Fair Fan: Meredith Foster

On our Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages, we’ve met some awesome people who really, really love their N.C. State Fair. So to highlight them, we’ll be interviewing our Fair Fans every week here on the Deep Fried blog. To kick it off, we talked with Meredith Foster, a Raleigh native, about her 2007 Fair marathon, her tips for making the most of your Fair experience, and the feel-good combination of funnel cakes and Diet Coke.

Meredith, age 4, with Mr. McFeeley from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,
at the State Fair UNC-TV booth (love the turtleneck!)

Meredith today

What’s in your CD player/on your iPod now?
Sugarland’s newest CD,
Love on the Inside

Favorite movie?
Gone With the Wind

When you’re not at the Fair, what do you like to do?
Start a countdown for how many days are left until the Fair comes again, ha! Seriously, just spend time with my friends and family; shopping; baseball; trips to the mountains and beach; movies; lots of random things – I just like to have a good, relaxing time.

How many years have you been coming to the Fair?

I asked my Mother this question the other day.
This will be my 25th year in a row of coming to the Fair. I was born in November so she did not come the year I was born, but my first “official” Fair was October 1983 when I wasn’t even one year old, and I have not missed one since! (Wow, I feel old now, ha!)

Why do you love the Fair?
Wow, where do I begin? Honestly, the “smell” of the Fair is probably one of the reasons I love it the most. Getting out of the car and smelling the variety of foods (and yes, even the animals) just opens your senses to “the Fair.” I love the food, the rides, the exhibits – basically the entire atmosphere.

What’s your favorite memory of the Fair?
I set a goal for myself to attend the Fair, if possible, every day. I acheived that goal last year and even surpassed it by going the day before and afterwards. I had dreamed of doing that since I was a child! Other memories that stand out are always attending the opening days with my parents–which included, yes, skipping school on occasion.

Any must-see or must-do Fair traditions?
Our must-do tradition is obviously NOT missing opening day, which in prior years has always been the first Friday – that is the main tradition. Other must-dos include eating some of Al’s French Fries; sampling the free foods (fudge, hushpuppies, cotton candy, peanuts – the list is endless); and playing Whack-a-Mole or that Bingo/I Got it game (addictive!).

Must-see traditions vary per day that you go. Definitely must go see the Pig Races at least once during the week; visit the Noah’s Ark exhibit and see all the baby animals, especially the baby pigs; but most importantly check out the giant pumpkins and watermelons. I have a friend who comes every year from Charlotte JUST to see the Pumpkin.

Favorite Fair food?
Wow, can I say everything? Last year my favorite thing was the Deep Fried Reese Peanut Butter Cups. But I always have to get a Homemade Country Ham Biscuit at some point during the day or a good ‘ole North Carolina “RED” Hot Dog, and wind down the day with a Funnel Cake and Diet Coke–yes, what an ironic mixture that is. And I always take home some cotton candy and candy or caramel apples.

Favorite ride?
Easy to answer – last year it was called the Freak Out and in years past it has also been called the Fire Ball. It’s basically a swinging pendulum and has to be the best ride ever! Other highlights include the Orbiter, the Rainbow (which changes names), the Kamikaze, and the Enterprise.

About Cotton Candy

Karlie Justus - blogged for the 2008 / 2009 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: When I'm not blogging for the N.C. State Fair, I go by Karlie Justus--but Cotton Candy suits me just fine. My earliest memories of the Fair are of the times my parents would bring my brother and I up from Asheville, N.C. for a double dose of the Fair and a N.C. State football game. Fast-forward two decades later, and I'm a public information officer for the deep fried celebration whose must-see Fair attractions include the giant pumpkins, decorated cakes and deep fried Oreos.

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