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!

One Week from today!

As previously mentioned, today was move in day for the Press Office. This was an unusual move-in day for us for two reasons. One, it didn’t rain, which means I can go ahead and make a weather prediction: it WILL rain on Oct. 27. It ALWAYS rains on either move in or move out day. Two, the fairgrounds is a beehive of activity that is not normal for one week before the fair starts. Usually we get out here and there is a smattering of food booths and rides on the grounds, but today, Kiddieland is looking almost complete and…

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Entertainment Spotlight: King of the Grill

Commemorative program When Bobby Flay steps onto the stage in Dorton Arena on Oct. 20, he’ll be stepping onto a backyard paradise – or at least as much semblance of a backyard paradise as fair workers can manage between the time Lady Antebellum and Heidi Newfield pull away from the fairgrounds on Sunday night and the time the doors open for the Bobby Flay cooking show on Monday night. It’s no surprise that the star of Grill It with Bobby Flay and Showdown with Bobby Flay would ask for a backyard setting for a cooking demonstration. But the Mesa Grill…

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No Pain, No Gain

It’s been a long, dusty summer at the State Fairgrounds while a large parking lot underwent a transformation, but I must say that the result is worth it. The area between the Grandstand, Dorton Arena and the Expo Center (A.K.A. “the Dorton Triangle”) was demolished and rebuilt this summer. The result is a level, safe parking area that will be home to lots of food concessionaires during the fair. The nice part is there are two areas carved out for the express purpose of creating seating for fair patrons. The retaining walls will create a lot of seating on their…

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A great deal

Most Fair enthusiasts know that the best way to see the Fair (other than working there) is to get your tickets in advance. It saves you a good bit of cash and you can avoid standing in line to get your admission tickets. Adult tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the gate. Children’s tickets are $1 in advance, $2 at the gate. Ride sheets (18 tickets per sheet) are $10 in advance, $18 at the Fair. Tickets have been on sale on the Internet for two months now, and starting tomorrow and going through Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.,…

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Bargain hunters paradise

The State Fair is just around the corner and that means that we’ve got to shut down the Fairgrounds to get ready. This is the last weekend for the State Fairgrounds Marketplace (a.k.a. The Flea Market) and for events that take place in the buildings — most notably this weekend is the Southern Ideal Home Show which is so large it is spread across three buildings: Dorton Arena, the Graham Building and the Exposition Center. If you like flea markets and/or bargain shopping, this is a great weekend to come to the fairgrounds because all of the vendors have to…

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Take Time for the Frenzy

“Sancta Bos” by Cresset Christian Academy in Durham Take a stroll around Triangle Town Center and you’ll run into some strange looking characters. “Miss Moo,” “Dali,” “Javier,” and “Merlin” are just a few of the cows, chickens and horses that have overtaken the mall as part of the N.C. State Fair Farm Animal Frenzy. “Playin’ Hooky” by Garner Magnet High School I was there Saturday morning with the judges to make sure everything was in place and had the chance to get a good look at all the animals. Last year’s entries into the first-ever Farm Animal Frenzy were going…

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You can’t win if you don’t register!

The decorated cakes are always a popular. An article in today’s N&O about recipe contests got me thinking about cooking contests. And then I had an “AACK” moment when I realized that NOT ONLY is the fair just 29 DAYS AWAY, the deadline to register for competitions is only A WEEK away. A few deadlines have already passed (livestock and wine categories are a few), but most will close out on Sept. 24. The good news is that you can do it all online this year or print out an entry form and mail it in, as long as it…

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I’m thinking sherbet

Yesterday, we got our new “uniform” for the 2008 State Fair – our polo shirts. It’s a geeky thing, but we always get excited to get a new shirt and start wearing it around town. It’s a great conversation starter, usually beginning with the question, “Do you know when the State Fair is this year?” Or “do you know who’s playing in Dorton Arena?” So, you’ve got to be on your game and know the answers if you wear a Fair shirt in public this time of year. But, it’s fun and it definitely gets people talking, even if they’re…

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