Fair opens under cloudy skies

Posted October 17, 2008 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2008 4:21 p.m. EDT

— The national anthem and a prayer signaled the official opening of the N.C. State Fair Friday.

The opening ceremony took place after a "preview day" Thursday saw eager fairgoers riding and snacking Thursday night. The added day lengthens the fair's run to 10 days.

N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler acknowledged the wet weather Friday and emphasized the indoor activities available at the fair saying, "This is not a lost day."

Fairgoers can enjoy educational, livestock and horticulture exhibits, in addition to the fair standard rides, games and food.

Troxler mentioned the fair's roots as an agricultural exhibition. "The fair is a proper celebration of a leading industry in North Carolina," he said.

"The state fair is more important than it's ever been because we have more and more citizens in North Carolina who don't know anything about farms and farming," the commissioner said.

Troxler ended his remarks by inviting families to enjoy the fair together. He said he was particularly excited to share the fair with his granddaughter, who is 2. "I can't wait to see that enjoyment in her eyes," he said.

Miss North Carolina, Amanda Watson, sang "God Bless America" and joined Troxler and other officials in cutting the ribbon to officially open the fair.