A Longtime N.C. State Fair Fan is Ready to Taste the State’s Best Chili in the 2022 Home Chef Challenge

Bowl of chili

For 11 days each October, the N.C. State Fairgrounds turns into a delicious culinary playground. This season, the North Lobby of the Dorton Arena will have the sensational aromas of home chefs cooking their best recipes in hopes of winning $500 and bragging rights in the 2022 Home Chef Challenge.  Raeford resident Dewayne Smith has attended the N.C. State Fair for 35 years. This season he is ready to chow down on homemade chili as one of the panel judges for The Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-Off presented by Carolina Cooker.  When Smith read about the contest in the…

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How a Notorious Doodler Turned Her Doodling Into Functional Wood Burning Art

Martin Birdhouse with Sunflower Design by Jeanette Egan

One of the most popular exhibits at the N.C. State Fair is the Village of Yesteryear. More than 75 crafters dressed in period clothing will spend eleven-hour exciting days educating fair visitors in this “working-artist” interactive exhibit that features traditional heritage handcrafts. Jeanette Egan, who specializes in pyrography and woodburning, will make her Village of Yesteryear debut this October. “I’m in awe to be part of the Village of Yesteryear this year. This is a fabulous opportunity to be able to educate others on the art of wood burning,” said Puerto-Rican artist Jeanette Egan, a descendant of the Taino Boriken…

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Flourishing flowers at Conrad Farms

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families – one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring the program, which will run from Oct. 14-24. The Conrad family may be fairly new to farming in North Carolina, but their business has taken off and flourished as quickly as their beautiful flowers! Conrad Farms, located in Cary,…

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Giving back to the community at Faith Farm Supply

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families -one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring this program, which runs Oct. 14-24. The Solomon family has been farming in Prospect Hill for over 50 years and not only has a focus on growing local products but giving back to the community and making a difference. Faith…

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Gillis Family Farm celebrates nine generations through farming and agritourism

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families – one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring the program, which will run from Oct. 14-24. Gillis Family Farm, located in western Cumberland County, dates back to the mid-1700’s and spans over nine generations of the Gillis family. In fact, the newest member of the ninth generation,…

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Safety First at the Fair

As this year’s fair approaches, it is important to remember safety tips that will keep you and your family safe this year as you experience all the fun the fair has to offer.   Here are 10 safety tips that will help you have the best time possible at this year’s fair:  Wear comfortable, closed-toes shoes — You’ll be doing lots and lots of walking at the fairgrounds, so do your feet a favor and wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.  Wash your hands A LOT — It’s always been advisable to wash your hands frequently while at the fair, but this year it…

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All Aboard to the N.C. State Fair!

In addition to your admission ticket and attraction tickets, there’s one more ticket you may want to consider for your trip to the State Fair…a train ticket! If you are traveling west to the State Fair from outside of Raleigh then the train is a fun and convenient way to get to the fair! During the fair, NC By Train and Amtrak have a special stop at the State Fair (Station NSF). The train delivers passengers near an entrance to the fairgrounds, eliminating the stress that can come with parking. Passengers can board the train at stations in Charlotte, Kannapolis,…

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The Big Wheel Is Back!

If you don’t mind heights, you may recall the State Fair SkyGazer being the newest addition to North Carolina’s State Fair in 2019. Good news for fans of its breathtaking, 15-mile views, North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel is making a lofty return to the State Fair this year The wheel stands at 155 feet tall, or about 15 stories high. At the top, riders can easily see downtown Raleigh from the top! Biggest Wheel LLC, which owns the Ferris wheel, has taken it to other fairs around the country including the Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Florida state fairs. Every…

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Changes to 2021 Youth Livestock Shows

Although the State Fair had to be canceled last year, the Youth Livestock Shows were fortunately still able to go on. The shows are continuing this year, however, they will still not be operating in their pre-pandemic state as was hoped. Because of the financial hit these shows took when revenue was not generated by the 2020 State Fair or other events held at the fairgrounds, some changes will have to be implemented to keep the show going. Below is a list of some of this year’s major changes: The schedule will be much more spread out, allowing species to…

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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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