WRAL.com at the State Fair

What's New at the Fair?

Posted October 12, 2005

It's seems like the last few years of the fair have been about nothing but changes. While there's a comforting core of things that remain the same (rides, food, giant pumpkins, the Village of Yesteryear), there have been some major changes as well.

Possibly the biggest change is Wade Shows. Wade Shows is bringing a huge mix of fun to the fair, promising over 100 rides! You don't have to wait until Friday to find out what they are, either. Visit http://www.wadeshowsinc.com/events/event_detail.asp?ID=36 and you'll get a list of the rides they're bringing, from Alpine Bobs to the Zombie Dark Ride.

Hate standing in line? Wade Shows is offering something different this year; a FAST-PASS. For $10 you can buy a FAST-PASS which will allow you to shorten your line wait. FAST-PASS bracelets are good only for one day and you still have to buy tickets for the rides. (You can get all the rules and information about them at http://www.wadeshowsinc.com/fastpass/.) Of course, with over 100 rides to try you might want to minimize your wait as much as possible!

How is Wade Shows managing to put together so many rides at the Fair? The midway -- where most of the rides are traditionally placed -- has been moved and expanded. If you went to the Fair last year you'll remember that what used to be the racing track at the grandstand was used for rides. That same area has been expanded and is now the new midway. If you check out the new Fair map (PDF file) you'll see that there's going to be a huge new area. Fair organizers are promising more space, with less crowding even on those oh-so-busy weekend days.

The midway isn't the only new area at the Fair, either. The old Red Cross building is gone and in its place is a new Exposition Building. This new building, all 50,000 square feet of it, will open just in time for the Fair, with space for horticulture, bees, and animal exhibits. It'll also offer a concession stand and -- oh, hurray! -- more bathrooms!

Only a couple more days before we get to see what all this change means!
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