Casey’s tips for planning a trip to the Fair

Casey bursting through Oval 1

Fair mascot Casey the Cardinal is back. And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. The N.C. State Fair celebrates the biggest and the best of North Carolina – which means there’s a lot to see and do.  Here are some tips for planning a fair trip for first-timers or frequent-fliers.

The fair may still be a few weeks away, but now is the time to save money and find those good walking shoes. Cause we’ve packed a lot into 11 days and you aren’t going to want to miss it.

Step 1: Buy early and save money and time:

Want to save $24 off fair admission and ride books? Buy in advance at Food Lion or online. Here’s the math that adds up the savings: Advance ticket sale price for 2 adult admissions, 2 child admissions and 2 ride books = $42. At the fair, the same items would cost $66. Buying in advance saved $24.

Buying in advance also means you walk right into the fair, no standing at the ticket booths waiting to purchase tickets.

If you plan on coming out to the fair four or more times during our 11-day run, check out the mega and mini-passes for the best deal. Other packages include a Daredevil package for riders and a Family 4-Pack deal. These packages are only available online.

Step 2: Get tickets for the brand-new State Fair Flyer

The State Fair Flyer is the first permanent ride on the fairgrounds. It will take it’s riders on a seven-minute ride directly above the midway. Passengers can load and unload at Orville (Scott Building area) and Wilbur (Gate 8 area) terminus stations. Save $1 by getting your fair flyer tickets in advance. 

Round-trip ticket passengers can disembark at a station and then catch the return trip later in the day.

Check out this Q&A for more information on the State Fair Flyer. Strollers and wheelchairs are not allowed on the ride. Be prepared to leave these on the ground before you go airborne.

Step 3: Check out the Daily Programcasey1

Spend a little time planning your visit before you go. The fair is has dozens of free acts  and more than 100 bands playing during its 11-day run.

If you got a few young chicks in your group, check out the entertainment in Kiddieland Fun Park and be on the look out for roving acts. Also, young chicks and the old birds won’t want to miss the popular Circle C Racing Pigs at the Hogway Speedway or one of the new acts, including, Strong Man John Beatty, Pirates of Colombian Caribbean, the Red Trouser Show or Wolves of the World. However, we couldn’t fit it all into the printed schedule, so check out our website to get a comprehensive look at what’s happening each day.

Download the State Fair App for Iphone and Androids to carry a schedule and map around on your phone.

Finally, check out the times to come meet me at Casey’s Clubhouse in Kiddieland Fun Park and be sure to make time for Casey’s Big Slide held each day.

Step 4: Choose a Park and Ride location

Want front-door fair service? Take the park-n-ride and be dropped off and picked up right at Gate 1. Scope out the closest park and ride lot before your trip. If you live in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Garner, Chapel Hill or RTP, there’s a park and ride lot near you. In Raleigh, fairgoers can park and take the bus at Triangle Towne Center. In Cary, the park and ride lot will be Cary Towne Center.

Step 5: Follow us!

Get insider tips, behind the scenes photos and other awesome information at our social media sites. You can follow the Fair on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I have my own Snapchat account at CaseyCardinal1.

Lastly, invite your friends and polish up your best walking shoes, because you have a lot of cool stuff to see.

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!

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