Something that makes the whole family happy

Many fans of the Got to Be NC Festival like to refer to it as a mini State Fair, but if you think of it that way you might miss some of the activities and events that make the festival a unique annual springtime tradition. Mary Fletcher of Angier and her husband Brad attend the festival annually with her three girls, Lilly, SJ, and Edie. The family enjoys the variety of activities offered by the festival. “The Got to Be NC Festival is one of our favorite festivals to attend each year as a family,’ said Fletcher. “As a family…

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Douglas Farm debuts candied grapes

For more than two decades Douglas Farms has been known for their fresh and delicious corn at the N.C. State Fair. This year they are breaking new ground by introducing fairgoers to candied grapes. “It is like a candy apple,” said Grover Douglas, owner of Douglas Farms, “but it’s just grapes and it’s better. You’ve got to try it. The grapes will be served in a cup with 12-15 grapes per cup, making it perfect to carry around the fairgrounds and enjoy.” Grover Douglas is a full-time farmer in Sanford. “I come from a long line of farmers,” said Douglas….

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Agricadabra makes agriculture magical and funny

If you are looking for somewhere to take the whole family, you’ve come to the right place. At the N.C. State Fair, you will find a handful of highly talented musicians, delicious food, and entertaining performances. One, in particular, and a family favorite, is Agricadabra. Hosted by entertainer Brad Matchett, Agricadabra is a family-friendly magic show that is not only fun but educational. Using volunteers from the audience, Brad highlights all things agriculture within North Carolina. The show dives into fun farming topics, such as the average age of the farmers in your state, questions about chicken and egg production,…

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Jumping for the blue: Inside the ring of the Hunter Jumper horse shows at the N.C. State Fairgrounds

In the hunter jumper world, the common phrase “going for the gold” transforms to “jumping for the blue,” as in the coveted first place ribbon. Every year farms from around the state bring their best horses and riders to compete in the Hunter Jumper shows and derby at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Hunter jumping is a style of English horseback riding where both horse and rider are judged on accuracy, form, consistency and demeanor while performing a series of jump courses. “So much of horseback riding is mental and both parties affect the other, meaning the horse affects the rider…

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You’ve Got to Be at the Got to Be NC Festival This Weekend!

With more than 100 tractors, North Carolina food and beverages, music, a carnival and free kids’ activities, the Got to Be NC Festival is an event you don’t want to miss at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, May 17-19. “The antique tractor and farm equipment display, featuring a daily tractor parade, and the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace are two of the unique highlights of the festival,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have one of the largest antique tractor displays in the Southeast, and the marketplace features around 80 North Carolina companies offering the opportunity to sample the…

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Extensive collection of plows and farm equipment donated to NCDA&CS

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received a generous gift from the estate of John William “Bill” Turner: a large collection of antique plows and associated farm equipment. A portion of the collection has been on display in the Antique Farm Machinery barn at the State Fair, nestled among other rare and unique items. Bill Turner and his father, Sam, shared a love of the “tools of the earth.” Bill grew up at the foot of Cherry Mountain, in an old home with no electricity or running water. In an essay written in 2008, he described a…

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Don’t just want to be NC, ‘Got to Be NC’

Locally produced cotton T-shirts, candles, muscadine juices, sweet potatoes, sauces, dry rubs. These are just a few of the products 30 vendors are showcasing in the Got to Be NC tent at the State Fair. Dozens of fairgoers gathered in the tent to sample and ultimately purchase some of North Carolina’s best. There was one that stuck out to me from all of the amazing vendors: Ms. Anne. As I’m taking photos of a woman sampling some maple butter, a smiling man approaches me and says, “That’s Anne.” I look up to see a stack of “Anne’s” products sitting neatly…

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Ring-a-ding-ding there’s a new blogger!

  [youtube GTxViQnuMQg CowBelle] Hi there, my name is Rossie and I have taken on a new role this year as CowBelle on the Deep Fried Blog for the North Carolina State Fair! CowBelle has special meaning to me because I have shown livestock at the fair for the past eighteen years, and this will be the 22nd year I have attended the fair.  My first memory of the fair was walking my lamb Buster into the barn on his brand new, bright red halter. That bright red halter perfectly matched my cowgirl boots! Since that first year exhibiting Buster…

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Show us your Bumper Crop of Fun

Around here, we’re pretty big fans of The Peterson Farm Bros YouTube sensation,”I’m Farming and I Grow It.” If you haven’t seen this Internet phenom, check out the video below: The video has more than 6 million views on YouTube and has inspired an array of other farming parody videos, including Lil Fred’s “Farm It Maybe.” With all of the creativity across the country, we knew there had to be just as many creative people right here in North Carolina. That’s why we created the Bumper Crop of Fun Video Contest. Here’s how it works: Create a music video that…

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Find your fit at Cultivate a Career

Over the summer, we gave you a preview of the new Cultivate a Career exhibit at this year’s fair. Sunday, Baby Goat and I took a tour to discover all the great activities the exhibit offers visitors. Check out the video below of our experience: Upon entering the exhibit, head for one of the laptop stations and take an interest test. This test is designed to help you get a better idea of the types of jobs you would enjoy most. After finishing, the computer gives you a personality score you can use to guide yourself through the rest of…

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