Weekend Update: Dec. 9-11

bulls bells barrels bull riding 2

The Bulls, Bells and Barrels Bull Riding Event presented by Carousel Farms is Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Hunt Horse Complex. General admission is $12, VIP admission is $17 and children ages 5 and under are admitted free. This event offers bull riding and barrel racing. Doors open at 6 p.m. for shopping. Other events to check out: The Adidas Warehouse Clearance Sale starts today in the Exposition Center. Sale will offer huge savings on Adidas apparel, footwear and accessories. Special VIP sale hours are Wednesday, 5 to 8 p.m. Regular sale hours are Thursday and Friday,…

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Weekend Update: Dec. 2-4

scandinavian christmas fair 3 lucia procession

Get The Nest for less! It’s time to clear the shelves of the State Fair Nest souvenir shop just in time to save for everyone on your gift list. State Fair staff will be at the Raleigh Flea Market this weekend by the Administration Building on Saturday and Sunday with discounted State Fair merchandise, including t-shirts, pint glasses, hats and more. All 2016 logo merchandise will be 50 percent off and all other merchandise will be 25 percent off. Check out the album of available merchandise on Facebook. The Fair will also offer special ticket packages, with a complimentary holiday card. Packages include: One State Fair ornament plus two…

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Weekend Update: Nov. 25-27

christmas carousel holiday gift market 2

The Christmas Carousel Holiday Gift Market is Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Graham Building. Admission covers all three days and is $8 for adults, $7 for senior and members of the military with ID and $4 for children ages 6 to 12. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. This event features over 250 exhibitors offering crafts, jewelry, art, pottery and food. Other events this weekend include: The Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza is Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday…

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Weekend Update: Nov. 11-13

kids toy exchange consignment 2

Get a head start on your holiday shopping at the Christmas Toy Exchange. This event is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Scott Building. Admission is free. This event offers gently used toys, books and videos as well as holiday apparel and decorations. Other events include: The ‘Jump for the Children’ Hunter Jumper Show is Tuesday through Sunday in the Hunt Horse Complex. Admission is free. This USEF Heritage Competition benefits the Duke Children’s Hospital. This event features the $50,000 Duke Children’s Grand Prix, $10,000 Duke Welcome Jumper Stake and $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The Carolina Collector Auto…

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Happy 65th Birthday, Village of Yesteryear


For as long as most people can remember, the Village of Yesteryear has been housed in the circular building with the white roof adjacent to Heritage Circle. It’s within the walls of the Holshouser Building that you not only observe working artists demonstrating heritage crafts, but purchase the art for yourself. For all 65 years, the mission of the Village of Yesteryear has remained the same: Teaching heritage craftsmanship, demonstrating skills and educating the public. Mary Cornwell, a former extension agent for Cherokee and Haywood counties, was the Village of Yesteryear’s first director and served for 38 years. Below is her account of…

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Maceo blows his horn Sunday night in Dorton Arena


A musical legend will close out the Homegrown Music Fest at the N.C. State Fair this Sunday night. Maceo Parker is a saxophonist whose music is described as 2 percent jazz and 98 percent “funky stuff.” And, longtime James Brown fans might remember Parker being called out in Brown’s songs with “Maceo, blow your horn.” For more than 40 years, Parker has had the opportunity to “blow his horn” for music icons like George Clinton and Prince. He has also made guest appearances on songs such as “What Would You Say” for the Dave Matthews band and on De La Soul’s…

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Horticulture department hopes new mushroom competitions grows


Growing your own mushrooms can all start with a roll of toilet paper. For the first year, the N.C. State Fair’s Horticulture Department featured a mushroom competition and April Blazich, the department’s superintendent, said she hopes the new competition and mushroom display in the Exposition Center will encourage fairgoers to try something different – producing mushrooms in their own homes and gardens. “We’re trying to convince people to try something new,” Blazich said. “Garden even if you think you can’t.” Although there were only two entrants in this year’s competition, Blazich said she is confident the mushroom display will raise…

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Sweet (potato) success for Rhylee Pope


  Rhylee Pope of Clinton has a lot to brag about. The 11-year old placed first in the commercial sweet potato display competition, earned $180 and a blue ribbon for her perfect sweet potatoes. Rhylee’s sweet potatoes were chosen first from 18 other entries. The judges chose her display based on the cleanliness and neatness of her three bins of potatoes. North Carolina ranks first nationally in sweet potatoes. And they are our state vegetable. Rhylee’s were grown on Pope’s Farm in Sampson County. Picking potatoes to bring to the fair is not as easy as you might think. Once they are…

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Sister Act: A pair of sisters win cooking competitions

Sisters Faye Smith and Paula Edwards place 1st and 2nd in Eggs Go International Recipe Contest

It’s been a sister act for the specialty cooking competitions at the N.C. State Fair. Not one, but two competitions had sisters place in the top three. On Monday, Oct. 17, sisters Mary Fuentes, 16, and Maggie, 11, placed first and second in the N.C. Apple Growers Association Apple Recipe Contest.  Older sister Mary won $200 for her Autumn Apple Cake. Mary took home $150 for Fall Apple Salad. The Autumn is Apple Season-themed contest was open to any breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner or dessert-type recipe. All recipes were judged based on taste, appearance and create use of apples…

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Casey’s favorite N.C. State Fair Finds

Casey Cardinal on the State Fair Flyer

Fair mascot Casey Cardinal is back and he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers. Read below to find a few unique N.C. State Fair traditions that makes the fair live up to Nothing Could Be Finer. It’s true, just about every state has a state fair. And these fairs have rides and foods and a midway. But that’s not all that’s at a State Fair. The buildings are full of vendors, state agencies and other organizational booths. The exhibit halls are full of ribbon winners and the livestock barns are bustling with livestock shows. On the grounds you’ll find stilt walkers,…

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