Weekend Update: September 16-18

September has been a busy month a the fairgrounds and this weekend is no exception. The weekend kicks off today with the 53rd annual N.C. State Championship Horse Show in the Hunt Horse Complex. The event is hosted by the Raleigh Lions Club and will benefit local charities. On Friday visitors can also check out: Meredith College’s Sizzlin’ September Concert in Dorton Arena featuring The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. All things will be heating, cooling and plumbing will be featured at the 2011 Mechanical Contractors of North Carolina Association…

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Artist Spotlight: Steel Magnolia emerge from CMT’s ‘Can You Duet’ as a winning duo

Chemistry is a unique, but often difficult thing to explain — when something works, it just works. I guess no explanation is really neeeded. Steel Magnolia has red-hot chemistry as a country music duo. When Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones were competing against other pairs on season two of the CMT program “Can You Duet,” the spark between this real-life couple leapt off the television screen. What was apparent to TV viewers must have been especially obvious to record exec Scott Borchetta, who served as a judge on the show and whose Big Machine Records label ultimately signed the winning duo to a deal….

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Artist Spotlight: Easton Corbin makes an encore

The mystery artist has been revealed. Easton Corbin is coming back and he’s no stranger to Raleigh. After all, Easton performed his first full-length solo concert last year at the Longbranch in Raleigh. He has played at Walnut Creek several times now (including this past Saturday night) and of course, he played Dorton Arena last year to a good-sized crowd. Last year, fairgoers in Dorton Arena sang along with his hits “A Little More Country Than That,” “Roll With It” and “I Just Can’t Love You Back,” among others. The beginning of the concert was good, but he seemed a…

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Weekend Update: June 10-12

The 2011 Tarheel Triple Classic began yesterday and will continue through June 18 at the Hunt Horse Complex. The classic features 10 full days of horse shows and combines the N.C. Quarter Horse Association’s Show, Jamboree and Little Futurity into one event.  The event is one of largest of its kind on the East Coast, and $200,000 in prizes will be given away at the main show on Monday night. Check out the video below of Larry and Gale Little explaining some of the events mixed with some competition footage: [youtube dg8NSLjoARc nolink] On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Frank Cox…

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Weekend update: April 22-24

We hope everyone affected by last week’s tornadoes is on the road to recovery. It has been heartbreaking to watch the news reports and see the destruction that left so many families without a home. The N.C. State Fairgrounds was fortunate and received little damage. Many of you were at the fairgrounds during the storm, and we’d like to thank those who have shared their photos with us. The Easter Bunny Quarter Horse Circuit Horse Show started yesterday at the Hunt Horse Complex and will continue through Sunday. The free event features youth and adult competitions in halter, trail, jumping,…

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Ford Drive One Tour drives into the Fair

On the south side of Dorton Arena, near Gate 2, you can get everything from pottery to hot tubs. You can also see, interact and enter to win a new Ford vehicle, worth up to $30,000. The Ford Drive One Tour is a huge exhibit featuring the latest Ford cars, trucks and SUVs. You can see the new Ford Fiesta, Flex, Escape Hybrid and others while you play interactive games and check out the cool demos available. And, a quick registration allows you to check in at three pit stops in the exhibit for a chance to win Ford swag…

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Artist Spotlight: Honor Society

If you have yet to hear about the up-and-coming band Honor Society, you might as well go ahead and jump on the band’s wagon. With nearly 70,000 fans on Facebook and more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, Honor Society is well on their way to star status. The band released its debut album, “Fashionably Late” in 2009 and has since been named a breakout band to watch by Rolling Stone and a Buzzworthy Artist by MTV. The pop-rock band opened for the Jonas Brothers World Tour in 2009 and has performed on Radio Disney, Miss Teen USA and The Early…

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Artist Spotlight: Justin Moore

Justin Moore will be the last artist to take to the stage in Dorton Arena this year. As matter of fact, he should be finishing up his show around the time the fireworks blast off to signal the end of the 2010 N.C. State Fair. During the show, concertgoers can expect to hear the four Top 40 hits from his self-titled debut that have propelled him into the country music limelight. Listen for “Back that Thing up,” “Small Town USA,” “Backwoods” and “How I Got to Be This Way.” Moore grew up on a farm in Arkansas surrounded by extended…

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Artist Spotlight: Darius Rucker

Seeing Darius Rucker on Saturday, Oct. 23, is going to be a like a homecoming. Growing up in South Carolina like I did, everyone knew Hootie and the Blowfish and its frontman. Everyone had a “Hootie” story – one of those stories that goes something like, “My cousin was roommates with the dogsitter of Hootie’s neighbor,” or “I bumped into Hootie in a mosh pit at a house party when I went to USC.” After meeting virtually everyone in South Carolina, except me, Darius Rucker dropped the “Hootie” name and transitioned to country music with 2008’s Learn to Live. Songs like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “History in the Making” and…

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Artist Spotlight: Easton Corbin

Looking at Easton Corbin’s cover art and listening to his first hit single, “I’m a Little More Country Than That,” you get the feeling that this Florida native has a firsthand knowledge of the slow pace of country living, rocking on the porch with your dog by your side. And sure enough, according to the biography on his website, he spent a lot of time growing up on his grandparents’ cattle farm in rural Florida. He was a member of 4-H and FFA and even showed cattle at a local fair before earning an agribusiness degree from the University of…

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