WRAL.com at the State Fair

We've Got Pavement, Now We Need Streets

Posted October 14, 2007

I know there are a variety of buildings dedicated to officials out at the fairgrounds -- Kerr Scott Building, Jim Graham Building, Jim Martin Building -- but I think a great opportunity has been missed.

Wouldn't it be easier if there were streets on the fairgrounds?

Oh, I'm not talking officially. I have no desire to see double yellow lines and traffic lights. But I'm thinking of the way areas of the fairgrounds are described. It's hard to give directions to different attractions and areas of the fair because you end up saying things like, "Take the path from Gate 11 west until you see the sign for the original ham biscuit."

And what an opportunity to honor some people. Wesley Wyatt, for example, who's been NC State Fair manager since 1997. His mother Charlotte Wyatt, who has been working at the Fair for 31 years and is retiring this year. Probably lots more people who have been integral to the Fair that I don't know about. Maybe even organizations that have been exhibiting and acting as vendors at the Fair for several years, like 4-H?

Maybe it's a silly idea. But I know that when I'm trying to describe to people where things are, I usually start by mentioning a road outside the fairgrounds, and a gate relative to that road, and go from there, trying to use landmarks like Dorton Arena. How much easier it would be if I could talk about starting on Wyatt Way, heading down Main Street, and taking 4-H Lane by the Graham Building!


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  • luvtoshag Oct 15, 2007

    I think it would be a great idea to name the streets or at the very least have some signs that point to particular areas like Dorton Arena, Jim Graham building, etc. Those who are new here probably don't know that the Dorton Arena looks like a Pringle. Signs pointing to the Gates would be nice since the gates are numbered the same each year and wouuld also help at the Flea Market.

  • LMRA Oct 15, 2007

    There should be something to identify where you are! I had the same problem Saturday night. I got turned around coming out of Dorton and it took a few minutes to get my direction straight! AND I had a map! I kept thinking I wasn't as close to the rides when I entered the grounds as I was when I was leaving. I ended up going out through a gate I don't think was supposed to be open but it brought me right out to Gate 9.

    Just don't use a funnel cake or ribbon fries booth as a reference!

    I agree with the comments about people just stopping and looking randomly. OH and why do they have to do that at the end of what looks line a line? AND THEN not tell you they aren't in the line!!! Sometime I think people lose their sense of common courtesy at the Fair. I'm not sure why . . .

  • GoodToGo Oct 15, 2007

    forget the street names..how about just some crowd control...it gets so bad with folk just stopping in the middle of the streets to look or talk...you can hardley move from one attraction to another...surely there has to be a solution...maybe two way traffic.....

  • Central_Law Oct 15, 2007

    Verboten, I agree that people watching is fun, but elitism and alienation of the people that you so hate is not the way to solve anything.

    PS- just because people don't look like you doesn't mean that they are the reason that society is devolving.

  • jeebk04 Oct 15, 2007

    Haven't been yet this year, but last year, the paved areas were awesome!

  • Skepticghoul Oct 15, 2007

    While we are at it, let's paint little yellow feet on the asphalt and have "you are here" signs placed every 2 feet.

    The fairgrounds is not a large place and has few buildings. Why can't people think enough to read the guide, orient themselves and match the names on paper with the buildings?

    And more streetlights? Ferchrissake! This is a fun fair, not a city park! More light pollution for an already light polluted area. 7 years ago I could still see the Milky Way from my backyard. Now I have to pack up my telescope and travel 20 miles to find fairly dark skies.

  • takecare_of_others Oct 15, 2007

    I agree with the other 2 comments. Would add to the surroundings, maybe add some street lights, make it a little town within the BIG city.

  • jetset Oct 15, 2007

    Oh no, it is not a silly idea at all. Good thinking!!

  • Lookelou Oct 14, 2007

    I agree. When I went to the fair last night, I picked a reference point (Drop Tower) to indicate where I came in. Turns out there are three or four of them. It took quite a while to figure out which way to gate eight.