WRAL.com at the State Fair

N.C. seafood featured in new fair foods

Posted October 10, 2016

— While deep fried Jell-O is getting most of the attention, that isn't the only new item on the menu at the North Carolina State Fair this year. There will be a host of other new food, including a North Carolina Low Country Boil and crab dip.

Here's a breakdown of what's new and where to find it:

  • Man's Sandwich - A grilled cheese sandwich wrapped in bacon. It can be found at Bubba's Bacon near Gate 11.
  • Fried Chicken and Waffle Kabob - Chick-N-Que near the Scott building is serving this item up and drizzling it with drizzled it with sriracha maple syrup
  • Whoopie Pies - Enjoy these gourmet treats at La Farm Bakery, located near Gate 2.
  • Slow smoked chicken - Another new Chick-N-Que dish. The chicken is served with fresh pineapple, peppers and onions and jasmine rice in a pineapple bowl.
  • Corn Mozzarella Arepas and Strawberry, Caramel, Chocolate and Cinnamon churros with vanilla ice cream - Get these at Churros to Go! in Kiddieland.
  • N.C. State Howling Cow's Caramel Apple Crisp ice cream - This N.C. State Fair exclusive flavor is a blend of apple ice cream with a cinnamon caramel swirl and graham cracker crumbles. Find it at the Howling Cow Ice Cream Shop across from the Rabbit Barn.
  • John Deere Ice Cream's "The Elvis" - Head to this ice cream stand near Heritage Circle for this flavor - a combination of their homemade banana ice cream infused with real peanut butter.
  • Fried Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger Egg Roll - Woody's at the end of the permanent lunch-stands near the top of the midway will be serving this up.
  • The Violet Vampire - The Gobblin' Gourmet near Gate 1 is serving up this blueberry infused funnel cake with powdered sugar, homemade blueberry pie filling, fresh whipped cream and white chocolate drizzle.
  • Salted Caramel Maple Bacon Funnel Cake and Deep Fried Strawberry and Cream Puffs - Two more new treats from Gobblin' Gourmet.
  • Jamaican Jerk Barbeque Wings and Jamaican Pork Wrap - Try these at Cool Runnings Jamaican Cuisine located near Gate 11.
  • Fresh Crab Dip - This crab and cheese dip can be found at Captain Neill's Seafood near the Graham Building. (Note: This won "Best Dish" at the State Fair media luncheon Monday.)
  • N.C. Lump Craft Meat Hushpuppies - Served with chipotle butter dipping sauce, this is the newest offering from the Ragin Cajun truck near the Grandstand.
  • Shrimp Bites - These herb seasoned deep fried shrimp are available at N&T Concessions, located near the Rabbit Barn,
  • Chicken sausage baguette - Enjoy this at Baguettaboutit between Dorton Arena and the Graham Building.
  • N.C. Low Country Boil - Shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage steamed "low country" style with Old Bay seasoning and served with homemade cocktail sauce. You can also find this at the Ragin Cajun truck near the Grandstand.
  • Deep Fried Cuban Roll - Chef's D'Lites near Dorton Arena is serving these with spicy honey mustard.
  • Phoenician Fish and Chips - Neomonde (bear the State Fair Flyer_ will be offering this spiced fish filet, lightly fried and served with fries tossed in a Za'atar and sumac spice blend, served with herbed tahini and harissa sauce.
  • Lamb Kafta Kabob - This seasoned lamb is also being served up at Neomonde.
  • Deep Fried Jell-O - Cherry gelatin will be surrounded by a biscuit-like batter. You can get this at S2 Concessions in Kiddieland. Also grab some of their fried Girl Scout Cookies while you are there.
  • Creme Brulee, Finding Dory, Triple Threat and Fudge Nut Brownie apples - These new flavors can be found at Miss Debbie's Specialty Apples in the Commercial and Education Buildings.

Media tried some of these items on Monday during a special luncheon. Some of our favorites included the Jamaican Jerk Barbeque Wings, N.C. State Howling Cow's Caramel Apple Crisp ice cream, the Fresh Crab Dip and the N.C. Low Country Boil.

New rides and attractions

In addition to the new food, the fair will also have some new rides. N.C. Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner David Smith said the department is performing strictest ride inspections in the country. There are 103 rides at the fairgrounds, which Smith says, is the largest assembly of rides in North America during an 11-day period.

The State Fair Flyer, which was completed just a week ago, allows guests to soar above the midway. Tickets for this ride are separate from carnival tickets and not included in the unlimited ride wristband. Advance tickets for the flying are $4 for one-way and $7 for round-trip. Those prices go up on Friday to $5 one-way and $8 round-trip. Pro tip: Don't wear flip-flops on this ride.

Other new rides include The Street Fighter 360, which spins and flips riders, the Sea Ray (a giant swinging ship) and LED equipped 33-meter Powers Parthenon Wheel.

New attractions include the Fire Stryker, a smoke blowing, fire breathing, wing flapping dragon, who will be roaming Kiddieland with his handler. The Dream City Unicorns will also create great photo-ops at the Flower and Garden Show.

In addition to nightly fireworks, there will also be a laser light show over the pond by Heritage Circle at Gate 8 every night from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m.

For those hoping to actually win that giant stuffed unicorn this year at the fair, inspectors will also be checking out the carnival games to make sure the games are actually winnable.

At the Hunt Horse Complex, Habitat for Humanity will be building a house using all North Carolina materials during the fair. The home will be moved to a permanent location in Neuse View in Raleigh.

Safety first

As with previous years, no weapons or firearms are allowed at the fair. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that probation and patrol officers will be working to keep sex offenders out, saying it will be the strictest enforcement ever.

Parents are urged to take photos of their children when they arrive at the arrive, just in case families get separated later. Photos can help officers know what clothing the child was wearing and assist with helping to locate them.

The North Carolina State Fair runs Oct. 13-23 at the State Fairgrounds. Advance tickets are on sale now.


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