Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Fair Daze

Posted October 22, 2006

There's nothing quite like covering the North Carolina State Fair. When I first came to WRAL in October of 1994 I had the opportunity to do one of my first live-shots at the fair. As I stood on top of our van looking down at the tens of thousands of people jockeying for a piece of ground in the midway I was amazed. I had been in big crowds before; I grew up outside a large northeastern city. But this was a crowd unlike any other. The State Fair is truly a melting pot which reflects the extreme diversity in our state.

Again, twelve years later as I stood on the midway the other day I was mesmerized by the contrasts. There were families with strollers weighed down by life-size stuffed animals. There were teenaged boys wearing baggy jeans and oversized tee-shirts. There were teenaged girls wearing tight jeans and even tighter tee-shirts. There were older couples hand-in-hand who had been coming to the fair for decades, and younger couples hand-in-hand who were making what they hoped to be the first of many trips to the fair.

Somehow all of these different groups peacefully co-exist at the State Fair. Maybe it's the thrill of having your body propelled at sixty-five-miles an hour by the latest ride, the smell of deep-fried Coke, or the excitement of winning a Winnie the Pooh that takes up the entire backseat of your car. Whatever it is, wouldn't it be nice if we could achieve this harmony in our every day life?

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About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.