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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Meet the N.C. State Fair’s first safety officer Michael Amberg

Maintaining a facility like the N.C. State Fairgrounds is quite the task. With over 300 acres, historic buildings and crowds most weekends attending events or the flea market and the annual N.C. State Fair in October, the fairgrounds is a busy place. A new position at the N.C. State Fair looks to see that jobs being done to maintain the fairgrounds and get ready for these events are done safely. Michael Amberg started work earlier this year as the N.C. State Fair’s first safety officer. His job is to ensure other workers on the fairgrounds are doing their jobs safely….

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Primitive Naturalist Jeffrey Gottlieb to Showcase the Making of Cherokee Moccasins at Fair

Opening day of the N.C. State Fair is days away, and artisans participating in this year’s Village of Yesteryear exhibit are preparing to educate fair-goers in the State’s largest hands-on classroom.   Primitive Naturalist, Jeffrey Gottlieb, will be making the trip to Raleigh from Whittier, N.C., to teach the public how to make Southeastern style moccasins, the traditional footwear worn by the Cherokee, Seminole, Creek, and other Southeastern tribes. “Throughout the eleven days of the fair, I will be taking measurements of the foot, cutting out foot patterns in buckskin, and stitching the footwear with gathering pleats just like Native Americans…

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Coin-Cutter Ken Sims will Turn Foreign and U.S. Currency into Unique Jewelry Pieces at N.C. State Fair

Coin-Cut Jewelry

Artist Ken Sims began collecting coins at an early age. His hobby developed out of his love for traveling. He would return from a trip with currency in his pocket and want to keep the coins, whether shiny or dull, to remember his travels, especially foreign currency.  “I was in awe of some of the designs, “ revealed Sims, who will be a new vendor in the Village of Yesteryear at the 2022 N.C. State Fair. “I did nothing with them for a long time. I just put them in a bin, but it wasn’t until I lived in Argentina…

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Paul Bunyan’s Lumberjack Show still delivers after decades of fair appearances

Lee LeCaptain loves bringing the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show to the N.C. State Fair. It’s something he first did in the early 90’s. At that time, the show was based in Heritage Circle, and it made use of the pond there. “To me [this fair] is one of the best in the nation. I enjoy it probably better than any other state fair in the country,” LeCaptain said after a recent show during the 2021 fair. “I come here, it’s like home. It’s just very comfortable. It’s almost like here is a vacation, but I’m still working hard. I work…

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Advice from the Deep Fried rookies

The N.C. State Fair is full of surprises and hidden gems. When you work at the fair for the first time, like I did in 2019, those things add up quickly. If you’ve visited before, it’s easy to think you know pretty much everything there is to know. If you’ve visited a lot, you learn even more and find even more surprises and gems over the years. I can say I learned a lot by working at the fair and being inside the gates for all eleven days in 2019 (plus a week before opening day too). I wasn’t alone…

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Tucked into a forest, new fairgrounds building highlights natural resources & conservation

There’s a new building on the fairgrounds for 2021, and a unique element of its design could have you staring at the walls. The new building will generally be called the Natural Resources Center. It’s tucked away in the wooded area in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds, which is called the N.C. State Fair Conservation forest. In 2021, the forest is sponsored by Enviva. The area is behind the flower and garden show and Heritage Circle. That’s the area where you can find the sawmill demonstration and the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show. It’s also where you find Smokey Bear,…

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Flea market and other activities return as cautious fairgrounds reopening continues

Shoppers rejoice! The flea market at the N.C. State Fairgrounds has reopened, and it’s welcoming the public once again – the socially distanced, clean-handed, nose-and-mouth-covered public, of course. Officially called The Raleigh Market these days, it actually re-opened a few weekends ago for the first time since closing because of COVID-19. It will be open Labor Day weekend as usual, just not on Labor Day since that’s a Monday. The market didn’t reopen as soon as retail locations were allowed to welcome customers again though. Spokesperson Kimberly Benou said the management knew there was interest from customers and that some…

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Cleanup with Casey

Wondering what’s been going on at the fairgrounds? Look no further, Casey Cardinal and his friend, Assistant Fair Manager James Romer, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the renovations taking place at the fairgrounds. Due to COVID-19, nearly 200 scheduled events at the fairgrounds have been canceled so far this year.  With extra time on his hands, Romer has been busy with N.C. State Fairgrounds staff improving the grounds in preparation for the 2020 N.C. State Fair. The fairgrounds crew have checked many things off their to-do list so far, like spreading mulch, painting, repairing livestock pens, and pruning and…

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NC products showcased for fairgoers

If you’re looking for a showcase of some of North Carolina’s very own products at the N.C. State Fair, you have to check out the “Got To Be NC” exhibit tent. This year’s tent will be packed with 34 vendors from 24 cities or towns across the state. Six of the vendors are new this year, while at least five returning vendors promise to have new or updated products in their booths. Many vendors will be in the exhibit tent for either the first or second half of the fair, but eight vendors will be there all 11 days. You’ll…

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