WRAL.com at the State Fair

Dixie Classic Roundup

Posted October 5, 2009 10:35 p.m. EDT

This past weekend marked the start of the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem -- or as I like to call it, the "NC State Fair Warm Up." It's not as large as the NC State Fair but the folks are nice, the exhibits are fun and interesting, and the parking is pricey but really, really good.

We were rewarded for our drive out there Saturday with beautiful weather -- an azure sky, just a tad warm, but with a breeze that kept everything crisp and October-y. (Octoberish?) It would take hours to tell you all we did at the Dixie Classic Fair, but I can hit the highlights. Be sure to check the pictures that go with this blog entry.

Midway Prizes We Can Believe In -- This has got to be a first. One of the games on the midway was offering stuffed Barack Obamas as the choice prize. Now, they were not labeled Barack Obama. But between the tie and the label on his jacket, it's pretty clear.

Has any other US President ever been a midway prize? "Hey hey hey! Knock over the milk cans and win a Jimmy Carter!" I just can't see it.

Favorite Midway Prize -- Sorry, Stuffed-Barack-Obama. My favorite midway prize is Brian the Dog from the TV show Family Guy, dressed up in a banana suit. He wore that in the show to cheer Peter Griffin up with a spirited rendition of "Peanut Butter Jelly Time."

Michael Jackson Not Quite Everywhere -- Since Michael Jackson died relatively recently I was wondering what kind of tributes would be paid to him at the Fair.  I saw less than I thought I would, though there were some MJ posters available as midway prizes. I did see a rather nice airbrush of MJ's face on a midway ride.

Fair Food -- It's not very fairlike but I had a terrific Shrimp Bayou for lunch at the Fair. For an afternoon snack I had the fried butter. (Strangely, though it's gotten a lot more press, I could not find chocolate-covered bacon anywhere.) I will have a review of the fried butter up tomorrow but I can summarize it with one question: do you like pancakes?

Giant Pumpkin -- Somebody tell Linus to get his blanket over here -- this is a great pumpkin. The DC Fair has the new NC record pumpkin, tipping the scale at over 1200 pounds. I had somehow missed the agricultural displays before now so I hadn't seen the winners of the giant sunflower contest, or the crazy huge gourds.

Ric Flair -- Woo! Ric Flair will be at the Dixie Classic Fair on October 10 from 11am to 1pm. Posters of The Nature Boy were everywhere. No word if the little old lady from the lottery commercial will be there, looking for "woo tickets."