WRAL.com at the State Fair

First days' roundup and a few thoughts

Posted October 16, 2010 3:10 p.m. EDT

The weather! The weather! I don't think we could have gotten better weather if we'd put in a request. Friday in the early afternoon it clouded up briefly, and I felt maybe one raindrop, but even that was all right because of the wonderful light afterwards as the sun filtered through the gray, gauzy clouds. And the only potential rain I see in WRAL's forecast is showers on Wednesday.

Friday's attendance set a record (more about that in a later blog post) and you could tell. Certain areas that aren't usually that crowded on Friday were definitely getting congested -- the walk from Gate 9 to the midway, for example (why have a guess your weight guy in that area? That's the worst place to draw a crowd. It's almost impassable on Saturday as it is.) On the other hand, the midway felt more open -- was it just me or were there fewer games/food stands available? There were plenty of places to sit down and nowhere where you felt like you had to dodge a line or make a long detour.

Most of the rides were open, but the Mindblaster was down on Friday afternoon -- something needed fixing -- and a ride on the old midway (the Himalaya, I think, but I'm not sure) looked like it was getting some steps added.

There are lots of signs pointing to different attractions placed all over the fairgrounds, which will help a lot if you're familiar with the basic landmarks. If you're not, you may still get turned around. Maybe the Android application has a landmark tutorial. ("See the building that looks vaguely like a Pringle? That's Dorton Arena. See where there's a building showing the time and temperature? That's the Expo Center...")

At the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston Salem, contest entry quilts are mostly hung from the ceiling. That's good in that you get to see them, but bad in that you don't get to see them closely. At our Fair they're put in a display-rack type thing where they're not all visible at once. If ever a collection needed to go online!