Toby Mac sells out!

State Fair visitors love them some Toby Mac, because the show is officially a sell-out. Tonight’s show will be a packed house, so everyone who scored one of these precious tickets should have a rockin’ good time.

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Artist Spotlight: Mario

Mixing it up between the country and Christian artists at the Fair is Mario, the R&B singing/dancing sensation that you may know of from the show Dancing with the Stars. Above is a great interview from Go! TV (a play off of his last album Go!) with the singer and behind-the-scenes footage of his dance rehearsals. Mario has been around the music scene for awhile now, as his first album came out when he was only 15 years old. (When I was 15, I was Glenda the Good Witch in our high school version of the Wizard of Oz. Needless…

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Entertainment Spotlight: King of the Grill

Commemorative program When Bobby Flay steps onto the stage in Dorton Arena on Oct. 20, he’ll be stepping onto a backyard paradise – or at least as much semblance of a backyard paradise as fair workers can manage between the time Lady Antebellum and Heidi Newfield pull away from the fairgrounds on Sunday night and the time the doors open for the Bobby Flay cooking show on Monday night. It’s no surprise that the star of Grill It with Bobby Flay and Showdown with Bobby Flay would ask for a backyard setting for a cooking demonstration. But the Mesa Grill…

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Good weather = good crowd

You could say those of us who work in the State Fair Press Office are obsessed with attendance. Every morning during the fair, we eagerly await word of the previous day’s crowd. We’re interested in this information for various reasons: 1) we know the news media will be asking for it, and 2) our boss, Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler, talks every year about wanting a million people to visit the fair, and we want to see how close — or far — we are to that milestone. But the real reason we want these numbers is because, every night before…

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Mystery Artist = Rodney Atkins

The wait is over! We can finally announce that country-music singer Rodney Atkins is the ‘mystery artist’ and will play Dorton Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Tickets are $11.50 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at www.ncstatefair.org.Atkins’ hits include “Watching You,” “These are My People,” “Honesty (Write Me A List)” and “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows).”

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Who is the mystery artist?

Who is the mystery artist? (Photo from the 2007 N.C. State Fair – not the mystery artist!) Okay, I know we were supposed to announce the mystery artist “no later than Sept. 1,” but because of circumstances beyond our control, we are still unable to make the announcement. (Sorry!) We are legally obligated to keep our mouths shut for a few more days because of our contractual agreement with the artist. I will make one guarantee…we will make the announcement sometime on Saturday (expect it to be late in the day) and we will start ticket sales for this artist…

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Mario on So You Think You Can Dance

I’m a self-professed country music-aholic, so I’m usually first in line for the Fair’s big name country acts like Josh Turner and Jason Aldean and up-and-comers like Lady Antebellum. So when last night’s So You Think You Can Dance featured a unique hip hop dance choreographed to Mario’s “Skippin” song, I had to reconsider my straight-country ticket. Although the two talented dancers who danced this “Frankenstein” inspired routine (check it out below!) will be on their own nationwide tour, you can catch Mario’s song live on the stage of Dorton Arena Thursday, October 23. Tickets go on sale at 8…

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To be announced

When we announced the concert lineup last week, we left two dates intentionally blank. This has created quite the stir among Dorton Arena concert lovers, who have had plenty of suggestions for who we should get to perform those nights. Sorry to disappoint, but we actually have artists booked for those nights, but are under contractual obligation to hold off on announcing those acts until a later date. For those of you who have weighed in, we can tell you a few people who are not filling those spots: Clay Aiken will not be at the Fair, Daughtry will not…

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