Douglas Farm debuts candied grapes

For more than two decades Douglas Farms has been known for their fresh and delicious corn at the N.C. State Fair. This year they are breaking new ground by introducing fairgoers to candied grapes. “It is like a candy apple,” said Grover Douglas, owner of Douglas Farms, “but it’s just grapes and it’s better. You’ve got to try it. The grapes will be served in a cup with 12-15 grapes per cup, making it perfect to carry around the fairgrounds and enjoy.” Grover Douglas is a full-time farmer in Sanford. “I come from a long line of farmers,” said Douglas….

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Willow Oaks Farm shares their love for agriculture with others

The Farm Family of the Day is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and seeks to recognize and celebrate the state’s rich agricultural heritage and the many farm families that are behind the state’s agriculture and agribusiness industry. One family is recognized each day of the Fair, either nominated themselves or by members of their community. Congratulations to the 2023 Farm Families! Say hello to the first Farm Family of the Day of 2023, Willow Oaks Farm! Located in Fuquay-Varina, the family is a third-generation farm on both sides. Jeff Johnson bought the farm they are currently located at in the 1970s and…

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Blending Heritage and Culture at Broadslab Distillery

Nestled in the heart of Benson, sits a distillery steeped in agricultural heritage and North Carolina history. Growing up on a farm, Jeremy Norris, owner and master distiller at Broadslab, learned a lot about farming and distilling at the hands of his grandfather. “Back before this place became a distillery, my grandparents grew a variety of produce on the farm,” he said. “I learned a lot at the hands of my grandfather that has helped me throughout my farming career, including how to grow and harvest crops and how to make moonshine.” As many North Carolinians know, our state has…

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Your detailed guide to getting to the 2023 N.C. State Fair

Having a gameplan in mind can be an important part of visiting the N.C. State Fair, and planning ahead may be especially helpful when it comes to getting to and from the fairgrounds. It’s no secret the weekends are busier days to attend the fair, and traffic can be heavier as a result. A little strategy can help avoid surprises and cutdown on frustrations.Be aware there are concert events at PNC Arena on Oct. 13, 14 and 18 and road construction affecting the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road. There’s still hope for a smooth arrival and departure…

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Finding all things local inside the Got to Be NC Pavilion at the N.C. State Fair

The Got to Be NC Pavilion is taking on its third year inside Dorton Arena at the 2023 N.C. State Fair with lots of new and exciting vendors, merchandise, entertainment and more! Check out all the exciting details below and be sure to stop by this year to find a variety of local products that you enjoy. The Pavilion will be open each day from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. with the exception of opening day, Thursday, Oct. 12th, when it will open at 12 p.m. New Vendors & Products The Pavilion will host six new vendors along with many…

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10 Tips for First Time Fairgoers

Many of us know all about the N.C. State Fair. It is North Carolina’s oldest tradition and is loved by families and friends around our state. However, we have many new people come to our state every year who might not know as much as yearly fairgoers do. To ensure that first time fairgoers have the Best Day Ever, here are 10 tips for your first trip to the North Carolina State Fair. The Fair has so many options, and for some it can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are some State Fair go-to’s that are a good way to grasp…

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A Passion for Pine Needles: New Village of Yesteryear artisan shares her love of longleaf pine needle baskets

One of Heather Seaman’s core memories are trips with her family at eight-years-old to Edisto Island, South Carolina. It was on these trips she would see a lady on the side of the road making sweet grass baskets. “I think this influenced me as a child,” she said. “I was fascinated by the process even then.” Seaman was no stranger to the crafting world; her mother was a science teacher but also created macramé and flower arrangements. “I was exposed to the culture of the crafting world at a young age. I remember weekends at craft shows with my mom…

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The Tobacco Barn at the N.C. State Fair educates visitors on the history and heritage of a crop that built North Carolina

North Carolina’s agricultural history is rich. With new farming technology, and many new people in the state from other areas, there are opportunities to share that history. The tobacco barn at the North Carolina State Fair aims to educate people on the history of the tobacco, through examples tobacco stringing and the curing process. “We use the same recipe that all farmers used 150 years ago, so we start out slow at the same temperature as it is outside and ease up about 5 degrees every day and we don’t go over 100 until we get all the green out,”…

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Retired NCDA&CS duo brings Field of Dreams to life every year at the State Fair

Gardens showcases N.C. crops from the field to the table Rex and Ruth Sasser are pictured with the “corn field” that is part of the Field of Dreams exhibit presented by the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives. Rex Sasser oversees the planting and management of the crops in the exhibit. His wife Ruth and their daughters travel to Raleigh twice a week from Goldsboro to check on the crops’ progress. It takes a lot of work to put on an event as big as the N.C. State Fair every year. Planning “for next year” is often well underway before the fair…

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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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