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!

The N.C. State Fair guide to groups – five tips to planning the perfect trip for your work, school or church group.

The fair can be a great group activity for office bonding, student groups, church youth group, neighborhood associations or other clubs. Here’s a few tips to help plan a group outing to the N.C. State Fair. Buy your tickets in advance! If you are buying for a group of adults it is usually pretty easy to make it to the 40 adult tickets needed to purchase at the $8 each group rate. The group rate for 40 child tickets is $4 per ticket. More information on group ticketing is available online. Settle on a meeting spot. We recommend the Tobacco…

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Wilmington-native Charlie Daniels returns to Dorton Arena as Devil Went Down to Georgia celebrates 40 years.

If you ask Charlie Daniels, he will tell you that going on stage in his home state is always special. The Wilmington native and graduate of the former Goldston High School in Chatham County has played during the Fair in Dorton Arena five times since 1988. His memories of the fair go back a lot farther. “My earliest memories of the N.C. State Fair was coming with my FFA group,” Daniels said. “I remember when we visited the new building, which at the time was Dorton Arena (built in 1952). We would have a good time walking around and seeing…

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Dazzling lights and spectacular heights: State Fair SkyGazer promises to be a crowd pleaser.

Bigger and better – this year the N.C. State Fair is delivering on that promise. Fairgoers will see the fair’s newest addition, the State Fair SkyGazer, as they approach the fairgrounds – as it stands more than 60 feet taller than Dorton Arena. The SkyGazer is North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel. “North Carolinians who visit the State Fair every year have their traditions, but we never stop trying to “wow” you. We’ve been working to bring this Ferris wheel to Raleigh since it debuted in Florida in 2017,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “ It’s not often we get…

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State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts make it easy to have fun and learn something

The fair makes it easy to turn a class field trip into a learning experience. This year, three different scavenger hunts are available on the website – geared towards elementary, middle and high school students. The scavenger hunts are also encouraged for parents and homeschoolers coming to the fair. They are designed so everybody can learn a little about our state while at the fair. Sample Questions: Elementary: Agriculture is North Carolina’s No. 1 industry. This exhibit highlights some of the products grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina. If you want the best, look for the Got to…

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From Beijing to the N.C. State Fair

The following is a guest blog by Jade Wang, marketing manager for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services China Office. Wang works with the international marketing division to promote North Carolina commodities and products to China. She visited the N.C. State Fair for the first time this year.  After a brief overview, we sent her out with a camera to explore the fair on her own. Read below for her perspective on the fair as a first-time and international visitor.    By Jade Wang:  From Beijing to the State Fair in North Carolina, the crowded scenes are probably hard…

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Mythical creatures spotted

First it started with our new foods – unicorn bacon and unicorn apples. Then, we saw a few unicorns in our horticultural entries. Next, the midway was full of the colorful and mythical creatures. Finally, even our fairgoers were catching on to the trend. This was all the proof we needed – the 2018 N.C. State Fair is a magical place!  

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Gardens are a family tradition for Natasha Teasley

Walking through the Flower and Garden Show at this year’s fair, you’ll see a garden proudly displaying three ribbons. Natasha Teasley of Durham won the blue ribbon in the “Fall Beauty” garden category, the Arthur K. Pitzer award for best blue ribbon garden entry and the Commissioner’s Choice Award, given by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Her garden features fall colors, such as plants with oranges, reds and yellows. It was judged based on creativity, quality of construction, plant materials, color harmony, textural contrast, landscape design, graphics and labeling. Teasley has been helping with gardens in the N.C. State Fair flower…

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Beth Woody celebrates 50 years in the Village of Yesteryear

Since 1969, Beth Woody of Hillsborough has spent her time at the N.C. State Fair as part of the Village of Yesteryear. Mary Cornwell, the first superintendent of the Village of Yesteryear, invited her to participate in the Village and demonstrate how to make Christmas decorations. Since then, Woody has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, such as sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap and kaleidoscopes. Her first love is marquetry, which she was introduced 40 years ago. “I first saw marquetry from Thayer Frances, another crafter in the Village of Yesteryear. We talked about marquetry…

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Woman completes bucket list item with cooking competition win

Mary Boury returned to the N.C. State Fair to mark something off her bucket list – competing in the Special Cooking Contests .  It paid off on opening day with a first-place win for the N.C. Peanut Growers Association recipe contest and a third-place win in House-Autry Mills Cornbread Challenge. Boury is originally from Girard, Pa. She moved here years ago because her daughter lives here and she became a regular at entering cooking competitions at the fair. “Mary moved back to Pennsylvania a few years ago,” said Lisa Prince, special cooking contest superintendent. “We haven’t seen her in the…

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Cool Runnings wins Best New Food at annual State Fair media day

Stephen and Andrea Millington have been serving up jerk chicken, tacos and pork wraps for 18 years at the N.C. State Fair. This year, the couple took top honors for best new food at the annual N.C. State Fair media day, their new jerk pork wrap with mango sauce. Most of the year, Stephen and Andrea Millington work day jobs. Stephen is an  IT technician in Durham and Andrea is an accountant in Raleigh. During the fair, they take their vacation to run Cool Runnings Jamaican food at the N.C. State Fair. Andrea is from Jamaica and many of the…

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