Artist Spotlight: Dailey & Vincent

I must admit, I’ve never been much of a bluegrass fan, but it’s safe to say that after listening to Dailey & Vincent, I’ve been converted. The band is clearly after more than popular, mainstream recognition; it seeks true artistry and authenticity in its music. Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent founded the group in 2007 and have been entertaining with a unique blend of harmonic vocals and instrumentals ever since. The pair is joined by four other band members to create an authentically bluegrass experience. This band is undoubtedly talented; each member is a gifted musician with a slew of…

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Artist Spotlight: Scotty McCreery

Country superstar and Garner native Scotty McCreery is no stranger to the N.C. State Fair. He played two sold-out concerts during the 2012 fair, and we are lucky to have him performing again this year on Oct. 21 and 22. McCreery’s nationwide popularity started when he burst onto the country music scene after winning “American Idol” in 2011. Perhaps it was his dazzling smile and country-tinged vocals that America fell in love with while watching the show, but I know I was won over by his Southern charm. While on the show, McCreery performed songs by country legends Garth Brooks…

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Ring-a-ding-ding there’s a new blogger!

  [youtube GTxViQnuMQg CowBelle] Hi there, my name is Rossie and I have taken on a new role this year as CowBelle on the Deep Fried Blog for the North Carolina State Fair! CowBelle has special meaning to me because I have shown livestock at the fair for the past eighteen years, and this will be the 22nd year I have attended the fair.  My first memory of the fair was walking my lamb Buster into the barn on his brand new, bright red halter. That bright red halter perfectly matched my cowgirl boots! Since that first year exhibiting Buster…

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Artist Spotlight: Francesca Battistelli and Building 429

Francesca Battistelli and Building 429 will help to kick off the opening weekend of the fair with their pop-rock Christian tunes. The acts will perform Friday, Oct. 18. Dove Award winner and Grammy nominee Battistelli seemed destined to be a perfomer. In 2004, at the age of 18, she released an independent album, “Just a Breath.” More success followed, and she signed to Fervent Records to release the chart-topping album, “My Paper Heart.” She recieved her first Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Gospel Performance with a single from the album titled “Free to Be Me.” Batistelli’s third album, “Hundred…

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Artist Spotlight: Sister Hazel

Sister Hazel will kick off the 2013 State Fair concert series on Thursday, Oct. 17. The alternative rock band has been making music since 1993, and is best known for the song “All For You,” which topped the charts in 1997. The band’s music has gotten better with age and grown stronger over time. Their dedication to creating good music with honest lyrics has required a close bond between members, and Sister Hazel is proud of their band family. The tightness of this crew has evolved throughout their career, and they have never stopped short in their Southern pop-rock tunes….

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Blue ribbon by proxy: youth competitions at the fair

Every year, I look at the ribbon winners at the fair with a mix of admiration and envy. With thousands of categories, including flower arranging, painting, vegetable growing, sewing, canning and cake decorating, you would think I could be a prize winner in one. But, sadly, I don’t bake, can or sew. I attempted to grow a watermelon once and ended up with just a long vine, not even close to what I needed to win as the fair’s largest. As much as I love the State Fair, blue ribbons don’t seem like a reasonable goal for me. My children…

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The August Early Bird gets the deal

State Fair tickets go on sale tomorrow and for those of you who buy early, you’ll have the best chance for good seats to a concert and get the added bonus of scoring free tickets to the fair. The August Early Bird Special runs only for the month of August and it allows ticket buyers to earn up to three free adult admission tickets based on the total purchase amount in a single order before convenience fees. Planning to spend between $60 and $120? You earn one free ticket. Purchases between $120.01 and $220 earn two free tickets, and purchases…

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Tips from the expert

“If you can grow it, you can show it at the N.C. State Fair.” This motto sums up the State Fair’s horticulture competition, although there are some very specific rules you must follow. April Blazich, N.C. State Fair horticulture superintendent, offers her expertise on how to start growing good vegetables now in hopes of bringing home a prize in October. Categories For first-time exhibitors, it’s important to consider which category to enter. The hot peppers category is a longtime popular choice for exhibitors because peppers are easy to grow in North Carolina. To compensate for the influx of entries, the…

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Ready, Set, Buy! Advance ticket sales open Thursday

Advance tickets for the 2013 N.C. State Fair go on sale Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. Buying early is the best way to save if you want to stretch your dollar as far as you can on admission and ride tickets. And, if you’re looking for a front-row seat to one of the Dorton Arena concerts, you’re definitely going to want to be in front of a computer when tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. We want your ticket-buying experience to be as smooth as possible, so here are some tips to have a stress-free experience: BE PATIENT! Things…

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Everything’s coming up roses

In Harold White’s garden, everything is coming up roses. White has perfected the art of rose gardening, and he has a slew of blue ribbons to prove it. The Durham gardener, 84, began growing roses as a child and has entered his prize-winning flowers for the past 15 years at the N.C. State Fair. Despite his lifelong experience, winning at the fair hasn’t always been easy. “The first time I exhibited, I won precisely nothing. I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. Bringing home a ribbon takes more than just luck, especially with roses. The rose can…

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