Got to Be NC Festival features rides, food, animals, fun this weekend
Posted May 14, 2013
The Got to Be NC Festival takes over the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh this Friday to Sunday.
The annual festival is kind of like a smaller scale State Fair with rides, games and exhibits. Consider it a good way to get a taste of the big event and a great opportunity for a trial run if you have younger kids who haven't been to the fair before (which is set for Oct. 17 to Oct. 27 this year). It's also a fun way to learn all about N.C. agriculture with everything from a tractor parade to all kinds of animal displays
Best of all, admission and parking are free!
I checked in with the State Fair office to get answers to some some common questions about rides and get the latest on new and popular activities.
Here's what they told me about the rides:
- Like at the State Fair, there are a couple of rides here that parents can ride for free with their young child. Here are the official rules: "One parent may accompany a child under 40 inches tall at no additional cost when the child presents a paid ticket for the carousel or slide rides only."
- The festival also has a couple of ride wristband specials. On Friday, you can purchase a Ride All Day Wrist Band for $20 from noon to 5 p.m. The wrist band is good for unlimited rides Friday only, from noon to close. Ride tickets purchased after 5 p.m. on Friday will be at regular price, and there won’t be any wristband sales after 5 p.m. On Sunday, purchase a Ride All Day Wrist Band for $20. The wrist band will be sold all day and is good Sunday from 9 a.m. to close.
- The carnival will include more than 30 rides. Generally, rides will take three to five tickets per ride, according to the festival's website. Ride tickets are $1 each; 14 tickets for $12; or 30 tickets for $20.
There also are some new and returning events that kids enjoy. They include:
- The Kidz Corral and Agri-Plaza, which offer a variety of hands-on educational activities for children and families. It's located between the Jim Graham Building and the N.C. Food, Wine & Beer Expo. You'll find low-key, hands-on educational activities, arts and crafts here. This is great for younger children.
- The U.S. Tennis Association's Smash Zone is a new attraction at the festivals. Visitors can learn about tennis opportunities in the Raleigh and Wake County area. You'll find mini courts and demonstrations, along with representatives from the Raleigh Tennis Association, who can answer your questions about tennis .
- Another family favorite are the "animal encounter" opportunities, as the festival's website calls them. There are racing pigs and a pet and horse expo each day, along with a draft horse pull at 6 p.m., Friday, in the Grandstand.
- The Antique Tractor Parade is daily. It's scheduled for 2 p.m., Friday, and 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday.
- And the Trans Jam BMX Contest Series is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, at Dorton Arena. Free admission. The series features competition levels from beginner to veteran, a vintage bike display, vendors and exhibitors.
This post just skims the surface of what's there. Click here to learn more about all of it.