Jumbo Peanut, more commonly known as Michael Manganello, is an information and communications specialist in the Public Affairs Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Michael and his family are recent additions to North Carolina. He’s enjoying learning all about North Carolina’s wonderful people and culture and eagerly anticipates the 2023 N.C. State Fair, his first. Michael’s background is in professional sports and he loves the smell of freshly-cut grass.

The Birdman brings exotic birds to the N.C. State Fair

Have you ever felt the breeze of a black vulture flying just a few feet over your head? Or heard an Australian laughing kookaburra laugh? At the Birdman: World Class Bird Show at the N.C. State Fair, you can! The Birdman, Joe Krathwohl, has a diverse pack of performing birds with him at his first-ever appearance at the State Fair. The Birdman performs three shows a day at a set located between gates six and seven. Based in Las Vegas, he’s provided live bird entertainment for 41 years. With him in Raleigh this week, the Birdman has six performing birds,…

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Adé Carrena uses food to bring people together and bridge the gap between North Carolina and West Africa

On a map, North Carolina and the small, West African country of Benin appear very far apart.   The capital cities of Raleigh and Porto Novo are separated by about 8,800 miles as the crow flies.  Chef Adé Carrena is on a mission to help you realize that maybe the cultures aren’t so different, culinarily.   Carrena, the superstar behind Raleigh-based spice company iLéwa Foods and Dounou Foods, was recently crowned the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s Chef of the Year, for helping to bridge the gap between southern cuisine and West African cuisine.  She blends the recipes she grew up…

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