WRAL.com at the State Fair

The Friday Afternoon Roundup

Posted October 13, 2006 11:08 p.m. EDT

Click on the small pictures to see larger versions at Flickr!

Today's weather was very weird. It was cold and breezy and the clouds seemed thick at first. Then the wind picked up, the clouds seemed to be flying by, and we saw more blue sky. Later the sky had an odd crosshatching of clouds (pardon the picture - I couldn't escape the sun's glare.) There weren't many people at the Fair in the morning -- probably the cold. The bluer the sky got later on, the more crowded the Fair got. By the way, I know who to blame for the cloudy weather and it's not Greg Fishel. Powell's put up "misters" around the Fair -- fans that blow water on you, nice when you get overheated. If the misters hadn't been installed, then according to Murphy's Law it would have been cloudless and 85 degrees all week. Since they were installed, it'll be cool and overcast the whole time.

According to the Secretary of State's booth in the Kerr Scott Building, the official blue berry of North Carolina is the blueberry. Um, what? How many blue berries are there? Definitely a gimme category. I hereby declare the North Carolina State Fair the Official State Fair of North Carolina.

Whither Matt's Shark Shack? I wandered over to where his booth usually is to see that in its stead is a different booth selling BBQ sandwiches. Which are all very nice but how am I going to get my weird food fix? I'll have to check out the new Heidi Jo's Jerky featuring buffalo and ostrich; more about that next week.

The Village of Yesterday is home to a wide variety of very skilled craftsmen and women creating beautiful and wonderful things. Watching them takes you into the history of craftsmanship in North Carolina and gives you a sense of the artistry of the past. Which is why it's a little jolting to go to Curtis Cecil's booth and see that he's selling eyeballs.

(They are very artistic eyeballs.)

There won't be any Keith King stunt bicycle shows until Monday. Bummer!

As one gentleman remarked today, "You just can't duplicate the smell of the Fair, no matter how hard you try. It's got a smell of its own." And is he ever right; sausages, french fries, smoke, fudge, crisp October air, and the slight but unmistakable undertone of agriculture.