Dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates oh my! New, free acts invade the Fair

One of the things that makes the N.C. State Fair so special for many fairgoers is the blending of the traditional with the promise of something new. Each year, it’s a pretty good bet that you will find many of your fair favorites along with some new must-try foods or must-visit entertainment. And this year, fairgoers will find plenty of new grounds acts to entertain them, including dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates. Here’s a quick guide to the new acts at the 2016 N.C. State Fair: Roving Acts Dream City Unicorns – Flower & Garden Show area: Fantasy becomes reality as…

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She’s alive!

When we first got word that DiVine would be performing at the State Fair this year, we weren’t really sure what to think. Then, we saw this YouTube video. Note: If video doesn’t play, try refreshing browser. To me the performance is enchanting, a little frightening, but overall mesmerizing. After seeing the video, I wanted to learn a little more about the character, so I called up the original DiVine, Priscilla Stephan, to get her take on the character she created in 1996. It all started with a little bit of nature and the question, “What would it be like…

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FREE: Grounds entertainment

On any given day at the N.C. State Fair, you can catch more than 20 free performances from our lineup of talented grounds entertainment. You can see BMX stunt bikers flying through the air, witness the side-splitting powers of a comedy superhero and even see the super-fast speed of racing swine. They’re just a few of the free entertainment options, which also includes eight roaming acts and at least six daily concerts on the Waterfall and Bluegrass stages. The following is a rundown of this year’s grounds acts. What are your favorite acts at the State Fair? Circle “C” Racing…

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Look who’s talking now: Steve Brogan

Steve Brogan isn’t your typical one-man show. Sure, he’s the only person in the show, but that doesn’t mean he’s all alone. That’s because Steve is a nationally recognized ventriloquist and voices an entire cast of characters, from an old curmudgeon to a talking duck. He comes from a family of ventriloquists and has turned a childhood hobby into a career, with television appearances on Good Morning America and The Fox Network. Fairgoers are sure to be entertained with his comedic performances outside the Expo Center during the Fair. Steve will make his N.C. State Fair debut on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 3:30 p.m., outside the Expo Center. Starting…

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HoopDrum Hype!


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When I was in the third grade, I won the hula-hooping competition at my school’s field day because I was able to keep a hula hoop going longer than anyone else in the school. Since I was the smallest kid in class, winning a competition was a big deal for me. So earlier this year when Merrie Go Round and I went to see the the Carolina Roller Girls in Dorton Arena, I was transfixed more by the intermission show than the derby itself (sorry derby girls!). During intermission there was a rhythmic performance of hoopers to the simplistic beat…

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Fair favorites return after brief hiatus

In addition to the returning acts (BMX bikes, racing pigs, poodles, clowns, etc), a few familiar faces will be returning to the State Fair this year after one- or two-year absences. Al the Artist may not have a large presence–a small cartoon car is his only prop–but his absence from last year’s Fair was felt by many who have come to count a drawing by Al as a “must” on their Fair to-do list. Al and his pink car will be back to catch those who are “Wanted: For Having Too Much Fun At the N.C. State Fair.” Al roams…

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Returning Line-up

One of the more difficult jobs at the Fair is trying to determine the right balance for the grounds entertainment. We want to keep things fresh and bring in new acts, but also keep in mind that fairgoers create traditions of going to see certain acts year after year. This balancing act falls in the lap of our Assistant Fair Manager, Mike Pleasant. Mike has to decide when an act has run its course or when to bring it back. Sometimes that means not booking a favorite act for a year or two. Or in the case of an act…

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Q&A: Statue Viva’s Michelle Harrell

No, an ancient statue from the N.C. Museum of Art didn’t escape and make its way across Blue Ridge Road to the fairgrounds–that’s just Michelle Harrell, creator and performer in the Fair’s Statue Viva entertainment and resident ‘Poddle Mama’ for the new Michelle’s Magical Poodles show. You can find her roaming all around the fairgrounds posing as famous statues from around the world and in the Kiddieland Fun Park everyday during the Fair at 2 and 4 p.m. How did you first get started?I was inspired by a Swiss man in Key West, Florida. I saw him create a kind…

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