Blue Ribbon

Natalie Alford blogged for the 2009-2011 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: I work at the Fairgrounds year-round, so I'm always in the middle of the fun! During the Fair, I work with the press office team to organize events and exhibits, and log a lot of miles on my pedometer. I'm also the County Agricultural Fairs Coordinator, which means I license, promote and visit North Carolina's agricultural fairs and enjoy thousands of blue ribbon entries every year. I hope to see you at the Fair!

What I learned in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

This week, I represented the N.C. State Fair at the International Association of Fairs and Expos annual convention in Las Vegas, along with Mike Pleasant, our assistant manager. It was a great opportunity for networking with knowledgeable people from fairs around the world, and for taking some interesting educational workshops. At a workshop called “Greener Fairs,” I was asked to present a case study about our recycling program, and at the “Social Media Power Up Lab” I was grilled on the nitty-gritty details of our social media campaign. In both sessions, attendees asked great questions and shared advice from their own experiences. Mike and I picked up some…

Continue Reading

Flea Market re-opens on Saturday

The 2009 State Fair has ended, but that doesn’t mean the fairgrounds shuts down until next October. In fact, as soon as the gates were closed on the last night of Fair, we all took a deep breath and started to reorganize and prepare for the many upcoming events. Throughout the year, the State Fairgrounds hosts everything from coin shows to a roller derbys, but there is one event that happens nearly every weekend — the Raleigh Flea Market. On Saturday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m., flea market vendors will re-open their shops, where you can buy swing sets, salsa and so much more. There are food…

Continue Reading

Take a tour of Green NC, earn a State Fair T-shirt

Have you been to the Green NC exhibit yet? That’s the large, unassuming white tent located near Gate 11. It’s the only place on the fairgrounds where you can participate in a chemistry experiment, “fish” in a State Park pond and see solar panels all in one location. Not to mention earn a cool T-shirt. That’s right, we are giving away 2009 State Fair T-shirts over here, but there’s a small catch — you’ll need to learn a little. The Green NC exhibit is one of many educational experiences on the fairgrounds. Visitors can interact with environmental organizations, learn about “green” topics through hands on activities and participate in…

Continue Reading

$5 Footlong Song Challenge showdown, Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Be there!

Five local lyricists and all of their fans will meet at the Kitchen Craft Waterfall Stage on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 1:30 p.m. for the $5 Footlong Song Challenge showdown! Come on out to cheer for your favorite performance. Here are the finalists: Kris Thomas, 27, a school and office furniture salesman from Greenville, will sing to country music. Austin Moss, a 17-year-old N.C. State University student from Raleigh, singing to rock music. Nicole Griffin, 20, and Lindsey Barfield, 24. The duo will sing to bluegrass music. Both women are from Raleigh, Griffin is an assistant producer on the TLC…

Continue Reading

Subway coupon offers a whole lotta savings.

Did you wait too late and miss the advance sale discount on State Fair admission? Or perhaps you’ve already attended the Fair and want to come back, but don’t want to pay full price for an admission ticket. Subway has you covered. By simply stopping into any Raleigh-area Subway restaurant, you can pick up a coupon good for $2 off the $7 adult admission price. No purchase is necessary, and the coupons are valid Monday, Oct. 19, through Thursday, Oct. 22, only. Hey, don’t thank us; we just like to pass on good news.

Continue Reading

Don’t throw ’em away, recycle!

If you’re out at the Fair, enjoying a refreshing drink in a plastic bottle or aluminum can, be sure to dispose of those drink containers in a recycling bin. You can find these reycling bins scattered throughout the fairgrounds, and because of their bright green and yellow design, they are pretty easy to spot. Did you know 100 plastic bottles are thrown away every second in North Carolina? On Oct. 1, a new law went into effect banning plastic bottles from landfills, and the folks at  the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance want you to know…

Continue Reading

And the Farm Animal Frenzy winner is…

… “Franny La Poulet” from Durham’s Cresset Christian Academy! Franny is a five-foot-tall chicken covered with interwoven plastic shopping bags to create the look and color of feathers. Her eyes are old slide projectors bulbs, and her beak and feet are covered with paper mache newspaper. Franny is sporting a bow, glittery eyelashes made from plastic spoons and toenails made from plastic caps. At night, this “green” farm animal creation will glow from the three solar lights placed inside. She was created by the school’s AP art class. As part of the first-place honors, Cresset Christian Academy art students will receive $1,000 for…

Continue Reading

Confessions from the Green NC exhibit

I can admit this now, but last year at this time I had no idea what the Green NC exhibit was going to be like. In fact, even though I am the exhibit coordinator, I really didn’t know how things would turn out until the morning before the N.C. State Fair opened! Oh sure, there were planning meetings with exhibitors, a layout design and lots of signage in the works, but the exhibit content kept changing. Several organizations had to drop out at the last minute, which meant the layout had to be revised (then revised again), causing sign changes…

Continue Reading

Digital design gurus: test your skills in the Web & Graphic Design competition

Do you know the difference between a jpeg and tif? Know what a vector graphic is? Or is Java more than just a cup of coffee to you? If so, we’ve got a competition for you that can earn you up to $140, a ribbon and bragging rights. The Web & Graphic Design Competition, now in its 15th year, challenges Internet-savvy and creative participants to use the N.C. State Fair as the subject of original graphic and Web page designs. Competitors will need to incorporate this year’s theme, “A Whole Lotta Happy,” into their entries. The competition is open to…

Continue Reading

County Fair Travels: East one day, West the next

As you are reading this, I am probably in the northwestern part of the state, driving west on Highway 421 towards Newland. I left Raleigh pretty early this morning, because today will be the busiest County Fair traveling day yet — Avery County Fair this morning, Mountain State Fair in Fletcher in the early afternoon, then finally on to the Iredell County Fair in the evening. Yesterday, I was in Fayetteville attending the Cape Fear Fair and the Cumberland County Fair. Two very different events, each with very passionate staff members and volunteers. The Cape Fear Fair is a new agricultural fair and has…

Continue Reading