Local News

N.C. State Fair kicks off a 'whole lotta fun'

Posted October 16, 2009

— A "whole lotta happy" got kicked off at a ceremony Friday morning marking the official start of the 2009 State Fair Friday morning.

"I consider this to be the state of North Carolina's official family reunion," state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said at the 11 a.m. ceremony in the Heritage Circle.

"I'm going to be a whole lotta happy when you have a whole lotta fun," he added, referring to the theme of this year's fair.

Troxler touted some new technology at the fair: a video game arcade where "Guitar Hero" competitions will be held.

 "We've come a long way from chicken incubators to the computer age," he said.

Still, Troxler said the main focus of the fair remains the same: agriculture, which is North Carolina's No. 1 industry, worth $70 billion annually.

"As we continue to recover from these tough economic times, we are going to celebrate the abundant agriculture that this state has," he said.

Indeed, Troxler said, the computer age makes the State Fair's role even more vital.

"This role we play in educating about agriculture is even more important now, if you think about the number of people that have never seen a farm, have never really visited a farm and really don’t know where their food supply comes from," he said.

The fair is also about North Carolina's heritage, "the things that have built this state," Troxler said.

He urged people to take place in a tobacco-stringing display after the ceremony. Fairgoers can learn how to string tobacco and load it into the log burn, where it will cure during the fair. A tobacco-stringing contest takes place at 2 p.m.

Thursday was a preview day for the fair. Officials said 37,932 people attended. Despite drizzle and chilly temperatures, the preview day drew about 2,700 more people than the year before.

The fair runs until Oct. 25.


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  • working for deadbeats Oct 16, 2009

    Let's see if we can break a record this year with news stories about the fair.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Oct 16, 2009

    The ride company that has the train does not do the state fair rides anymore. They lost the bid and contract. They were crooks when it came to the show. They always brought these 1940's rides that looked awful and the people that ran the rides were dirty. One time I looked on that train and I have to tell you that place was so nasty. Then they had these trailers on the old midway that bunked and shacked the people of 4 living in a room that was no bigger than a closet. The James E. Straits shows also said they had operators standards but did you ever see a professional guy operate these things... I never did. Everyone was os grungy and nasty... ewwwww

  • offconstantly Oct 16, 2009

    and a "whole lotta SWIIIIIIINE FLUEEEEE"

  • sickofgolo. Oct 16, 2009

    * should say "the only rideERS on the way there". The return trip there were 4 people on the CAT

  • sickofgolo. Oct 16, 2009

    My son and I went last night. It misted rain for a little while, but was in no way unbearable. For 25.00 (wristband the first night) he rode about 150-200.00 worth of rides and had the time of his life. We took the CAT bus to the fair (only rides on the way there). The bus experience wasnt the greatest, but it was bearable.

  • JaredsMom Oct 16, 2009

    Stop being so negative folks. And we wonder why our kids have such bad attitudes.

    Anyway, I won't be going to the fair this year because I don't want to fight the traffic on Saturday which is the only day I could go.

    But stop complaining just this one time...

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Oct 16, 2009

    I gotta hand it to Commish Troxler. He's got one heck of a marketing team. Well done! Love our State Fair - as American as it gets and a taste of home except for some of that novelty fried stuff. We're looking forward to going again this year :)

  • Harvey Oct 16, 2009

    I stand corrected (even when seated). I thought it was still James E. Straits. My humble apologies.

  • dwntwnboy Oct 16, 2009

    Don't ride the rides then if you think the money leaves the state. There is LOTS to do at the fair that doesn't cost a thing other than the price of admission. See the animals, see the floral and garden displays, see the cakes and food decoration displays, see the artwork and photography from kids to professionals, crafts and other items being produced and displayed right before your own eyes. If you can't find something to do at the fair other than the games and rides, it's your own fault for not paying attention. Love the fact that the NC State fair is in our own backyards and we don't have to drive to Charlotte, Greensboro or Wilmington to partake in the fun.

  • hiker1 Oct 16, 2009

    People ure are quick to jump the gun and complain!
    The ride company is from NC NOT Florida.