WRAL.com at the State Fair

Fair marks first full day

Posted October 12, 2012

— With an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, the 2012 version of the North Carolina State Fair officially kicks off.

While ride inspectors finished their work Thursday and early birds got to sample the deep-fried cinnamon buns and pig butt, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler's official christening, complete with national anthem, invocation and ribbon-cutting, comes Friday. State Fair Your guide to the NC State Fair

State Fair opening ceremony State Fair opening ceremony

The fair is open daily in Raleigh, 8 a.m. to midnight, through Oct. 21. Admission ticket prices are $8 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under age 5 and adults over age 65. Ride tickets cost $1 each, and most rides require multiple tickets.

When children and parents spend the day at the fairgrounds, the cost can easily soar. In addition to admission and rides, chowing down on that famous fair food can add to the cost. Families can pack a lunch or snacks – wagons, strollers and lunch bags are allowed.

Fair officials encourage families with small children and school groups to come early and on weekdays if possible. Crowds are lightest before the Midway opens at 10 a.m. Friday, the fair's official first day, and Monday are historically two of the least crowded days.

Admission is free on Thursday, Oct. 18, with four cans of Food Lion-brand food. Folks over age 65 and younger than 5 get into the fair for free any day.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • apnc2 Oct 12, 2012

    we always go as soon as the gates open. By noon you are all faired out and ready to go and the crowds have started to show up.

  • Screw WrAl Oct 12, 2012

    Anyone thrown up yet?

  • 5Rs Oct 12, 2012

    The fair is a bargain. There is much to do that is free. Warning: If today was supposed to be a "low-volume" day, the weekend will be wall to wall people. Today is busy.Go early.

  • mcchels Oct 12, 2012

    Cant wait! We will be there tomorrow! Get there early and leave late. This is 1 of 2 things we definetly do as a family every year. We buy lots of tickets in advance so we dont worry about having to spend 20.00 a book when we get there. We always say we're going to eat everything in sight,But we rarely ever do. We know the fair comes the same time every year so we save up for it. Just like Christmas.

  • miketroll3572 Oct 12, 2012

    I like the fair and its been maybe 5 or 6 years since I last attended but its the prices that tend to keep me from attending annually.

    Add 3 kids to that and thats why we haven't been to the fair in almost 12 years.

  • Coolbreeze Oct 12, 2012

    Go to the fair...Have fun...Spend a few bucks...Make some memories...It only happens once a year and if you don't spend a few bucks at the fair then you will spend it somewhere else!

  • romneycare Oct 12, 2012

    Some people stock up on alot of 'game' tickets and sell them 15$ for a booklet... will save you about 3$ and they make a profit of 5$.... keep an eye out for them at the ticket stands..

  • Honesty first Oct 12, 2012

    You could have bought advanced tickets and saved $2 on admission. The big savings is the ride tickets that are $18 are only $10 in advance.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Oct 12, 2012

    Some on the best memories of fun with my family included the fair. We loved to ride, eat and laugh together.

  • Half Red Half Blue Oct 12, 2012

    So that is where my boss disappeared to today. It's ok. I got this.