WRAL.com at the State Fair

Quiet at the Fair

Posted October 19, 2005

It doesn't seem like the words "quiet" and "Fair" would go together, does it? After all, when you think of the Fair you think of the midway and the exhibits and other crowded places. But it's true! There are quite a few places at the Fair where you can slip off for a few minutes' peaceful reflection.

1) The Bridge Beyond Heritage Circle -- As I noted in an entry yesterday, the bridge beyond the circle is a great place to go hang out with Smokey Bear. But if you walk up a little further you can wander around the forestry exhibits or just sit down for a few minutes. There's also a lawn behind the garden exhibit with some tables and chairs.

2) The South Side of Dorton Arena -- The north side of Dorton Arena sells tickets and displays Christmas Trees. The South Side, facing Hillsborough Street, has only a few exhibitors. But it has barbecue, lots of tables and chairs, and quiet. (Skip this one when there's a concert going in the evening.)

3) The Grandstand -- The grandstand has nightly events, but during the day it's a nice place to go eat in the quiet and the shade. The end nearest Dorton Arena has the bicycle show and other events throughout the day. Try the other end, around the middle of the 'stand. The seats aren't the most comfortable, but it's usually empty enough that you can spread out a bit.

4) The Folk Festival Tent -- The Folk Festival Tent is a white tent kind of behind the Kerr Scott Building. It has shows throughout the day, but in between times it's a great place to take your food and put your feet up (there are folding chairs in the tent and it's cool and fairly quiet, especially considering that it's only a few steps away from the mini-midway at the top of the hill.) If you're lucky you'll get to listen to a couple of performers jam while you chow your lunch.

In addition to these four spots, don't forget that Wade Shows has created some "rest stop" spots, with shade and tables, around the midway areas. There's also a few picnic tables beside the Expo Center, though those look to be occupied most of the time. Getting some peace and quiet at the fair is closer than you think!
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