Feeling the heat: Behind-the-scenes with Ember Fire Arts

As a fire performer, Amber Kornegay, owner and performer for Ember Fire Arts, often walks the line between being intriguing for people and seeming intimidating. However, at the heart of it all she is a simple girl with a passion for fire. We sat down with Amber and asked her ten questions that people are often afraid to ask her, but always curious to know the answer to. Catch one of her shows at the N.C. State Fair either at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. down in Heritage Circle and keep reading to learn all about her passion, show and…

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Performances to look forward to at the 2023 Homegrown Music Fest

The North Carolina State Fair has many free entertainment options that are perfect for anyone, no matter the musical preference. The Homegrown Music Fest at the North Carolina State Fair is a free event that showcases the best of North Carolina music. It features over 100 acts on two stages over the length of the Fair. Artists are from a wide range of genres, including rock, country, bluegrass, blues, jazz, and hip hop. The Homegrown Music Fest is a great way to discover new music and support local artists. It is also a fun family-friendly event, with something for everyone…

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Artist ARCY has a secret

Artist ARCY is making his third appearance at the N.C. State fair in 2019, and you can expect to see the eye-catching paint splashed style he’s become known for. “It will be my classic style that people are familiar with, highlighting elements unique to the North Carolina State Fair,” he said. In 2017, ARCY – whose name is Ryan Christenson – painted a single mural over the 11 days of the fair. This year he is painting individual smaller canvases that measure 8 feet by 12 feet (8’x12’). Each day starting at 11 a.m., you can watch ARCY working on…

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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…

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Stilt walkers will bring unexpected fun, including a high-five

One of the new attractions at this year’s N.C. State Fair may not be something you put on your to-do list at the fair, but it could certainly bring you a few surprise moments of enjoyment. “We like to call it walking visual art,” said Star Child, one of the stilt walkers you’ll see when Stilt Circus makes its first appearance at the fair this year. She and Richard Dalton will be roaming the fairgrounds in some spectacular costumes, so running in to them will likely be an unexpected but welcomed encounter. Of course, you’ll have to look up to…

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Tribute to musical icon will launch Dorton Arena concerts this year

Gabriel Bello promises big things when he performs in Dorton Arena on the opening night of the N.C. State Fair this year. “We’ll be playing some of the best music that’s been put out in the last 50 to 100 years,” Bello recently told me. “Hopefully one of best bands people have ever heard.” Bello leads a Stevie Wonder tribute band (complete with backup singers and instrumentalists) called Natural Wonder. He obviously thinks highly of the legendary artist he emulates. However, he didn’t always think he’d be going on tour and entertaining people who love the music of Stevie Wonder….

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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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Casey’s Clubhouse, Fire Safety Show and other ways to enjoy the Fair with young children

Coming to the Fair with young ones in tow? A little advanced planning can help you make the most of your day.  Here are some tips and not-to-be-missed activities for the elementary-aged and younger at the fair. Buy your tickets before the fair starts. Tickets can be purchased at Food Lion, online, the N.C. Museum of History, State Farmers Market and at Gate 9 at the Fairgrounds. It’s no fun to stand in line and purchasing in advance means designated fast-track admission at the entrance gate. Kids under six years old get into the fair free. However, with an Kiddieland…

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Lumberjack Competition showcases talent, promotes environmental stewardship

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show returns to the State Fair this year with displays that will leave you buzzing from excitement. A 6-man team of professional lumberjacks will chop, saw and roll their way through this highly competitive performance. This year, the show is bringing a new canine competitor to North Carolina: Gracie, the log rolling dog. Gracie is about a year old, and she’s the only silver Labrador log-rolling dog currently performing in lumberjack competitions. She’ll try to stay afloat as the logs do their best to spin her into the water. The Lumberjack Show features events like springboard…

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ARCY is a State Fair work in progress

If you have been able to come to the fair more than once, or like a handful of us really lucky people get to be here every day, you may have watched the progress on the 120-foot long piece of art being created by Ryan Christenson of Wallingford, Conn. outside of the Exposition Center. Christenson, also known as ARCY, has been doing graffiti art since high school and has been touring for about three years. He creates about 100 8×12 walls in the eight months he spends on the road each year. “Public graffiti art is more respected than it…

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