The focus at the N.C. State Fair on Wednesday will be on the military.
Wednesday is Military Appreciation Day, featuring special events, giveaways and, for service members and veterans, deals.
Here's what's scheduled:
- The first 3,000 people through the gates will receive a military appreciation keychain.
- At 11 a.m., a parade will begin in the carnival midway, continue through Kiddieland, past the Scott Building and weave its way back through the carnival midway.
- Military displays will be in the Grandstand. They include a variety of equipment, along with a real Abrams Main Battle Tank, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a Heavy Equipment Truck, Mini-C-130 Aircraft and more. They'll be on view through 6 p.m.
- A Military Appreciation Day Program is slated for 12:30 p.m. on the Waterfall Stage next to Dorton Arena. The event includes music from the 440th Army Band, along with a Historical Uniform Revue presented by the N.C. Department of Cultural and Natural Resources. Re-enactors will wear uniforms from the War of Jenkin's Ear to Vietnam. Be sure to check out the state agency's other displays inside and outside Dorton Arena. I'll have more about them on the site on Thursday (but you can check out an image gallery now).
On Wednesday, active duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsmen and their dependents, ages 13 to 64, will pay $6 at the gate - a 44 percent discount. The deal isn't available online or in advance. You'll need to present proper identification at the ticket window to get the discount. The fair's website has more information.