Moving into the final weekend.

Just three days left to try out a Krispy Kreme burger!

Just three days left to try out a Krispy Kreme burger!

Today is Day 9 of the N.C. State Fair and we’ve already broken five attendance records. Yesterday alone, we shattered last year’s record attendance by more than 16,000 fairgoers. The amazing thing is that 59,088 people brought four or more cans for Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the Fair, which earned them free admission yesterday. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina also reports the 246,779 pounds of food was collected, breaking yet another record. Fairgoers really answered the call to “Stuff the Warehouse.” Thank you for helping!

The weather is going to be fantastic for the rest of the weekend, so we’re expecting more big crowds. (Attendance is usually highest the last two days.) So we put together some tips to help you plan a great visit to the Fair:

  • Take the bus and avoid traffic. The buses get priority lanes on the weekend, so you’ll get front door service without the hassle of finding a place to park. If you feel the need to drive, we will have an additional lot open at the Southwest corner of Edwards Mill and Reedy Creek roads on Saturday, with a free shuttle to the fairgrounds. Visit our Get to the Fair page to learn more.
  • Download the Etix app to your iPhone to buy your tickets if you don’t already have them. Or buy them online. No standing in line when you get here. (Disclosure: This method will save time, but you will have to pay convenience fees.)
  • Be patient! Yes, it will be crowded, but that shouldn’t dampen your spirits. Bring a good attitude and a sense of adventure and you’re sure to have a great time.
  • Plan ahead. Download the State Fair app to your Android or iPhone or check out the food and ride finder on our website. Use this to choose where you want to eat and what rides you want to check out. The app also has a daily entertainment schedule to help you plan what you want to see.
  • Come early if you have kids —  especially if you want to do things like Milk-A-Cow in the Expo Center or ride rides. Gates and buildings open at 9. Rides get started at 10.
  • Or come later on Sunday. Historically, the crowds clear out on Sunday evening. The buildings remain open until 9:45, and the rides keep spinning until about midnight.
  • Get cash before you come. The ATM lines can be quite long, so get cash before you come to avoid standing in those lines. However, if you need cash, we’ve got you covered. There are Cash Points machines (no surcharges) near Dorton and BB&T mobile units throughout the grounds.

So those are some of our tips. What did we forget? Do you have any tips you’ll like to share?

About Firecracker

Firecracker (aka Jen Kendrick) Appears as a guest blogger with a special 22-year history with the State Fair. She now works with the N.C. Pork Council, but she still lends a hand in the press office when she can. Thanks, Firecracker!


  1. We are driving in tomorrow and checking into our hotel at 3 and then heading to fair to arrive by 4pm…is that too late to arrive with a child to get on some rides and have fun??

    • Hi Jamie,
      It doesn’t matter what time you come to the Fair, you will be able to have a great time. You may have to wait a little longer in the evening.

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