Follow the beat to find punk-rock percussion

In case it wasn’t obvious there will be no shortage of things to see and do at the N.C. State Fair this year. Everywhere you turn you’ll find entertainment, some arts and culture or something educational and informational. You’ll likely pass by Dorton Arena, and amongst all the excitement you’ll find one of this year’s new free entertainment acts.

Street Drum Corps will be performing on the north side of the arena. That’s the side toward the middle of the fairgrounds, away from Hillsborough Street. Street Drum Corps is sort of a punk rock version of STOMP – the well-known choreographed percussion show that has toured the country and continues shows in New York City.

“I guarantee you haven’t seen a show or production like this,” Justin Imamura told me when I recently caught up with him over the phone.

Imamura is a performer and production manager for the group. He says the performers use re-purposed steel drums and drumsticks made from recycle materials for their shows.

You can expect a trio of drummers at this year’s state fair. They’ll be playing a well-choreographed set of shows that you’ll want to stop and check out. People are invited to join in during certain parts of the show, and children are also welcome to try their hands and playing the drums themselves right after each show.

“We want to inspire the younger generation to learn music or just do something creative,” Imamura said.

The group also prides itself on being unique, on looking a little different and not conforming to normal expectations. Many performers have brightly colored hair, tattoos and funky uniforms. Imamura said he hopes that also sends a message that it’s okay to be a little different.

Imamura said he really enjoys some of the traditional rides and food at fairs – things like the Ferris wheel, kettle corn, deep-fried Oreos and turkey legs. He enjoys the livestock, too. He joked about how nice it is to see something different than where he’s from in San Jose, Calif.

“There’s no livestock in San Jose,” he said.

By the way, a Street Drum Corps troupe won MTV’s “Amazingness” shows, and the group also appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” season 13.

Their show times vary from day to day at the fair. So check out the daily schedule to find out what time they play on whichever day you visit.

About Tractor Pull

Tractor Pull is the fair-themed alias for Brandon Herring, a public information officer in the Public Affairs Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He's no stranger to the fair or the farm. A North Carolina native, he grew up helping on the family farm just east of Lumberton. After more than 15 years in TV news, he's sharing news of a different kind these days. He loves the rides on the fair's midway, but also loves that the fair has so many other things to see and do that are grounded in agriculture. His favorite fair food is a funnel cake with just powdered sugar - a classic!

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