Local News

Midway For State Fair Expected To Have Different Look This Year

Posted October 10, 2006 7:50 a.m. EDT

— Crews are getting down to business building the Midway for the State Fair. Officials said that this year, the Midway will have a more user-friendly, environmentally friendly feel.

WRAL.com State Fair Section

The state Agriculture Department said it is a different approach to go with a smaller vendor who will contract out many of the rides. Corky Powers, who runs Powers Great American Midways, said it is not a big change.

"To be honest with you, I think we're as big as the other guys and like everyone that has come in here, we need to bring in additional equipment, and that's what we've done," he said. "Just like everyone else, but we have tried to create a new type of atmosphere out here -- a family-type atmosphere."

The main Midway near the Sam Rand Grandstand has more asphalt. There will also be new, brighter lighting as well as new sitting areas wrapped around small gardens.

In years past, many fairgoers often had to step over power cables strung all over the midway. This year, most utility lines will be underground. Operators can plug rides into new power distribution boxes.

Plus, this year the generators will run on bio-diesel fuel made from North Carolina soybeans.

Officials hope to build upon last year's strong attendance at the fair. Last year's fair drew about 790,000 people.