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Practically Perfect Weather Greets Fairgoers

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RALEIGH — Attendance through the first weekend of theNorth Carolina State Fair was down nearly a third from last year,but officials say the event will make enough money to support itsprograms.

On Monday, attendance was 51,921, down from 69,580 on the sameday last year.

Fairgoers competed with extra traffic Friday and Saturday as sports fans headed to the Entertainment and Sports Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium for NBA basketball and ACC football. A smaller crowd braved the elements on a soggy Sunday afternoon.

Fair officials are hoping for better weather this week to boost attendance.

So far, officials say that


is down for the first three days compared to last year. They also say that attendance is not the only sign of a fair's success.

"Another way is looking around and seeing how many people here are having a good time. Obviously, this year, another big measure of success for us is seeing that everything is safe and secure," says Mike Blanton of N.C. Dept. of Agriculture.

More uniformed officers are posted at gates to check bags, and plainclothes officers are among the faces in the crowd.

More than 70 rides along the midway are providing thrills and chills for those who dare to ride them. There are several new rides to try. The "Wild Mouse," "Remix" and two different rides named "Fireball" have people lining up.

The rides and food are a big draw, too. Hundreds of vendors provide choices to satisfy hearty appetites and those with a sweet tooth.

Animals from across the state are competing and are on display during the 10-day event. Just remember to ask before touching them! And if you do touch them, wash your hands in one of the handwashing stations that are available.

Do not forget to stop by the Education Building to learn about the state's past at the fair. You will find everything from the biggest rhubarb to the 1932 4H national fashion contest-winning dress.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to your friends at WRAL-TV. Our tent is in its usual place next to Dorton Arena.

Directions & Parking:

The N.C. State Fair is held at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, which is accessible from Interstate 40, the I-440 Beltline, as well as Blue Ridge Road, N.C. Highway 54 (Hillsborough Street) and Edwards Mill Road.

Parking is not allowed along Wade Avenue, Blue Ridge Road, Hillsborough Street, Trinity Road, or Youth Center Road.

CAT bus shuttles


Amtrak's Carolinian

are options to consider if you want to avoid parking hassles.

2001 State Fair Stories:

  • Security At Forefront Of State Fair Festivities
  • State Fair + Sports = Triangle Traffic Tieups
  • Food Bank Sets Goal For Annual State Fair Food Drive
  • N.C. State Fairgoers Can Expect Extra Security This Year

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