Got to Be NC Festival this weekend

Daily tractor parades are just one of the activities at the Got to Be NC Festival.

This weekend, the fairgrounds will host the 2012 Got to Be NC Festival. The annual event is a celebration of North Carolina’s food and agricultural heritage, and there is plenty new in store this year. Consider the following five tips when making your plans:

1. New Festival Hours
The festival has new Friday hours this year. The gates will be open from noon to midnight on Friday. Hours for Saturday and Sunday remain 9 a.m. to midnight and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., respectively. For a full schedule of events, go to

2. Cookbook Authors at the Food and Wine Expo
In addition to the best of N.C. foods and wine, the Got to Be NC Food and Wine Expo will also feature cookbook signings by local authors Friday from noon to 6 p.m. The authors are:

Visitors may bring cookbooks with them or purchase them at the event. Admission to the expo is just $2, and visitors will receive a sheet of 24 coupons with special offers on products available at the expo.

3. All-you-can-ride wristbands available Friday and Sunday
This year, there are two opportunities for ride lovers to purchase all-you-can-ride wristbands for $20. Wristbands will be sold at ride ticket booths Friday between noon and 5 p.m., and riders can use them until midnight. You also can purchase and use wristbands all day Sunday. Wristbands will be not be sold or accepted on Saturday.

4. Trans Jam BMX Contest Series

Fans of Keith King at the N.C. State Fair should enjoy the BMX bicycle stunt-riding competition joining the festival lineup Sunday in Dorton Arena. The second stop in the Trans Jam BMX Contest Series will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The competition will feature participants of all ages and skill levels contending for prizes and a $2,500 professional purse. The event also will feature bicycle-related exhibitors and vendors, a display of vintage bicycles and an art contest for children. Admission for spectators is free, but there is a fee for competitors. For information about competing, visit

The Got to Be NC Festival is May 18-20 at the State Fairgrounds. In addition to these awesome activities, they’ll be other great events including a daily tractor parade, Carolina FiberFest, Masonic Carolina Pig Jig, Shriner’s Fish Fry, grandstand events, a petting zoo, carnival rides and more. Plan your trip at, and be sure to follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook for updates before and during the event.

About Bearded Lady

Paul Jones blogged for the 2009-2012 N.C. State Fairs. Here's his bio from 2009: Paul Jones, here (a.k.a. Bearded Lady). I love the N.C. State Fair. I love the rides, I love the food, but my favorite part of the Fair is the displays of the unusual. The two-headed snake, the world’s smallest woman, the world’s tallest horse and the list goes on. Originally from South Carolina, I hope that I can bring a different perspective to this blog as I shed light on some of the ordinary, yet extraordinary, aspects of this year’s Fair.

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