The countdown is on!

According to my countdown, it looks like we are 265 days away from the 2009 N.C. State Fair! Which means the clock is ticking for the Fairgrounds staff to pull together another stellar entertainment lineup and to get everything ready for another great event.

The past few months were spent wrapping up the 2008 N.C. State Fair and attending fair conventions. A few highlights:

  • In December, the State Fair signed a contract with Powers Great American Midways to provide the Midway for the 2009 N.C. State Fair. We are excited to work with Corky, Charlie and their very professional crew again. They brought in a number of spectacular rides in 2008 and we’re looking forward to see what they bring to Raleigh this year.
  • Also in December, Natalie Alford (aka the Green Thing), presented a case study on our social networking efforts at the annual convention of the International Association of Fairs and Expos. She talked about our successful efforts of reaching out via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Blogspot as part of a panel discussion.
  • Earlier this month, assistant State Fair manager Ray Frost was inducted as President of the N.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs at its annual meeting that was held in RTP. You don’t hear us talk about Ray very much because he’s very much a behind-the-scenes-kinda-guy, overseeing the fair’s operations. I think Ray will do a great job as president and I expect for some very interesting business meetings with Ray behind the gavel. Congrats, Mr. Prez!

Now that 2008 is officially behind us, we are fully focused on 2009. The most pressing agenda items are:

  • Come up with a great theme for the 2009 N.C. State Fair that encapsulates everything about the State Fair, but in 7 words or less. And then the challenge is on for our graphic designers to make it visually exciting as well. Feel free to let us know your ideas!
  • Start making offers for the Dorton Arena nightly concert lineup. Got any ideas of some up-and-coming artists that you would love to see in Dorton Arena?
  • Finalize the grounds entertainment lineup for Kiddieland Stage, Waterfall Stage, Bluegrass Stage, Expo Center, Grandstand and roaming acts.
  • Continue work on the Fairgrounds Master Plan, which is intended to guide us through the next 20 years of Fairgrounds improvements. Details coming soon!

Well, we are off to a running start. We’ll let you know when we’ve accomplished these first steps!

About Firecracker

Firecracker (aka Jen Kendrick) Appears as a guest blogger with a special 22-year history with the State Fair. She now works with the N.C. Pork Council, but she still lends a hand in the press office when she can. Thanks, Firecracker!


  1. “Great to be Green” to combine with the 100th birthday of North Carolina 4-H.

  2. Look into getting the Christian band “Downhere” for a stage act! Greg Oliver Booking Agency

  3. Get T-Pain or Patrick Wolf.

  4. BarlowGirl is an amazing christian band.
    check them out at
    they appeal to people of all ages especially teens.
    they are with the greg oliver booking agnecy.

  5. keirahilson or t-pain

  6. Would love to see Gary Allan back again!! He’s got two new songs he’s been playing at recent concerts and is working on a new CD which is hopefully coming out this Fall. We traveled from MD a few years ago to see Gary at the NC State Fair and that was one of the best fairs and concerts we’ve been too!

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