Firecracker

Firecracker (aka Jen Kendrick) Appears as a guest blogger with a special 22-year history with the State Fair. She now works with the N.C. Pork Council, but she still lends a hand in the press office when she can. Thanks, Firecracker!

Pirates, Germans and the story of N.C. barbecue

Each year, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources sets up an exhibit in the north lobby of Dorton Arena to educate us about part of our state’s incredible history. From North Carolinians’ involvement in World War I to the history of pirates on our coast, we’ve learned some pretty cool things about our state. This year, they are bringing us “The Story of BBQ in NC.” If you’re new to our state, you might think we’re a little crazy for our barbecue obsession, like our ongoing Eastern- versus Western-style debates. But barbecue runs in our veins like…

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Stay safe at the fair

The State Fair is a fun place to be, but with thousands of people on the grounds every day, the population of the fairgrounds is larger than most cities and towns across the state. With that, keep in mind that the same things that happen every day in a city could happen at the fair. Here are a few suggestions to help make your day at the Fair even more enjoyable. RIDES Follow the instructions of ride operators. The majority of ride incidents occur because of rider error. Don’t rock the seats on gondola rides such as the Ferris Wheel or…

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The birds are coming back to town!

The birds are back! The backside of the Graham Building was awfully quiet last year, when the crows and quacks of the poultry competition were silenced by the threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The highly contagious disease found in the Midwest last spring was thought to be spread by wild birds, causing concern over the spread of the disease to North Carolina. State Veterinarian Doug Meckes banned all poultry displays and sales, including all poultry competitions at fairs. Any congregation of birds could spread the disease throughout our state and cause widespread damage to the $3 billion poultry industry, not to…

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Our own ice cream flavor? Madness!

On any given day of the N.C. State Fair, at any given hour, you’re likely to find a line at the Howling Cow booth, formerly known as the N.C. State Dairy Bar. They got a new name and logo a few years ago, but the delicious, heaping serving of ice cream (and their rabid fan base) didn’t change at all. Last year, we gave the N.C. State Food Science Club the opportunity to debut its newest flavor at our media lunch and the reviews were great. Plus, the Lemon Wafer flavor was a big hit with fairgoers. Which got us thinking…

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56 million bubbles in a bottle

Are you looking for something to toast in the new year with? We may not produce champagne in North Carolina (to call it champagne, it must be produced in the Champagne region of France), but we do produce some really great sparkling wines. Champagne became popular with European royalty and was originally expensive and seen as a status symbol. We’re lucky to have several great, affordable sparkling wines to choose from made similarly to how champagne is made in France. American sparkling wines are typically made in two methods, méthode champenoise and the charmat method. The first is more expensive…

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Be “in-the-know” with new Facebook option

Facebook recently launched a new feature called “See First” that will allow you to keep the N.C. State Fair at the top of your news feed, ensuring that you don’t miss out on a single announcement or contest. It’s a simple thing to do. Head to our Facebook page and click the “Liked” tab on the cover photo. In the drop down menu, choose “See First” from the options. Now you’ll be sure to always be in the know about this year’s State Fair. Nothing Could be Finer than to be the first to know what’s new!

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Nothing could be Finer!

Longtime fairgoers may remember this year’s theme. The year was 1997. The main educational exhibit at the fair for the third year in a row was CyberSpace, an exhibit that focused on the newest technology, including a thing called the World Wide Web. The department sponsored an agricultural exhibit called Harvest Time that showcased baby farm animals and crops. The NBA Jam Playground was featured free entertainment and the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show promised to pack out the grandstand. The previous year, we made it through one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit North Carolina, Hurricane Fran, and still…

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Celebrate the new year with the fair’s top sparkling N.C. wines

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, we thought we’d take a look at the sparkling wine category at this year’s year’s State Fair Wine Competition. After all, if you’re planning to ring in the new year with a little bubbly, it should be with a gold-medal-winning North Carolina wine, right? This year, the top spot went to Biltmore Estate for their Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut. The judges said the wine had a “light floral aroma, light fruity taste that’s slightly sweet, [with a] pleasant aftertaste.” Another judge called it “well balanced,” with “bright, fresh flavors.” But while…

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