Flying Bob

Most folks know me as Brian Long, but when it comes to the State Fair blog, I'm Flying Bob. Why Flying Bob? It's one of my favorite carnival rides. Plus, once the fair kicks off, I feel like I'm flying in circles at high speed. (All that's missing is a ride attendant shouting, "Do you wanna go fasterrrrr!") Here at the State Fair Press Office, it's our job to give you as much information about this massive event as possible. That's one of the reasons I enjoy contributing to this blog. I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

Dillon Fence singer Greg Humphreys looks forward to reunion at NC State Fair

Greg Humphreys sees Dillon Fence’s Oct. 21 show at the N.C. State Fair as both homecoming and reunion. It’s a homecoming for the Winston-Salem native, who now calls Manhattan home. And it’s a reunion for Dillon Fence, which plays only a few shows a year. Humphreys, the band’s singer and guitarist, will be getting together with Chris Goode (bass), Kent Alphin (guitar) and Scott Carle (drums). “We’re going to pull old fans out of the woodwork,” said Humphreys, speaking by phone recently from Abingdon, Va., a tour stop with Electric Trio, the band that takes up most of his time…

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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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State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarships available; application deadline is April 1

The 2015 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship program is accepting applications. There are up to 24 scholarships available this year, and each is worth $2,000. Youth who have exhibited a livestock animal at the N.C. State Fair are eligible to apply for this scholarship, regardless of breed, class or show placement. The scholarships can be used at universities, community colleges and technical schools. Completed applications are due at the N.C. State Fair office or postmarked by 5 p.m. April 1. The scholarships were created under a new program aimed at supporting youth pursuing higher education. They are funded from…

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Vanilla Ice has mad DIY skillz

Each week until the start of the State Fair, the Deep Fried Crew will highlight one of the 2014 Dorton Arena entertainers. Tickets for all concerts and advance admission and ride tickets are on sale online here. Get your tickets early to save time and money, and to reserve your seat for your favorite Dorton Arena performer. Check out this year’s lineup here. This week we highlight rapper Vanilla Ice, whose album “To the Extreme” was released on Aug. 28, 1990. I envy Vanilla Ice. And not because he used a sample of a classic rock song to create one…

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Scotty McCreery coming to the 2012 N.C. State Fair

Never let it be said that we lollygag when it comes to planning for the next N.C. State Fair. We’ve already lined up one of our Dorton Arena performers for 2012 and it’s none other than Scott McCreery, the Garner-teen-turned-American Idol. He will perform at the 2012 fair Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and go on sale Monday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m., in time for holiday shopping. You’ll be able to buy them at www.ncstatefair.org. There will be a six-ticket limit per buyer. You’ll also have the option to buy your gate admission tickets for…

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Icon retiring from State Fair livestock shows

Bruce Shankle, whose career in livestock marketing spans 40 years, is retiring as livestock marketing director with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and as director of the N.C. State Fair livestock shows. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who refers to Shankle as an icon in North Carolina’s livestock industry, keeps trying to talk him out of retiring, but so far his pleas haven’t worked. Shankle grew up on a livestock farm in Anson County, but didn’t get his first taste of State Fair livestock shows until he was a freshman at N.C. State University. On Oct. 15, he…

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Artist Spotlight: Kansas

Kansas came out of America’s heartland in the 1970s to show the music world that the British didn’t have exclusive rights to the term “progressive rock.” This subgenre of rock music began growing in popularity in the late 1960s, and the Oxford Companion to Music says it featured “extended musical structures which involved intricate instrumental patterns and textures and often esoteric subject matter.” In its early years, prog rock was populated primarily by British bands, such as Pink Floyd, Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With the release of Kansas’ self-titled debut album in 1974, the self-proclaimed “garage band” from…

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State Library sharing ‘Blue Ribbon Memories’ of N.C. State Fair

The folks over at the State Library of North Carolina are getting into the State Fair spirit with a new online exhibit, “Blue Ribbon Memories: Your History of the N.C. State Fair.” According to a news release, the exhibit is intended as a celebration of the fair as a venue “not only for showcasing agricultural achievements, but also for wild rides, races, games and, of course, a fantastic variety of fried foods.” The site includes a timeline that allows visitors to browse almost all the premium books from past fairs. These books describe the various competitions and prizes. “The stories…

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Last car rollin’

The State Fair Demolition Derby championships took place this afternoon, and drivers in four categories rolled away with victories. Nikki Goins defeated fellow Goldsboro resident Megan Creech for the women’s championship. In the 4-cylinder championship, Jimmy Goodman of Wilmington bested Rickey Cooke of Jamestown. Jimmy Cisco of Raleigh took out Donald Stokes of Goldsboro to win the 6-cylinder title. And Chris Lane of Goldsboro won the 8-cylinder championship by knocking out the car driven by Jenna Camptella of Raleigh. Camptella didn’t leave the Fair empty-handed. Her car, “Foxy Lady,” won the Crowd’s Choice Best Appearance Award, and Donnie McCullen of…

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Photos from the Fair: 50 years of State Fair fun

Former Raleigh resident Tom Vestal has attended 50 consecutive N.C. State Fairs, beginning in 1960 when he was a freshman at N.C. State University. Vestal, a retired pastor who now splits his time between Yadkin County and Mouth of Wilson, Va., spent a few minutes Friday visiting with Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in Heritage Circle. Want to know more about Vestal’s 50 years at the Fair? Check out the WRAL story below. Note: If video doesn’t appear, try refreshing the browser.

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