County Fair Travels: East one day, West the next

As you are reading this, I am probably in the northwestern part of the state, driving west on Highway 421 towards Newland. I left Raleigh pretty early this morning, because today will be the busiest County Fair traveling day yet — Avery County Fair this morning, Mountain State Fair in Fletcher in the early afternoon, then finally on to the Iredell County Fair in the evening.

Yesterday, I was in Fayetteville attending the Cape Fear Fair and the Cumberland County Fair. Two very different events, each with very passionate staff members and volunteers. The Cape Fear Fair is a new agricultural fair and has put a tremendous amount of effort into a creative Got to “BEE” NC Agriculture exhibit. (Check out the honey bee costume!) In addition to the carnival and agricultural exhibits, they plan to have a monster truck rally this weekend. The fair is held at the Fayetteville Motor Speedway and ends on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Cape Fear Fair Association's Got to "Bee" NC Agriculture display

Cape Fear Fair Association's Got to "Bee" NC Agriculture display.

Over at the Cumberland County Fair, officials were kicking off opening day while I was visiting. The 4-H and FFA participation is outstanding at this fair, and the competition building is absolutely packed with entries. Some noteworthy events include an amateur and professional motocross competition this weekend, and a step show next Saturday. The Cumberland County Fair takes place at the Crown Center Coliseum, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 20.

Last week, I drove west to the Hickory American Legion Fair, which ran Sept. 1-7. I was impressed to learn that they held their first showmanship competition with hogs in more than 20 years, in addition to several other livestock events. The theme this year was “Go Green!” and they placed new recycling bins around the fairgrounds for the public to use. As a “GreenThing” myself, I was happy to see this.

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Giant cow outside the livestock barn at the Moore County Fair.

Back east, at the Moore County Fair in Carthage, the livestock barn was filled with animals on display and tons of educational information, not to mention this HUGE cow out front!

Next week, I’ll travel to the Cabarrus County Fair, Central Carolina Fair, Stokes County Fair, Lee Regional Fair and  Macon County Fair.

So far, I’ve become quite familiar with I-40 as I travel from east to west and back again visiting each of our state’s diverse agricultural fairs. Fair managers are busy people, but I appreciate that they take a little time to show me around the fairgrounds.

My co-workers joked that I should add a “Follow Me to the Fair” sticker to my bumper.

I may do this…

About Blue Ribbon

Natalie Alford blogged for the 2009-2011 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: I work at the Fairgrounds year-round, so I'm always in the middle of the fun! During the Fair, I work with the press office team to organize events and exhibits, and log a lot of miles on my pedometer. I'm also the County Agricultural Fairs Coordinator, which means I license, promote and visit North Carolina's agricultural fairs and enjoy thousands of blue ribbon entries every year. I hope to see you at the Fair!

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