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State Fair Is Fun But Also Work

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RALEIGH — For two weeks each fall, families pack the fairgrounds to enjoy food, fun, games, and rides. The money they spend at the North Carolina State Fair supports civic programs that do good in our community year-round.

Bill Pugh is putting the finishing touches on the food tent the Shriners will operate during the State Fair, which begins Friday and runs for 10 days.

People will devour thousands of funnel cakes, french fries and hot dogs during the fair. A lot of it is served up by civic groups like the Shriners. The profits they earn support charities throughout the year.

"Some of it goes to the temple for maintenance and salaries and upkeep, but then what's left over goes to the burned and crippled childrens' hospital," Pugh says.

Volunteers are painting a mural at the St. Paul's Christian church booth today. Hundreds of church members are involved in the state fair. It's St. Paul's single biggest fundraising event of the year.

"We have outreach that goes all over the world. We have youth programs we want to support and build for education. We're also in the process of remodeling the church and doing renovations," says Richard Ruggero, who was at work at the fairgrounds.

Ron Franzel tied on his apron and made sure everything is in working order at the Exchange club booth. They'll sell ostrich burgers to help raise funds for the Child Abuse Center of Raleigh.

"I think everybody's gonna be pleasantly suprrised that it doesn't taste awful," Franzel says. "To me it tastes like a high quality hamburger."

If ostrich sounds too exotic, don't worry -- you'll still find your old favorites. And when you dig in for your junk food fix, you'll also be donating to some worthy causes.

The North Carolina State Fair starts Friday. You can buy discounted tickets in advance at the fairgrounds.