The past five years or so, the fair has offered free admission to active-duty members of the military and their families on Military Appreciation Day, which is held on Wednesday during the fair. While the gesture was appreciated by service members, we were asked to consider changing the policy for two reasons. One, it’s hard for military families to get to Raleigh on a weekday, and two, the policy omitted retired service members. So we are changing the policy in response to these requests.
All current and former military service members – including active-duty, reserve, National Guard, retired and veteran personnel – can take advantage of the new military admission price of $5 every day of the N.C. State Fair, Oct. 13-23. That’s a $3 savings off the regular adult admission price.
Military discount tickets are not available in advance or online. Instead, eligible fairgoers should present proof of military service at the gate on the day of their visit. Spouses and children over the age of 12 with military IDs also will be eligible for the discount.
Military families should plan ahead to ensure they save money. Families with children age 6 to 12 may want to buy advance tickets to save extra on children’s tickets. Ride tickets are also cheapest when purchased in advance. (Children under 6 get in free.)
While military will receive discount admission throughout the fair, we will still celebrate our service men and women on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Military Appreciation Day. (Note, there will be no free admission on this day.) The day’s festivities, sponsored by Subway, will kick off at noon with a ceremony on the Kitchen Craft Waterfall Stage. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will pay tribute to military service members. Following the ceremony, the Army Ground Forces Band from Fort Bragg will perform. The following ensembles of the Army Ground Forces Band will perform throughout the day: the Brass Brigade (popular music), the Loose Cannons (classic rock) and the Dixie Band (jazz).
On Military Appreciation Day, fairgoers are encouraged to bring items for military care packages to a drop off location hosted by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans at Gate 8 of the fairgrounds. The nonprofit group will also operate an activity near the waterfall stage where fairgoers can send letters to the troops. The USO Mobile Unit, equipped with video gaming systems and nationwide calling capabilities, will be on display along with other military-related activities presented by a variety of nonprofit organizations near the waterfall stage.