WRAL.com at the State Fair

Ready to ride? Fair goers enjoy opening day

Posted October 15, 2015

— The North Carolina State Fair opened Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. for a "preview day" with an emphasis on the rides.

Thrillseekers can purchase a ride wristband for $28 and enjoy unlimited slides, scares and roller coasters until the gates close at midnight.

The North Carolina Department of Labor started inspections earlier than usual to assure the 95 rides on the midway would be ready.

Admission, usually $10 for adults and $5 for those 6 to 12 at the gate, is discounted for Thursday's preview. Adults get in for $8 and children are just $3. Those 65 and older and kids 5 and younger are always free. Those with military ID can visit the fair for a discount any day through its 11-day run. Their cost is $6 at the gate.

A new additional to this year's fair - a mascot. To get folks excited about the annual event, the fair announced Casey Cardinal, a red-winged mascot sporting a blue fair T-shirt.

Casey will be roaming the fair throughout the 11-day event and posing for pictures with more kids than he can count.

Concerts take a Tar Heel turn

Live music at Dorton Arena, always a fair staple, will have a distinctly North Carolina twang this year. The performances, rebranded as the "Homegrown North Carolina Concert Series," will veer from the national headliners of years past to feature bands with local connections.

All concerts are free, but floor seating (closest to the stage) will require tickets. Those are available daily starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the show.

Thursday's concerts

3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on the Waterfall Stage: Sidecar Social Club – Old-timey jazz with a stylized and sultry twist from the Triangle

3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on the Bluegrass Stage: John Stickley Trio – Imaginative flatpickin' from Asheville

7:30 p.m. at Dorton Arena: Firehouse with the Fifth – Throwback Thursday '80s rock band from Charlotte

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  • Jim Hugs Oct 15, 2015
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    I'd rather eat my fried sour cucumbers at home