Ribbon-winning desserts for Thanksgiving

Cooks come from all over to to compete in the N.C. State Fair Special Cooking Contests held in the education building during the fair. Hundreds of cooks and some pretty creative recipes compete during the 11-days of contests for ribbons, bragging rights and a chance at a portion of the more than $4,000 in prize money. Since Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday, we thought it’s the perfect time to share two ribbon-winning desserts from this year’s fair that feature some of North Carolina’s favorite fall produce. To get Best of Show pies at home, use fresh, locally grown ingredients….

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Weekend Update: Nov. 20-22

The Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza  is this weekend in the Exposition Center.  (photo courtesy www.antextofnc.com/)

It’s a full lineup of events – why not enjoy a beautiful fall weekend at the Fairgrounds and get an early start on your holiday shopping? Unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for even the hardest-to-shop-for person can be found at the Raleigh Flea Market. Hundreds of vendors will be available in the Commercial and Education buildings and outside grounds. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Have kids? Need toys? Check out the Christmas Toy Exchange by Kids Exchange this Saturday in the Holshouser Building. The Christmas Toy Sale will feature seasonal products such as gently used toys,…

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Making memories of a lifetime one year at a time


Firecracker and I are celebrating our 20th State Fair. Yes, Firecracker started working when she was 5 years old! (hahaha…very funny.) So in honor of our 20th anniversaries, we thought it would be fun to come up with our Top 20 Fair Memories to share with readers. When I was thinking back over all the cool and fun things I have gotten to do at the State Fair, the one thing that stood out in almost every one of them is the fun I had with the people involved. And that is really what the State Fair is all about,…

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Weekend Update: Nov. 13-15

Classic Car

More than 125 vendors will be showcasing classic cars at the Carolina Collector Auto Fest. The event runs Friday through Sunday in the Dorton Arena, Graham Building and outside grounds. Celebrating it’s 28th year, this event features a car corral for buying and selling, and car and truck shows. Hours are Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;  Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for the Swap-n-Shop on Friday, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military and students, $5 for ages 11 to 15, and free for 10 and under. Bring…

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Weekend Update: Flea Market and other events return this weekend

The Raleigh Flea Market returns this weekend

After a month-long break, the Raleigh Flea Market reopens this weekend. Come browse hundreds of vendors as the Commercial and Education buildings and the grounds are transformed into the largest flea market in the area. The market is open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other events: ‘Jump for Children’ Horse Show, benefiting Dukes Children’s Hospital is at the Hunt Horse Complex. The horse show offers U.S. Equestrian Federation AA-rated hunter and show jumping competitions each day. Show highlights: Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. is the $10,000 Welcome Jumper Stake; Friday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m….

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Casey’s Highlights from the 2015 N.C. State Fair


The 2015 State Fair ended just over a week ago with attendance topping the 1 million mark. This week Casey Cardinal is offering a trip down memory lane to look back at his top five highlights from the fair. Friday Frenzy and record attendance days: The fair started with two record attendance days. Preview Day on Thursday brought in a record 50,327 people. Friday’s new promotion, Friday Frenzy, brought in 90,954 people, many who took advantage of the $5 admission for students and an unlimited ride wristband promotion. It was a great kickoff to 11 days of strong attendance. Opening…

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Michael’s Day offers magical day to special fairgoers

Michael's Brother, Matthew Breuer, with his grandmother, Pam Brown, and Smokey Bear

It all started last year with a little boy named Michael and a wish to come to the fair. Michael Breuer was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer involving developing nerve cells, at age 4. Before the 2014 N.C. State Fair, Michael’s grandmother, Pam Brown, called up the State Fair and asked if the fair had a special day or a place for kids that were sick to go during the fair. Fair officials worked to help make the accommodations needed to help Michael come to the fair. Unfortunately, his disease prevented him from visiting with his family. Michael passed away at…

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Deep Fried Review: Deep-Fried Klondike Bar

What would you do for a deep-fried Klondike Bar? Check out Firecraker and Flying Bob’s review of this treat from Chef’s D’Lites. We weren’t let in on any deep-fried secrets of how to make your own at home — but we are pretty sure the chefs took a play from Paula Deen’s playbook and added butter. And, a touch of cinnamon. Watch to see what else our reviewers have to say about it.  

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Casey’s Don’t Miss List for the last weekend of the fair


There’s a new bird in town – fair mascot Casey Cardinal. And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. This week we are looking at a few of Casey’s suggestions for what not to miss the last weekend of the fair. Get a selfie with the FloraSapiens These tall, lithe, plant-like creatures  with a big personality are roaming around Heritage Circle. They just love to pose for pictures and move to the sounds of bluegrass coming from the Heritage Circle Stage.  The FloraSapiens are joined by Mother Earth, who enjoys hanging out around the Flower Show area. Have a ham biscuit…

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Mock Tobacco Auction on Friday allows fairgoers to ‘follow sale’


The new tobacco pavilion in Heritage Circle will hosts its first mock tobacco auction Friday at 2 p.m. The auction has been held in the Expo Center for the past several years. The new venue will allow even more fairgoers to experience a throwback to N.C.’s past. “Tobacco is an important part of North Carolina’s heritage and agricultural economy,” said Pat Short, Heritage Circle superintendent. “It’s an industry that is well represented in Heritage Circle with the tobacco tying competition, curing in a traditional stick tobacco barn and the mock auction.” Tobacco auctions were common all over North Carolina until…

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