North Carolina State Fair

State Fair kicks off

Posted October 13, 2010 6:06 p.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2010 11:00 p.m. EDT

— Deep-fried food fans, rejoice. The 2010 North Carolina State Fair kicked off Thursday afternoon. Gates opened at 3 p.m. for preview day.

Stars of the State Fair include the Krispy Kreme hamburger and more rides than any other fair on the continent.

Find out about transit alternatives for fairgoers

The Krispy Kreme burger features two glazed doughnuts in place of buns and can be topped with cheese and bacon. The buns alone have 10 grams of sugar, and the whole confection packs up to 1,000 calories.

"We've got deep-fried pumpkin pie, a 1-pound hot dog, deep-friend honey buns, deep-friend Chips Ahoy," State Fair spokeswoman Jen Nixon said.

"We got a chocolate obsession funnel cake, which sounds pretty good. I might try that later," State Fair spokesman Brian Long said.

Kool-Aid-soaked pickles, which are popular in Mississippi, and deep-fried Fritos pies, a Texas treat, are both making their North Carolina debut.

"We're just walking around getting cotton candy. That's what my wife and I do. We don't ride on anything," said Felton Dickens of Rocky Mount.

Even Thursday night's performer, country singer Danny Gokey, appreciates fair food.

"I do enjoy coming to the fairs and here's why - because I get food. I get to stuff my face after the show," he said.

For people who go for the rides, there will be 105 options for thrill seekers – the most rides in the fair's history.

"There are more rides at the North Carolina State Fair than any other fair in North America at one time," said Charlie Belknap, with Powers Great American Midways. "People of North Carolina just love to ride rides, so you get as many, one of every ride that you can possibly get."

All but 18 rides were certified and ready to go by the time the doors opened at 3 p.m.  As of Thursday night, 98 of the 105 rides had been cleared by safety inspectors.

Meet your favorite WRAL reporters at the fair

After the official opening of the Fair Friday, admission will go up to $8 for adults and $3 for children, and an 18-ticket ride sheet will be $18.

Children under age 6 and adults 65 and older always get into the fair for free.

Rain, breezes to be followed by 'perfect Fair weather'

A rainy cold front sweeping through North Carolina might move out of the Triangle just in time for the opening of the State Fair. Rain was expected to subside in the Triangle by the late afternoon or early evening.

"If you're heading out to the Fair this afternoon, this afternoon, it's going to be fantastic," WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said. "It's going to be a little wet at 3 o'clock, but by 6 o'clock, we'll see the clouds clearing out."

The wind will pick up after the rain passes by, and temperatures will stay in the mid 60s through about 9 p.m. The overnight low will plummet to the mid 40s.

Windy weather will stick around Friday, but the sun will come out for the official opening of the State Fair.

"After we get this rain out of her, we've got fair weather. And by fair weather, I mean beautiful," Johnson said.

Plenty of sun and temperatures from the upper 60s to mid 70s will dominate this weekend. Overnight lows will dip into the 40s.

The stretch of sunny, pleasant weather will continue into at least early next week, with temperatures reaching around 80 degrees.

"When the weather is 70-degree days and 45-, 50-degree nights like we’re looking at this weekend, that’s what we call perfect Fair weather," Long said. "With weather like that throughout the rest of the Fair, we’re looking at a good, strong attendance."