State News

NC State Fair kicks off for 144th time

Posted October 13, 2011

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— The North Carolina State Fair is ready to pack in crowds looking to enjoy rides, concerts and mouthwatering food as the event's 144th edition starts an 11-day run Thursday.

"We look forward to a successful fair and all the things that this fair means to the state of North Carolina," state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.

"It's a celebration of North Carolina agriculture, North Carolina heritage and all things family fun and fried," fair spokesman Brian Long said.

Started in 1853 as a showcase for North Carolina agriculture, arts and crafts, the fair has also become a yearly destination for hundreds of thousands of people looking to play games and enjoy eyebrow-raising food, like cheeseburgers sandwiched between two doughnuts.

"We have lots of great food. The No. 1 reason people say they come to the fair is the food," Long said.

State Fair 144th State Fair kicks off in NC

This year's new culinary creations include cupcakes shaped like hot dogs and deep-fried versions of brownies, Kool-Aid, bubble gum and chicken pot pie – "good for the cool days, cool nights we'll have coming up," Long said.

Fairgoers seeking healthier fare can check out the brand-new, 40-foot-long Got to Be NC RV featuring North Carolina produce.

"The purpose of the RV is to promote North Carolina agriculture," said Joe Sanderson, public-safety chief for the state agriculture department.

"This is a wonderful, wonderful exhibit of what we do," Troxler said.

A stand-out among the rides is Sky Diver, a Ferris wheel-like ride that puts riders in cages that can twirl in barrel rolls. Deep-fried delicacies, sweet treats delight tastebuds at State Fair Deep-fried delicacies, sweet treats delight tastebuds at State Fair

The Sky Diver was popular in the 1960s but was eventually abandoned.

"We refurbished the ride from the ground up and put over 100,000 LED lights on this ride," said Charlie Belknap, with Powers Great American Midways. "It's absolutely spectacular."

Inspectors will fan out across the fairgrounds Thursday, checking if rides are safe before they are allowed to start operating. North Carolina has some of the country's strictest guidelines for ride inspections.

Organizers hope this year's fair will exceed the success of last year's event, which set an attendance record of more than 1 million people.

"It's real simple. We want everybody to come to the fair, have a great time and have a safe time," Sanderson said.

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  • scoutmomof2 Oct 14, 2011

    I just would like to say that some people are not interested in the NC State Fair at all. Has nothing to do with money or anything else. Could care less what ridiculous fried food they have or what rides.
    Moabit
    October 14, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    I can agree with you, but for some in NC the State Fair is more then the food and the rides. It is the competitions, both agriculturally related and other that are a part of NC. I personally have encouraged my children to enter the competitions and partake of the entire experience that is the State Fair outside of the food and rides.

  • Big Daddy Cain Oct 14, 2011

    The fair is like a Wal-Mart on steroids vs Moore Square. You got morbidly obese people in bad haircuts in tattered old t-shirts with the cutest sayings or some crip with a bandana on his head and his pants drooping on the ground.

    It can get pretty exciting, you don't know if your gonna get run over by a fat lady on a hoverround or shot from a gang fight.

  • Moabit Oct 14, 2011

    I just would like to say that some people are not interested in the NC State Fair at all. Has nothing to do with money or anything else. Could care less what ridiculous fried food they have or what rides.

  • more cowbell Oct 13, 2011

    I love observing the greatest attraction of all, a snapshot of the true representation of the real North Carolinian family unit in action.

  • trunkmonkee1971 Oct 13, 2011

    The NC State Fair is great.What's with all the grumpiness? I know the economy is bad right now but change is coming.The Fair will be better next year though. It's always better during a presidential election year. :)

  • GravyPig Oct 13, 2011

    "Alot of people are not as fortunate as you. Most will use the money to feed their families, pay rent or mortgage payments and buy winter clothes for their children. Thanks for letting us know how well off you are though." - MikeTroll

    Mikey, I don't think "letting us know how well off you are" was really the point of that post. Sorry that you are having financial issues though. You'll find though that there are folks out there that are not as well off as YOU are. Some folks don't have familys to feed, or rent or morgage payments to make. They aint got nuthin.

    I will say thanks in advance for staying home. The less grumpy people at the fair the better. :) Hey, you could always bring some cans for can night. You'd be doing something good and getting into the fair for free. Oh, and don't start griping about the prices cause once you are in you don't have to pay a cent. There are plenty of things to see and enjoy that are free.

  • superman Oct 13, 2011

    I went years ago and just never had the urge to go back. Once was more than enough. Rent one of those dollar movies, have some pop corn and kool aid and enjoy.

  • miketroll3572 Oct 13, 2011

    I'll be having fun at the fair creating great memories with my family and friends. And for me..... that is worth a whole lot more than setting in a movie theater and doing something I can do most anytime day of the week.

    Alot of people are not as fortunate as you. Most will use the money to feed their families, pay rent or mortgage payments and buy winter clothes for their children. Thanks for letting us know how well off you are though.

  • Realthoughts Oct 13, 2011

    For all you "Ripp Off" nay-sayers. All you guys should stay home. Save your money, take the family to dinner and a movie.

    I'll be having fun at the fair creating great memories with my family and friends. And for me..... that is worth a whole lot more than setting in a movie theater and doing something I can do most anytime day of the week.

    Enjoy your dinner and a movie, because I will be enjoying all the food, fun, thrills and great memories the fair has to offer.

  • twc Oct 13, 2011

    james18, movies are as big a rip off as the fair!

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