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 returning favorites at the fair this year. In addition, several companies will be bringing new products for visitors to sample and purchase in their booths. New vendors will include: Lake View Farms, CW Dressings, Wilders Farm LLC, Grahams Goods LLC, Puzzle Pop Popcorn and Francee Farms. “We are so excited for these companies to be a part of the the Got to Be NC Pavilion at the N.C. State Fair for the very first time,” said Brenna Favara, Events/Project Manager and Specialty Foods Coordinator for the Got to Be NC Program in the Marketing Division. “I can’t wait for visitors to try their products and fall in love with another local company. That’s what our program is all about, so we love to see it expand every year.”

All vendors in the Got to Be NC Pavilion are given the option to stay for the entire fair or to come for half, either the beginning half or the later half, of the fair. Of the above mentioned companies, Francee Farms and Grahams Goods LLC will be staying for the entire fair. Please check the N.C. State Fair website here to see which dates your favorite companies will be on display!

“As a small business owner in North Carolina, being a part of the Got to Be NC Pavilion not only gives me the chance to meet and collaborate with other local entrepreneurs, but it truly makes me feel like a part of a tight-knit community,” said Sana Siddiqui, Ownwer of 1Eatz. “What really warms my heart is seeing familiar faces. Last year was my first year in the Pavilion and I got to meet many customers that had remembered our brand from other Got to Be NC events. I am truly excited to connect with more customers this year.”

In addition to new vendors, many returning vendors are bringing new and exciting products that they are excited to share with the public. These vendors include: Carolina Pickle Company Inc., BJP Food Group LLC, Lizzee’s Apples Inc., Ran-Lew Dairy Milk Company, Irene’s Peanut Brittle, Nonni Schiavone Foods, and America’s Best Nut Company. All of these companies are remaining very hush-hush about the new products that they will be bringing to the fair this year, so you will just have to stop by the Got to Be NC Pavilion to find out what all the excitement is about!

New Merchandise Items

Got to Be NC merchandise is always a highly coveted commodity at the N.C. State Fair because it is only sold at the fair, the Southern Farm Show in February and the Got to Be NC Festival in May. The store inside the Pavilion this year will not only have many returning favorites, including farmer t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and the all-new Got to Be NC cookbook, but also a brand new model tractor trailer branded with the Got to Be NC logo and the N.C. State Fair logo. “These scale model tractor trailer units make great gifts and help make the connection on the trucking industries support of North Carolina agriculture,” said Tim Parrish, Domestic Marketing Manager for the NCDA&CS Marketing Division. “It also provides a symbol of the connection of the N.C. State Fair and the Got to Be NC Agriculture and Seafood Marketing programs, the official business development and marketing program for our states #1 industry…agriculture!” The model tractor trailer will cost $25 this year at the merchandise store, which will be located directly beside the chef stage inside the pavilion.

Pre-Show Performances by Paige King Johnson and Chandler James

The Got to Be NC Stage will be alive again with cooking demonstrations from chefs across the state, but prior to those shows each day, Got to Be NC Ambassador Paige King Johnson and NC AgStar winner Chandler James will be performing some of their favorite songs for the audience. “Got to Be NC is like family to me. I appreciate the hard work they do to support our NC farmers and ranchers, and they appreciate the hard work I do as a singer-songwriter and entertainer,” Paige said. “The NC State Fair is like a homecoming for so many North Carolinians, and getting to share a space with Got to Be NC at the fair AND get to share my music with all the people coming through the Got to Be NC Pavilion is such a special time. It’s something I’ve looked forward to each year since working with them.” Detailed below is what dates and times Paige and Chandler will be performing throughout the fair, so be sure to mark your calendars and catch one of their shows.

  • Thursday, Oct. 12: Paige performs prior to the 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. demos
  • Friday, Oct. 13: Chandler performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. demos
  • Saturday, Oct. 14: No performances
  • Sunday, Oct. 15: Paige performs prior to the 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. demos
  • Monday, Oct. 16: Paige performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. demos
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17: Chandler performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. demos
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18: Paige performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. demos
  • Thursday, Oct. 19: Chandler performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. demos
  • Friday, Oct. 20: Chandler performs prior to the 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. demos
  • Saturday, Oct. 21: No performances
  • Sunday, Oct. 22: No performances

Got to Be NC Chef Stage Demonstrations

As stated above, the Got to Be NC Stage inside Dorton Arena will be bustling with excitement each day as local chefs take on the stage and show how to cook a few of their favorite dishes with N.C. products. Food and Travel Writer Heidi Bilotto, with, will be hosting these daily demonstrations. Four lucky people from the audience will be chosen during each demo to come up and join the chef on-stage at the Chef’s Table to sample the finished dish. NC Wines will also be offering a wine pairing with each dish to showcase the plethora of local wines that our state has to offer. Multiple demonstrations will take place on the stage each day, so stop by to get ideas for your next date night or family dinner. Check out the full schedule below and don’t miss your favorite chefs in action!

About Rollercoaster

"Life is short, so do the things you love with the people you love." Rollercoaster is the fair-themed nickname for Taylor Harris, an information and communications specialist in the Public Affairs Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. An alumni of N.C. State University and former Marketing and Sales Assistant with Scott Farms, a sixth-generation family farm out of Lucama, NC, she is no stranger to the world of agriculture. Football and singing are her biggest passions. While at the fair, her "must do" items are a pineapple smoothie from Tropical Delight and a ride on the Fireball, now referred to as F5.

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