On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

A beginner’s guide to the Carolina Pig Jig according to three of its biggest fans

The Got to Be NC Festival returns to the State Fairgrounds this weekend. An eagerly anticipated part of the festival is the Saturday-only Carolina Pig Jig. Around 20 chapters of Masons will compete for bragging rights in this one-day competition and fundraiser. The real winners are the attendees, who for $20 gain entry and all-you-can-eat barbecue. In an effort to help out those that might be attending their first Pig Jig, we talked to a few “experts” to get their best advice for how to maximize your barbecue experience. See tips below: Paul Jones, manager of organization engagement at Butterball,…

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First-generation farmer wins Commissioner’s Award in 2021 Heritage Tobacco Competition

From a tobacco-tying competition, barn curing, a heritage tobacco harvest competition and a mock tobacco auction, the legacy of tobacco and its contributions to the state of North Carolina and the agricultural industry is on full display at Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair. The Heritage Tobacco Harvest Competition was started in 2015 to recognize individuals growing tobacco. Entries and winners are on view in the Tobacco Pavilion in Heritage Circle. Growers from North Carolina submit silver-dollar-sized hand ties of flue-cured tobacco to compete in different stalk position classes. Brent Leggett, a first-generation farmer from Nashville, was awarded the…

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Worth the Wait!! – Dairy Show

The following blog is a guest post provided by Rachel Gray, a Senior in Agribusiness at the University of Mount Olive. The article is part of a series of blogs provided by UMO students. The North Carolina State Fair is an annual event people anxiously look forward to attending. During the 10 days the fair is hosted, nearly one million people will visit the fairgrounds. Livestock and poultry competitions go on throughout the fair. Families from across North Carolina and surrounding states work year-round to prepare their livestock for competitions. My younger sister and I have shown dairy cattle since…

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Best in Show decorated cookies inspire feelings of fall

Sometimes an entry stands out right from the beginning. That was the case when Rhonda Parsons’ fall-flavored decorated cookies showed up for the Decorated Cookies competition in the Education Building. The cookies won Best of Show, taking home $25, a blue ribbon and bragging rights for Parsons. “We had several great entries in this category,” said John Buettner, competitions director. “Parsons’ cookies were a standout for their intricate design, attention to detail and use of color and creativity.” This year’s entry marks Parsons’ second win in the Best in Show category. She also won the honor in 2018 with her…

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Into The Fog brings progressive bluegrass to Heritage Circle Stage

Longtime fair attendees will tend to agree, Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair is one of the best kept secrets at the fair.  Fairgoers will find restored log cabins, plenty of sitting areas, a working tobacco barn and the State Fair blacksmiths hard at work. The area proves to be a relaxing respite from the frenetic midway and busy exhibit halls. The Bluegrass Music Stage in Heritage Circle features bluegrass bands and adds to the charm and character, while giving North Carolina artists a time to shine in front of their current fans and make new ones.  One of…

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Be a farmer for a day at the Field of Dreams exhibit

If you are bringing your elementary and preschool age children to the fair then be sure to swing by the Field of Dreams exhibit sponsored by the North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.  Here you will find the State Fair farm, featuring 30-plus commodities that are grown in North Carolina. At the exhibit, young fairgoers can “harvest” crops, sell them at the produce shed and use the money to purchase a bag of items at the Field of Dreams store. Also at the exhibit is a school house where children can participate in an agricultural-themed coloring contest where the winner will receive…

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Prevent Blindness NC is on a mission to help fairgoers identify eye problems early

A five-minute stop in the Education Building during the fair could be the most important thing you do on your annual visit to the fair. For more than 20 years Prevent Blindness North Carolina has set up a booth inside the Education Building offering free vision screenings for adults. Their services may have helped thousands of fairgoers detect vision loss or, even more importantly, disease issues that may lead to vision loss. “At the fair we do two types of screening,” said Edwin Jeffords, president and chief executive officer of Prevent Blindness NC. “The first is an acuity screening, which…

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Be a State Fair Adventurer

Want to earn a little extra credit at the fair? The N.C. State Fair makes learning something fun with three different scavenger hunts geared towards elementary, middle and high school students. The scavenger hunts are sponsored by Wake Tech WakeWorks Apprenticeship and are just one of the tools that teachers, parents and homeschoolers can use to help make a trip to the fair educational. They are designed so everybody can learn a little about agriculture, competitive exhibits and some of the other agencies that have booths at the fair. Sample Questions: Elementary: How many pounds of apples are grown in…

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Deadlines approaching for NC State Fair competitions

Did you spend you time at home in 2020 learning a new hobby or teaching your kids cooking or gardening skills? Now is the time to show off your handiwork at the 2021 N.C. State Fair. The competition listings include canned goods, dried jerky, baked items, quilting, needlepoint, art, 4-H entries, scrap booking, wood working, horticulture, flowers and much more. If you have a skill, there’s probably a corresponding State Fair competition to enter. Many categories offer competitions for first-time entries. All competitions are listed online at http://www.ncstatefair.org/2021/Competitions/Entering/index.html Entry deadlines are Sept. 15, however, items in many competitions are not…

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Every pumpkin has a story

Cindy Perkins teaches exceptional students at Grady Brown Elementary in Hillsborough. Part of their classroom learning is tending to a student garden. The class of seven has grown corn, squash, tomatoes, mums and pumpkins. Since all of Perkins students function at different levels, they have different jobs in the garden. Like watering and pulling weeds, and get excited about seeing the garden grow. “The students enjoy the garden,” Perkins said. “They look forward to completing assignments so they can have garden time.” The class monitored and watched the pumpkins grown and finally chose two to be pulled from the garden….

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