Indie-group The Love Language brings lo-fi energy and bleeding-heart pop to Dorton Arena

The indie-rock group The Love Language is no strangers to the Triangle-music scene. Since 2008, the group has played to crowds at favorite hot spots such as Cat’s Cradle, Local 506, Kings, Red Hat Amphitheater, Lincoln Theater and the Haw River Ballroom. After Friday, Oct. 23, the group can add Dorton Arena to that group of venues. The group started as a solo project by frontman Stuart McLamb. The first album, The Love Language, drew the attention of another local band, The Rosebuds.  So impressed by the album, the Rosebuds asked that The Love Language be its opening act. And,…

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Casey’s guide to new foods

There’s a new bird in town – Fair mascot Casey the Cardinal. And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers.  This week is all about food – as Casey dishes on a few new foods he can’t wait to try. If you are like Casey, you’ve probably already got a list of foods – and it probably includes old favorites such Howling Cow ice cream, Al’s French fries or a warm Cary United Methodist ham biscuit. Leave a little room for something new. Deep Fried Pimento Cheese Pimento cheese must be one of the “it” foods for 2015 because we…

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Rabbit Hopping Competition jumps into action at the State Fair


Move over horses and K-9s in Flight – there will be some slightly smaller and fluffier creatures also wowing crowds with their agility skills and jumping abilities at the 2015 N.C. State Fair. This year, the Rabbit Show will hold its first official rabbit hopping competition. The sport involves a course of jumps and other obstacles such as bridges. A rabbit is led through the course by its trainer while attached to a harness. Rabbit Show Superintendent Kristen Bruce has kept rabbits for many years, but first got involved with rabbit hopping three years ago after hearing about the sport…

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Rock bands bookend the State Fair’s concert lineup


Throughout its history, Dorton Arena has hosted some of the biggest, loudest and rowdiest rock bands that have toured the country. Bands such as Kiss, Led Zeppelin, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Ratt and Bon Jovi have played Dorton Arena. I can only imagine the amped-up guitar squalls and pounding drum solos bouncing off the glass and concrete during any of those shows. Rock on! With the 2015 State Fair, Dorton will be bracing for another round of rock ‘n’ roll warfare with performances by the heavy metal band Firehouse on Oct. 15 and Southern rockers Nantucket…

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Employee Profile: New art and photography superintendent Dottie Cole seeks to broaden exhibition

Dottie Cole

When the sun rises over the fairgrounds Thursday, Oct. 15, Dottie Bryan Cole, the art and photography department superintendent, will be walking through the Kerr Scott Building, ensuring all the art exhibition displays are ready for the N.C. State Fair’s opening. “That’s my favorite part of the job,” Cole said. “Walking through in the morning before opening, seeing the final project, going through and taking it all in. All of the hard work is done.” As the art and photography superintendent, Cole is responsible for processing entries, setting competition rules and regulations, hiring and managing department employees, selecting judges, organizing…

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Casey’s guide to being a N.C. State Fair Super Fan

Casey bursting through Oval 1

There’s a new bird in town – fair mascot Casey the Cardinal.  And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. This week Casey’s giving his top five tips to being an N.C. State Fair Super fan. Casey knows the N.C. State Fair has a lot of fans out there and he can’t wait to meet them all. To help discover if you are a fan of the N.C. State Fair consider the following: You might be a fan of the fair if the word “October” automatically brings to mind those 11-days when the fairgrounds are transformed into a cacophony of…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 25-27

Unique and one-of-a-kind gifts at the Raleigh Flea Market this weekend

It’s the first weekend of fall at the state fairgrounds, which means the N.C. State Fair is right around the corner. It also means that this the last weekend to enjoy the Raleigh Flea Market before in closes in preparation for the annual State Fair. Each weekend, the Commercial and Education buildings and grounds host hundred of dealers selling antiques, furniture, bargains, collectibles and more. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  The flea market will reopen Saturday, Nov. 7. Discount N.C. State Fair admission tickets and ride books will be available this weekend at Gate 9…

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Orquesta GarDel brings Latin fire to Dorton Arena Sunday, Oct. 18

Dorton Arena will fill with the dynamic Latin sounds and performance of Orquesta GarDel Sunday, Oct. 18, giving Latin music fans exactly “lo que tú querías” or “what you want.” Lo Que Tú Querías is also the name of the group’s latest release. This modern salsa band with a bold multinational sound has its roots firmly in North Carolina. The group formed just down the road from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and consists of 13 members, including horn players, percussionists and coro singers. Coro singers perform the chorus, or most recognizable part, of the song. “One…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 18-20

The Arabian and Half-Arabian Sport Horse National Show is at the Hunt Horse Complex this week, with competitors from all over the nation. The show is free for spectators and also offers the Total Arabian Interactive Learning tours on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.   Go online to register for a tour and to find showtimes. Other events at the fairgrounds this weekend: Lonestar and Brent Rupard will perform Saturday night in Dorton Arena. Tickets are $28. Doors open at…

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A fair competition where “Almost Anything Goes”

Blue ribbons and bragging rights are what thousands of fair exhibitors are hoping for each year when they enter their prized items into the N.C. State Fair for competition. This year, in the fair’s newest competitive-exhibits category, fairgoers will decide which exhibitors earns the rainbow-colored rosette. “We came up with the idea from our exhibitors,” said Denise Walker, competitive exhibits director. “Every year we hear I can’t believe you don’t have a category for fill-in-the-blank. But sometimes there is not a miscellaneous category that applies, and this competition gives these exhibitors a chance to showcase talents that haven’t previously been…

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