Local News

Fairgoers Get a Taste of the Old and the New

Posted October 15, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Cool temperatures and bright sunshine welcomed thousands of kids and adults looking for fun and food on the second day of the 1998 North Carolina State Fair.

Crowds filled parking lots around the fairgrounds, and brought big bucks to the ticket windows.

It has been said that getting there is half the fun, but that definitely wasn't true for fairgoers and football fans Saturday. Some 130,000 people got caught in gridlock near the fairgrounds and Carter-Finley Stadium.

The fair and the N.C. State/Duke game added up to Triangle traffic at its worst. It took some drivers hours just to find a parking spot.

"You can tell who wants to be here by how long they spend in traffic," Fair goer Patrick Abbott said. "That is real dedication to the Fair."

Troopers say traffic should be much lighter on Sunday, since there won't be a football game, but they still advise drivers to leave early and be patient.

For some, the excitement lasts into the night at the tractor pull. For others, thrills at the Midway turned stomachs and worlds upside down.

To the average eye, the Fair looks the same year after year.

Fairgoers celebrate our agricultural heritage with livestock showings and equipment displays. And of course, the Pigway Speedway is open near Gate 9 for pig racing. You can also see ducks and goats taking laps around the track.

The old is making room for the new at the Fair. Bottled water sits beside soft drinks, and vegetables are served with the hot dogs. And for the first time at the Fair, some people are serving gator and shark kabobs and even emu burgers.

The Fair is also keeping up with the times by showcasing exhibits like Cyber Space that move us toward the millennium. Cyber Space is a free attraction that makes its third appearance this year at the fair.

WRAL's tent was also a popular place.

Our tent showcasedHDTV, WRAL OnLine, and the best-sellingHealth Team Never Diet Againcookbook.