Casey’s guide to being a N.C. State Fair Super Fan

Casey bursting through Oval 1

There’s a new bird in town – fair mascot Casey the Cardinal.  And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. This week Casey’s giving his top five tips to being an N.C. State Fair Super fan.

Casey knows the N.C. State Fair has a lot of fans out there and he can’t wait to meet them all. To help discover if you are a fan of the N.C. State Fair consider the following:

  • You might be a fan of the fair if the word “October” automatically brings to mind those 11-days when the fairgrounds are transformed into a cacophony of sights, sounds and deep fried smells.
  • You might be a fan of the fair if the first cool night of the season makes you think “This is fair weather!”
  • And, you might be a fan if the fair is included in your list of special occasions where indulging in your favorite foods is perfectly fine.

So, with just over two weeks to go with the start of the fair, here’s Casey’s tips to get you ready for fair fun.

1. Buy your tickets early.

Super Fans know the easiest way to save money is to buy in advance. Buying online saves $2 off admission and more than 40 percent off ride tickets. New this year are three additional ticket packages specially designed for Super Fans. The Family 4-pack includes 4 admission tickets and 2 ride sheets for $44. That’s a $32 savings off gate prices. The Mega and Mini passes are for fairgoers who want to go to the fair all 11 days (mega) or 4 days (mini) – these passes offer the best savings for multi-day visits to the fair. Super Fans also know that buying early means no standing in line once you get to the fairgrounds.

2. Download the free App from GooglePlay or iTunes.

This app has it all: daily schedule, fair maps, hours of operation, food and ride finders, and more. It’s everything you need to plan and maximize your day at the fair.

3. Take the bus.

Super Fans know the best way to get to the fair is to park and ride. After all, you get dropped off at the front gate of the fairgrounds. Go Raleigh (formally CAT bus) offers daily service to the fairgrounds from Cary Towne Center Shopping Mall parking lot (near Sears and Cary Aquatic), 1920 Capital Boulevard next to Bobby Murray Chevrolet in Raleigh and from multiple points along Hillsborough Street. Bus service is also offered from Go Durham, Go Triangle and Garner Park and Ride. Find bus schedules and locations on our website.

4. Follow the Fair on social media.

New foods, rides and behind-the-scenes info is posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Super fans post their fair pics, too, and tag us @ncstatefair or #ncstatefair. And real Super Fans follow me, @CaseyCardinal1, on Snapchat for more .

5. Come early in the week

Historically, attendance is a little lighter opening day of the fair, and the first weekend is less crowded than the second weekend (check out our attendance chart online). Also, if you love the rides, there are two wristband pay-one-price-and-ride-all-day deals:

  • Thursday, Oct. 15 is Preview Day. Gates open at 3 p.m. and wristbands will be on sale for $28.
  • Friday, Oct. 16 is Friday Frenzy. Wrist bands will be available starting at 10 a.m. for $34. Students also get in for $5 on this day with a student ID or report card.

Casey encourages all our fan out there to get off work a little early, get the kids from school and head on out to the Fairgrounds. Cause Nothing Could be Finer than to be in Carolina at the State Fair!

Are you a N.C. State Fair Super Fan? Tell us your best fair tip.

About Funhouse

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!


  1. Just curious why there’s no shuttle from North Raleigh. I always took the shuttle from Cary Towne, but I’ve moved to North Raleigh this year. 🙁

    • Hope, Go Raleigh (formerly Capital Area Transit) has been looking for an appropriate North Raleigh location, but have been unsuccessful. If you’ve got suggestions, let them know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *