The Nest — THE place for official N.C. State Fair merchandise

Most State Fair visitors have certain traditions that make the fair memorable, whether it’s eating at a favorite food booth, buying a special souvenir or visiting certain exhibits. No matter if it’s their first year or their 50th, those special memories and traditions are part of what keeps visitors coming back to the State Fair year after year. We know people love the State Fair, and this year, fans and super fans alike can take home their own official piece of the fair from the new merchandise booth, The Nest. The Nest will be located in the lobby of the…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 30-Oct. 2

n.c. quarter horse association show

We’re in full gear getting ready for the opening of the State Fair on Oct. 13, so there are no events on the main fairgrounds until November, including the Raleigh Flea Market. There are a few events happening at the Hunt Horse Complex: Riders of all disciplines will be competing in horse shows this weekend at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The N.C. Quarter Horse Association’s Tar Heel Fall Classic is Friday through Sunday at 8 a.m. in the Hunt Horse Complex. Admission is free. The NCQHA 2016 Tar Heel Quarter Horse Fall Classic Show is Friday through Sunday, with an estimated…

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19 choirs competing in the first State Fair Choral Competition

Dorton Arena has hosted many legendary performers, including the Supremes, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, KISS and Prince. Adding to this list of performers will be 19 local middle and high school choirs that will compete in the N.C. State Fair’s new Choral Competition on Thursday, Oct. 13. “We decided it would be a great fit for one of the concert events in Dorton,” said Denise Walker, competitive exhibits director. The competition offers $6,200 in total prize money. Nine middle school choirs will compete from 4 to 6 p.m., and 10 high school choirs will compete from 7 to 9 p.m….

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Casey’s tips for planning a trip to the Fair


Fair mascot Casey the Cardinal is back. And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. The N.C. State Fair celebrates the biggest and the best of North Carolina – which means there’s a lot to see and do.  Here are some tips for planning a fair trip for first-timers or frequent-fliers. The fair may still be a few weeks away, but now is the time to save money and find those good walking shoes. Cause we’ve packed a lot into 11 days and you aren’t going to want to miss it. Step 1: Buy early and save money and time:…

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Mobility issues don’t limit the opportunity for fun at the fair

  The N.C. State Fair is 100 acres of fun activities, food, exhibits, shows and displays, which may seem daunting for anyone with mobility issues, but it doesn’t have to deter plans for a visit. The fair offers plenty of options for individuals with accessibility needs, from getting to and from the fair, to moving around the fairgrounds and enjoying the diverse exhibits and entertainment. Nearly all of the grounds are paved, making it easier to move around. Start making your plans to attend the 2016 N.C. State Fair, Thursday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 23. Following is a partial…

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Five-and-a-half questions for Deep South Entertainment

11 days. 3 stages. 117 concerts. All free. All North Carolina artists. It’s quite a task to be the company behind the booking of musical acts for the Homegrown Music Fest at the N.C. State Fair. For the second year, Deep South Entertainment has been up for that challenge. We recently caught up with Amy Cox, managing partner for Deep South Entertainment, about showcasing talent at the fair. Amy also gives us a few hints for what acts to watch at this year’s fair. Last year was Deep South’s first doing the NC State Fair. What lessons did you learn? “Tame…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 23-25


It’s a big weekend at the fairgrounds. The Southern Ideal Home Show takes over the Graham Building and the Exposition Center for three days with lots of great home improvement ideas. And this is the last weekend for the Flea Market. All the flea market vendors will have to move out to make room for the State Fair, so there will be plenty of deals to be had. And many wrestling legends make a return to Dorton Arena on Friday night.   The Southern Ideal Home Show is Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m….

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N.C. State Fair Cheese Competition showcases growing industry

Entries in cheese competition

North Carolina’s growing cheese industry has gotten a welcome boost from the annual N.C. State Fair Cheese Competition. “We started the competition in 2011 to help small dairy farmers and give consumers exposure to what great cheeses we have,” said Steve Lathrop, head of dairy marketing for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. There are nearly 40 creameries producing cheese across the state, and many of them enter the fair’s cheese competition, Lathrop said. Entries are judged according to their class, or type, and the winners in each class contend for Best of Show. After the competition, the…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 16-18

professional firefighters paramedics n.c.

Supporting North Carolina’s firefighters and paramedics can be as simple as buying a concert ticket. The Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of N.C. Presents Neal McCoy in Concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in Dorton Arena. General admission is $28, and doors open at 7 p.m. Buy tickets at or at Dorton Arena Box Office beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the concert. Other events this weekend include: The 59th Annual N.C. State Championship Horse Show is Thursday through Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. in the Hunt Horse Complex. Admission is free to morning sessions. Whiplash will perform each night…

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State Fair Flyer Q&A


Note: This post has been updated to reflect a change in the number of carriers on the ride. The N.C. State Fairgrounds will premiere its first permanent ride at the 2016 fair. The State Fair Flyer will transport fairgoers across the Midway, giving visitors a beautiful aerial view of the grounds. We talked to American Sky Lifts, who will own and operate the lift. Q: What is the State Fair Flyer? A: The State Fair Flyer is similar to a ski lift. Its endpoints are the “Orville Terminus” at the west end of the Scott Building and the “Wilbur Terminus” near Gate…

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