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!

Best in Show decorated cookies inspire feelings of fall

Sometimes an entry stands out right from the beginning. That was the case when Rhonda Parsons’ fall-flavored decorated cookies showed up for the Decorated Cookies competition in the Education Building. The cookies won Best of Show, taking home $25, a blue ribbon and bragging rights for Parsons. “We had several great entries in this category,” said John Buettner, competitions director. “Parsons’ cookies were a standout for their intricate design, attention to detail and use of color and creativity.” This year’s entry marks Parsons’ second win in the Best in Show category. She also won the honor in 2018 with her…

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Into The Fog brings progressive bluegrass to Heritage Circle Stage

Longtime fair attendees will tend to agree, Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair is one of the best kept secrets at the fair.  Fairgoers will find restored log cabins, plenty of sitting areas, a working tobacco barn and the State Fair blacksmiths hard at work. The area proves to be a relaxing respite from the frenetic midway and busy exhibit halls. The Bluegrass Music Stage in Heritage Circle features bluegrass bands and adds to the charm and character, while giving North Carolina artists a time to shine in front of their current fans and make new ones.  One of…

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Be a farmer for a day at the Field of Dreams exhibit

If you are bringing your elementary and preschool age children to the fair then be sure to swing by the Field of Dreams exhibit sponsored by the North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.  Here you will find the State Fair farm, featuring 30-plus commodities that are grown in North Carolina. At the exhibit, young fairgoers can “harvest” crops, sell them at the produce shed and use the money to purchase a bag of items at the Field of Dreams store. Also at the exhibit is a school house where children can participate in an agricultural-themed coloring contest where the winner will receive…

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Prevent Blindness NC is on a mission to help fairgoers identify eye problems early

A five-minute stop in the Education Building during the fair could be the most important thing you do on your annual visit to the fair. For more than 20 years Prevent Blindness North Carolina has set up a booth inside the Education Building offering free vision screenings for adults. Their services may have helped thousands of fairgoers detect vision loss or, even more importantly, disease issues that may lead to vision loss. “At the fair we do two types of screening,” said Edwin Jeffords, president and chief executive officer of Prevent Blindness NC. “The first is an acuity screening, which…

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Be a State Fair Adventurer

Want to earn a little extra credit at the fair? The N.C. State Fair makes learning something fun with three different scavenger hunts geared towards elementary, middle and high school students. The scavenger hunts are sponsored by Wake Tech WakeWorks Apprenticeship and are just one of the tools that teachers, parents and homeschoolers can use to help make a trip to the fair educational. They are designed so everybody can learn a little about agriculture, competitive exhibits and some of the other agencies that have booths at the fair. Sample Questions: Elementary: How many pounds of apples are grown in…

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Deadlines approaching for NC State Fair competitions

Did you spend you time at home in 2020 learning a new hobby or teaching your kids cooking or gardening skills? Now is the time to show off your handiwork at the 2021 N.C. State Fair. The competition listings include canned goods, dried jerky, baked items, quilting, needlepoint, art, 4-H entries, scrap booking, wood working, horticulture, flowers and much more. If you have a skill, there’s probably a corresponding State Fair competition to enter. Many categories offer competitions for first-time entries. All competitions are listed online at http://www.ncstatefair.org/2021/Competitions/Entering/index.html Entry deadlines are Sept. 15, however, items in many competitions are not…

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Every pumpkin has a story

Cindy Perkins teaches exceptional students at Grady Brown Elementary in Hillsborough. Part of their classroom learning is tending to a student garden. The class of seven has grown corn, squash, tomatoes, mums and pumpkins. Since all of Perkins students function at different levels, they have different jobs in the garden. Like watering and pulling weeds, and get excited about seeing the garden grow. “The students enjoy the garden,” Perkins said. “They look forward to completing assignments so they can have garden time.” The class monitored and watched the pumpkins grown and finally chose two to be pulled from the garden….

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Blue-ribbon winner Dianah Stewart is a name to remember

Dianah Stewart has an eye for fashion and skills that quickly wowed the judges in this year’s youth clothing competition. Stewart entered her prom dress – which she designed and sewed for her Senior Prom at South Johnston High School earlier this year. Stewart’s fancy dress won first place, Best in Show and walked away with the Charlotte Wyatt Award for youth garments. The Wyatt Award is named after long-time supervisor of the clothing and quilts division, Charlotte Wyatt. After her death in 2008 the fair implemented the award to honor her memory. The judges commented that Stewart’s dress was…

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Leatherwork artist Yolanda Prince joins Village of Yesteryear

Yolanda Prince has been to the N.C. State Fair twice, once with her school group and then once in 2015. This year, Prince will spend everyday at the fair as one of the craftsman in the Village of Yesteryear. “It is my first year in the Village, however, I learned my craft from the late Mike Lowe, who was a member of the Village of Yesteryear for more than 30 years,” Prince said. “I was interested in learning leatherwork and signed up for a class at the Hiddenite Crafts Center,” she said. “I was the only one that signed up…

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From racecars to guitars – Kyle Petty brings a songwriter’s circle-style to Heritage Circle

As a fan of music and fan of all things North Carolina – I look forward each year to the release of the Homegrown Music series put together by Deep South Productions. This year, a name on our list for Heritage Circle performers stuck out – Kyle Petty. I know the name as a member of one of North Carolina’s pre-eminent racing families – but I didn’t know he played music. Petty competed in more than 800 races in his 31-year career, posting 173 top ten finishes and eight wins. He was named NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year in…

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