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!

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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Family-owned Zell’s Italian Sausage sticks with tradition

Last year, Zell Lucas Sr. brought something new and shiny to the fair. It was a brand-new concessions stand to serve the fairgoers that have counted on him and his family serving Italian sausage, Polish sausage and hot dogs for more than 40 years. The new stand was one of the reasons fair management voted Zell’s as Best in Show for the 2021 N.C. State Fair. “They invested their money back into their concession business and purchased a nice looking stand,” said Letrice Midgett, commercial space administrator for the N.C. State Fair. The stand was quite an upgrade to the…

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Be sure to add the N.C. Forest Service exhibit to your list of things to do while visiting the N.C. State Fair

The N.C. State Fair is just days away from opening and is sure to be a treat for all ages. Whether you’re here for the thrilling rides, educational exhibits or to indulge yourself with a wide variety of delectable food options, this year’s fair will feature many of its traditional favorites while also showcasing several new attractions. The N.C. Forest Service has had an annual footprint at the N.C. State Fair since 1983 and will continue to interact and entertain fairgoers in 2022. With the debut of the newly installed Gate 7 entryway, fairgoers will not only have an additional…

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New generation of apple farmers take over Heritage Circle cider booth

Trey Enloe grew up selling apples on the front porch of his mom’s shop in Bat Cave. Now, the fifth-generation apple farmer is selling his apple products to a slightly larger crowd each October during the 11-day run of the N.C. State Fair. Last year, Trey and his wife, Melissa, took over the operation of the apple cider booth in Heritage Circle from long-time operators Susan and Jourard Lingg. The Linggs had posted a message the year before on an apple association message board sharing that they were interested in retiring from operating a booth at the Fair. “When I…

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Heart-led Home Chef Challenge Celebrates Cancer Warriors – Entries due Oct. 3

“As human beings, food connects us to each other more than anything else,” said Dr. Neeraj Agrawal, Duke Health Cancer Care oncologist. Each day the N.C. State Fair hosts cooking competitions to showcase the talents of home chefs in the area. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the judging will be a little more heart-led than usual. In partnership with Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Cancer Care program, the recipes will focus on cancer warriors in remembrance or celebration of someone who has experienced cancer. Each entry must include a story of why this dish represents someone who has fought cancer. The story will…

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State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts helps make the fair an educational experience

Calling all elementary, middle and high school students – the fair makes it easy to turn your field trip to the fair into an educational one. The State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts allow students and their teachers or parents to learn a little about the state while at the fair. Once completed, students can turn in their answers and receive a State Fair Adventurer Ribbon. “Each year we try to include new booths and questions on the annual hunt,” said Kent Yelverton, fair manager. “Locations like the Flower Show, N.C. Forest Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commision are always excited…

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New fair competitions highlight creativity and art

If you are headed to the beach for one last weekend of summer this Labor Day you might want to pick up a shell or two. One of this year’s new competitions is seashell art. It joins the line up with traditional fair competitions like artwork, photography, livestock, cooking, canned food, flowers, woodworking, decorated cakes and more. “It is exciting to announce new competitions to go along with categories that are alwaysso popular, like decorated cakes and quilts,” said John Buettner, competitive exhibitscoordinator. “We have competitions to appeal to a wide variety of individuals from painted rocks, terrarium building, shoe…

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A beginner’s guide to the Carolina Pig Jig according to three of its biggest fans

Pig Jig

The Got to Be NC Festival returns to the State Fairgrounds this weekend. An eagerly anticipated part of the festival is the Saturday-only Carolina Pig Jig. Around 20 chapters of Masons will compete for bragging rights in this one-day competition and fundraiser. The real winners are the attendees, who for $20 gain entry and all-you-can-eat barbecue. In an effort to help out those that might be attending their first Pig Jig, we talked to a few “experts” to get their best advice for how to maximize your barbecue experience. See tips below: Paul Jones, manager of organization engagement at Butterball,…

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First-generation farmer wins Commissioner’s Award in 2021 Heritage Tobacco Competition

From a tobacco-tying competition, barn curing, a heritage tobacco harvest competition and a mock tobacco auction, the legacy of tobacco and its contributions to the state of North Carolina and the agricultural industry is on full display at Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair. The Heritage Tobacco Harvest Competition was started in 2015 to recognize individuals growing tobacco. Entries and winners are on view in the Tobacco Pavilion in Heritage Circle. Growers from North Carolina submit silver-dollar-sized hand ties of flue-cured tobacco to compete in different stalk position classes. Brent Leggett, a first-generation farmer from Nashville, was awarded the…

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Worth the Wait!! – Dairy Show

The following blog is a guest post provided by Rachel Gray, a Senior in Agribusiness at the University of Mount Olive. The article is part of a series of blogs provided by UMO students. The North Carolina State Fair is an annual event people anxiously look forward to attending. During the 10 days the fair is hosted, nearly one million people will visit the fairgrounds. Livestock and poultry competitions go on throughout the fair. Families from across North Carolina and surrounding states work year-round to prepare their livestock for competitions. My younger sister and I have shown dairy cattle since…

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