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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It’s a State Fair Adventure


When it comes to maximizing your N.C. State Fair experience, look no further than our State Fair Scavenger Hunts. This morning Wildflower and I took on both of this year’s scavenger activities – one being a general hunt and the other a STEM-based excursion – and discovered that the thrill of the hunt is truly alive on the fairgrounds. Whether you’re looking for an educational activity or need help figuring out what to see and do, these scavenger hunts are sure to ensure that you’re making the most of your time. As a long-time fair attendee, I know how easy…

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Be a State Fair Adventurer


I just got tricked into learning while doing all of my favorite things at the fair! The N.C. State Fair Scavenger Hunts guide kids (and eager interns) as they scour the fairgrounds for clues. With every question they answer, kids learn more about North Carolina’s history and agriculture. You can join in on the scavenger hunt fun by clicking here. You can choose between two themes, “Science at the State Fair” and “Be a State Fair Adventurer.” Watch for the signs at each stop to help you with answers, and remember to turn in completed scavenger hunt sheets at the Expo Center for…

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The State Fair’s blacksmith shop is new — and old

Heritage Forge blacksmith shop

The N.C. State Fair’s newest building is actually quite old. The new blacksmith shop, a replacement for the one that sat in Heritage Circle since the late 1980s, was built with wood from two barns, each more than a century old. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler donated the barns, which he bought from a family in Guilford County five years ago. “I had seen how bad the old blacksmith shop looked and I knew it needed to be replaced,” Troxler said. “One morning I woke up thinking this would be a good use of the buildings I had. They turned out to be a perfect fit.” The…

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Got To Be NC Tent to offer Carolina Kettle snacks, among other N.C. products


In addition to the plethora of food options available at the N.C. State Fair, fairgoers can also sample and discover food products from across North Carolina at the Got to Be NC Agriculture exhibit. Located outside the Kerr Scott Building, the tent will offer a variety of products representing the state’s diverse agricultural diversity. There will also be a NC Soybean Producers Association coloring wall that fairgoers can color in and use to learn more about products they can buy locally. Food will be available to taste and purchase from 25 North Carolina vendors throughout the fair, with some showing…

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