Leigh Powell Hines is a midlife blogger in Raleigh, NC, and the founder of HinesSightBlog.com and OutaboutNC on social media. When working in TV news, Leigh covered every county fair on the local news and loved how it brought the local community together and educated our youth in a fun way. Her favorite fair food is a pretzel and local NC beer in the NC Public House.

Two Jersey Cows Help Teach the Importance of Milk in the Southwest-Southland Dairy Mobile Classroom

Whether you are 5 or 95, everyone loves meeting Blanche or Maple, two Jersey cows, in the Mobile Dairy classroom presented by Southwest-Southland Dairy Farmers at the N.C. State Fair.  Blanche, who is two, around 800 pounds, and stares at you with the sweetest brown eyes, was the star attraction for the 10 a.m. presentation near the Graham Building when Judah, 7, and Levi, 6, attended the presentation with their grandparents, Mark and Kim Shelly, of Greensboro.  “Wow, Blanche eats and drinks a lot every day,” stated Judah as he stared at Blanche and reflected on what he had learned….

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Culinary Students from Dunn and Sanford Sizzled the Judges with their Top Sirloin Salad Recipes in the Fair’s Home Chef Challenge

The N.C. State Fair Home Chef Challenge in Dorton Arena has showcased some of this year’s fairgoers’ best recipes in daily food competitions. On Wednesday, sirloin steak was the star ingredient. Contestants had to put their best Top Sirloin Salad recipe to the taste test in this sizzling challenge sponsored by the N.C. State Fair. Recipes in the top three get bragging rights and prize money of up to $1,000. Cary resident Amy Libbus is this year’s Contest Manager. She makes it all happen behind the scenes, “For Wednesday’s competition, I got a little nervous at first because several entries had…

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N.C. Nature is the Star of Artist Jay Pfeil’s Etching and Engraving Limited Edition Prints Featured at the Fair

Art has always been a significant part of Jay Pfeil’s life. She grew up with her mother as an artist who encouraged Pfeil to experiment and work with different mediums early in life. From drawing to painting to sculpting, the 72-year-old Black Mountain artist does it all. Over the last fifty years, you can find Pfeil’s art in private galleries in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.  Once a street artist on the bustling streets of San Francisco and Berkley, Pfeil has preferred the last few decades enjoying the solitude of the mountains of Western North Carolina, specializing in etching and…

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Colorful Functional Viking Art will be New Highlight in the Village of Yesteryear

Hollywood’s portrayal of fierce Viking warriors in movies and T.V. shows during the middle ages has increased the world’s fascination with these Scandinavian Norsemen in the last decade.  Vikings, with their ornate carved shields, terrorized and colonized England for more than three centuries before their demise in 1066. When you think of a Viking, you picture ruthlessness and fearlessness.  “I certainly believe Hollywood can take credit for the Viking era becoming popular in pop culture in 2022,” stated Lenior, N.C. artist Jeremy Buchholz, who created the family’s Klan Rúnda business, along with his wife, Bekah, in 2019. “We feel blessed…

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Primitive Naturalist Jeffrey Gottlieb to Showcase the Making of Cherokee Moccasins at Fair

Opening day of the N.C. State Fair is days away, and artisans participating in this year’s Village of Yesteryear exhibit are preparing to educate fair-goers in the State’s largest hands-on classroom.   Primitive Naturalist, Jeffrey Gottlieb, will be making the trip to Raleigh from Whittier, N.C., to teach the public how to make Southeastern style moccasins, the traditional footwear worn by the Cherokee, Seminole, Creek, and other Southeastern tribes. “Throughout the eleven days of the fair, I will be taking measurements of the foot, cutting out foot patterns in buckskin, and stitching the footwear with gathering pleats just like Native Americans…

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Loaded Nachos Challenge, Wolfpack Basketball, and Thrills Slated for Opening Day of the Fair

Loaded Nachos will be first Home Chef Challenge competition at Fair

It’s game time at the N.C. State Fair for the first time in history as The Wolfpack basketball teams host its annual Primetime with the Pack preseason event on Thursday, Oct. 13, at PNC Arena South Plaza across from Carter-Finley Stadium in conjunction with the opening day of the Fair.   “It’s going to be a big day, and we want everyone to get in fair and game-day mode,” stated Brooke Johnston, Associate Director for Fan Experience and Marketing for men’s basketball. N.C. State Wolfpack Basketball sponsor of the Loaded Nachos Challenge in the 2002 Home Chef Challenge at the Fair…

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Coin-Cutter Ken Sims will Turn Foreign and U.S. Currency into Unique Jewelry Pieces at N.C. State Fair

Coin-Cut Jewelry

Artist Ken Sims began collecting coins at an early age. His hobby developed out of his love for traveling. He would return from a trip with currency in his pocket and want to keep the coins, whether shiny or dull, to remember his travels, especially foreign currency.  “I was in awe of some of the designs, “ revealed Sims, who will be a new vendor in the Village of Yesteryear at the 2022 N.C. State Fair. “I did nothing with them for a long time. I just put them in a bin, but it wasn’t until I lived in Argentina…

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Raleigh Area Enameled Jewelry Artist Hopes to Inspire Fair Visitors to Craft at any Age

Black and White necklace

You may never know when you will accidentally stumble upon your artwork when you are an artist. Linda Payne, a Fuquay-Varina resident who is very modest about her beautiful jewelry designs, will never forget that one time she stepped into a local Chinese take-out restaurant in the Raleigh area.  “I paid for my food, turned around, and noticed the woman behind me was wearing my black and white enameled earrings. I recognized my work immediately,” recalled Payne.  “She noticed that I looked at her, so I spoke and told her I designed and made the earrings she was wearing. I…

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A Longtime N.C. State Fair Fan is Ready to Taste the State’s Best Chili in the 2022 Home Chef Challenge

Bowl of chili

For 11 days each October, the N.C. State Fairgrounds turns into a delicious culinary playground. This season, the North Lobby of the Dorton Arena will have the sensational aromas of home chefs cooking their best recipes in hopes of winning $500 and bragging rights in the 2022 Home Chef Challenge.  Raeford resident Dewayne Smith has attended the N.C. State Fair for 35 years. This season he is ready to chow down on homemade chili as one of the panel judges for The Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-Off presented by Carolina Cooker.  When Smith read about the contest in the…

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How a Notorious Doodler Turned Her Doodling Into Functional Wood Burning Art

Martin Birdhouse with Sunflower Design by Jeanette Egan

One of the most popular exhibits at the N.C. State Fair is the Village of Yesteryear. More than 75 crafters dressed in period clothing will spend eleven-hour exciting days educating fair visitors in this “working-artist” interactive exhibit that features traditional heritage handcrafts. Jeanette Egan, who specializes in pyrography and woodburning, will make her Village of Yesteryear debut this October. “I’m in awe to be part of the Village of Yesteryear this year. This is a fabulous opportunity to be able to educate others on the art of wood burning,” said Puerto-Rican artist Jeanette Egan, a descendant of the Taino Boriken…

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