WRAL.com at the State Fair

2012 State Fair ends on a high note

Posted October 21, 2012
Updated October 22, 2012

North Carolina State Fair 2012

— State Fair organizers pronounced this year's event a success, confirming that it drew the third-largest crowds in its history by the time it wrapped up Sunday night.

State Fair Big things happen at NC State Fair

"This is probably one of the most intense fairs there is anywhere," state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.

Total attendance at the 10-day event was 965,297. Attendance topped 1 million in 2010 and 2011.

“I always judge a fair by how much fun people are having, and it looked like people had a great time at the 2012 State Fair,” Troxler said in a statement.

NC State Fair - 2012 NC State Fair 2012: Your photos

Fairgoer Bryan Cantley came for the food and the childhood memories each dish brought back.

"Any of the fried food is incredible — the fried Oreos, fried Ho Hos, all that stuff, fried dough, hot dogs," Cantley said. "All of it's good. I have yet to have something at the Fair that's not good."

Some changes were made at the Fair this year in response to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 25 people last year.

North Carolina State Fair 2012 'Bumper crop of fun' all harvested

"One of the things that went better than I expected is we did change the livestock traffic pattern this year and changed some of the access to animals," Troxler said.

Hand-washing stations got better lighting and larger signs, and some stations even explained how to wash hands.

"I think it's good they decided to do something like this, so people can be aware of the germs that are out there and how they need to take special precautions," mother Nakiya Blackmond said.

Whether fairgoers were scarfing down a fried Twinkie, screaming on the midway rides or petting animals in the petting zoo, there's a chance they got their picture taken by people watchers like photographer Amy Smith.

"Maybe they'll see it on the Internet sometime," Smith said. "I love the lights and the colors and the people moving."

Troxler said organizers will soon begin planning for the 2013 N.C. State Fair, scheduled for Oct. 17-27, 2013.

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  • smegma Oct 29, 2012

    i live local and have been to the fair almost every year for 20+ years. i have to say this was above and beyond the best one yet. everything looked brand new. the entire place was so CLEAN. even down to all the rides having all of their working light bulbs and that was on the last night of the event. very impressed.

    to the parking complaints... try saving $10 for the next year to pay at one of the local businesses next year and you won't have to walk nearly as far

  • Nope Oct 24, 2012

    For me it ended with indigestion.

  • lyteoflife Oct 23, 2012

    I had a nice time...yes there were vendors not there, that is what happens when the prices go up again for spaces! I know several people who have places out there and every one of them said sales were not good this year. I went twice and the crowd was not nearly as large as it has been in the past. Times are tough and some people are finally learning whats important. I went just to eat and see the flowers and the Village of Yesteryear. Wow, and im only 40 lol!! I use to go several days but once is all I need....who wants to deal with the traffic more than that! ....until next year! (and I didnt get sick at all, some people like to make something out of nothing to get attention)

  • this is fdup Oct 22, 2012

    The fair is nice however they will have to do something about the traffic /parking and expand walking space if the fair is ever to expand much beyond 1 million guests. Some suggestions would be pedestrain tunnels at three gates 11,9 and 8 second I would make one way traffic during peak times much like Edwards Mill during concerts /games

  • WRALcensorsarewonderful Oct 22, 2012

    With so many other things going on I completely forgot about the fair!

  • delete account Oct 22, 2012

    Not a fan of the fair myself but the kids are so...The walking/talking tree guy at gate six turned the world upside-down for my 4yo son. I haven't seen wonder like that since Christmas. Scared at first, he was watching EVERY tree he passed on the way back to the car.

  • OpenM1nd Oct 22, 2012

    Glad it's over. I couldn't even get a traffic or weather report without some reference to the State Fair thrown in. You would have thought they were getting a kick-back!

  • Jimmytwotimes Oct 22, 2012

    fair was great this year. had a blast. rides are definitely scarier than they were 5 or 10 years ago.

  • ThomasL Oct 22, 2012

    As some have posted you can get sick at the fair from food or just being around so many people that may be sick.As for attendance its not the amount of time its here its the tons of influx people moving here and it will get worse and worse along with the traffic housing just about anything you do.Better hurry up NASA and find a livable planet this ones filling up real quick or hope for a pandemic to wipe out a large chunk already here.

  • madamwuf Oct 22, 2012

    "We were around the animals and the three of us that got sick petted animils in the petting zoo,"

    Not sure how that happened as there was a distance of about two feet between where you could stand and where the animals actually were fenced." - NeilNBob

    No, that in the exhibit area. The petting zoo near the pig races involved... petting.

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