival

This will be the first year that Got to Be NC member San Giuseppe Salami Co. will bring its old-world recipe Italian products to the Got to Be NC Festival to sample and sell to customers. The company is looking forward to connecting with the community and increasing the awareness of its products said Audrey Zelaya, sales and marketing manager. San Giuseppe got its start in a rather unlikely way, fueled by a touch of homesickness and a desire for a local source of quality Italian meats and pastas. Owners Giacomo and Laura Santomauro decided if they couldn’t find authentic…

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Something that makes the whole family happy

Many fans of the Got to Be NC Festival like to refer to it as a mini State Fair, but if you think of it that way you might miss some of the activities and events that make the festival a unique annual springtime tradition. Mary Fletcher of Angier and her husband Brad attend the festival annually with her three girls, Lilly, SJ, and Edie. The family enjoys the variety of activities offered by the festival. “The Got to Be NC Festival is one of our favorite festivals to attend each year as a family,’ said Fletcher. “As a family…

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Fun and Fruity: Drink A Bull makes Got to Be NC Festival debut with a wine product meant to put the fun back into winemaking

With bold graphics and fruity flavors, Drink A Bull is not your typical wine product. In fact, this Durham-based winery produces wine products that are not even grape-based. Andrew and Allison Zimmerman opened Drink A Bull in 2021. The winery offers four base flavors of wine – apple, peach, raspberry and blackberry. Their Durham facility may be a new venture, but the wines offered by the Zimmermans have roots that go a lot deeper. The wine traces it’s heritage back to the Waldensian immigrants that settled in Valdese in the 1890s. Just like the Waldensians saw wine making as a…

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Superintendent of the Year Sandra Dunbar gets what the fair is all about

One of the cherished parts of the N.C. State is the thousands of competitions and the hundreds of ribbon-winners scattered amongst the grounds and exhibit halls. Each of these areas is run by their own fair superintendent that oversees the categories, judging and display of entries and ribbon winners. Each year the fair awards a superintendent that has gone above and beyond as its Superintendent of the Year. This year, Sandra Dunbar of Wake Forest , superintendent of Handicrafts and Hobbies, was awarded this honor. Commissioner Steve Troxler and Agri Supply President Barry Partlo, who sponsors this award, presented her…

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Blue ribbon dress inspired by 1982 movie Flight of the Dragon

Nina McManus of Durham makes costumes because it makes her happy. This year her hobby resulted in a first-place win in the garment sewn by adult competition at the N.C. State Fair. This is McManus’ third year entering the fair. “The first year I didn’t win,” she said. ‘last year I won a blue ribbon in the knitting competition. I was super confident that I would win something with this costume until I actually brought it to the fair, then all the confidence I was feeling turned into doubt.” McManus actually did a happy dance in the Education Building, to…

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Douglas Farm debuts candied grapes

For more than two decades Douglas Farms has been known for their fresh and delicious corn at the N.C. State Fair. This year they are breaking new ground by introducing fairgoers to candied grapes. “It is like a candy apple,” said Grover Douglas, owner of Douglas Farms, “but it’s just grapes and it’s better. You’ve got to try it. The grapes will be served in a cup with 12-15 grapes per cup, making it perfect to carry around the fairgrounds and enjoy.” Grover Douglas is a full-time farmer in Sanford. “I come from a long line of farmers,” said Douglas….

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A Passion for Pine Needles: New Village of Yesteryear artisan shares her love of longleaf pine needle baskets

One of Heather Seaman’s core memories are trips with her family at eight-years-old to Edisto Island, South Carolina. It was on these trips she would see a lady on the side of the road making sweet grass baskets. “I think this influenced me as a child,” she said. “I was fascinated by the process even then.” Seaman was no stranger to the crafting world; her mother was a science teacher but also created macramé and flower arrangements. “I was exposed to the culture of the crafting world at a young age. I remember weekends at craft shows with my mom…

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Meet the N.C. State Fair’s first safety officer Michael Amberg

Maintaining a facility like the N.C. State Fairgrounds is quite the task. With over 300 acres, historic buildings and crowds most weekends attending events or the flea market and the annual N.C. State Fair in October, the fairgrounds is a busy place. A new position at the N.C. State Fair looks to see that jobs being done to maintain the fairgrounds and get ready for these events are done safely. Michael Amberg started work earlier this year as the N.C. State Fair’s first safety officer. His job is to ensure other workers on the fairgrounds are doing their jobs safely….

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David Ferrell and his John Deere green tractor takes Agri Supply Best of Show at the Got to Be NC Festival

Red, green, muscle, antique and more are just some of the tractors that take up a large footprint of the Got to Be NC Festival – drawing attention and admiration of festival goers that specifically come to the event to see the large display, and those that are drawn in during their visit. Each day the tractors and their owners lineup for the tractor parade – a signature event of the festival. This year, festival organizers named one tractor best of show and that honor was given to David Ferrell of Apex and his 1975 6030 John Deere tractor. Agri…

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Millbrook’s Magical take on Hogwarts wins Best School Garden

Millbrook High School FFA used their wild card entry into the N.C. State Fair garden show to teach muggles about the magical world of Harry Potter. Their garden won first in their division and was chosen as best school garden and won an additional $100 prize. “Millbrook won because of the quality of their plants, their creativity and the connectivity of the garden,” said Dan Danforth, superintendent of the N.C. State Fair Flower Show. “Their garden had the highest combined score of any school garden. The students really hit on something that spoke to the interest of young people when…

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