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!

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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Blue-ribbon winner Dianah Stewart is a name to remember

Dianah Stewart has an eye for fashion and skills that quickly wowed the judges in this year’s youth clothing competition. Stewart entered her prom dress – which she designed and sewed for her Senior Prom at South Johnston High School earlier this year. Stewart’s fancy dress won first place, Best in Show and walked away with the Charlotte Wyatt Award for youth garments. The Wyatt Award is named after long-time supervisor of the clothing and quilts division, Charlotte Wyatt. After her death in 2008 the fair implemented the award to honor her memory. The judges commented that Stewart’s dress was…

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Leatherwork artist Yolanda Prince joins Village of Yesteryear

Yolanda Prince has been to the N.C. State Fair twice, once with her school group and then once in 2015. This year, Prince will spend everyday at the fair as one of the craftsman in the Village of Yesteryear. “It is my first year in the Village, however, I learned my craft from the late Mike Lowe, who was a member of the Village of Yesteryear for more than 30 years,” Prince said. “I was interested in learning leatherwork and signed up for a class at the Hiddenite Crafts Center,” she said. “I was the only one that signed up…

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From racecars to guitars – Kyle Petty brings a songwriter’s circle-style to Heritage Circle

As a fan of music and fan of all things North Carolina – I look forward each year to the release of the Homegrown Music series put together by Deep South Productions. This year, a name on our list for Heritage Circle performers stuck out – Kyle Petty. I know the name as a member of one of North Carolina’s pre-eminent racing families – but I didn’t know he played music. Petty competed in more than 800 races in his 31-year career, posting 173 top ten finishes and eight wins. He was named NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year in…

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The N.C. State Fair guide to groups – five tips to planning the perfect trip for your work, school or church group.

The fair can be a great group activity for office bonding, student groups, church youth group, neighborhood associations or other clubs. Here’s a few tips to help plan a group outing to the N.C. State Fair. Buy your tickets in advance! If you are buying for a group of adults it is usually pretty easy to make it to the 40 adult tickets needed to purchase at the $8 each group rate. The group rate for 40 child tickets is $4 per ticket. More information on group ticketing is available online. Settle on a meeting spot. We recommend the Tobacco…

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Wilmington-native Charlie Daniels returns to Dorton Arena as Devil Went Down to Georgia celebrates 40 years.

If you ask Charlie Daniels, he will tell you that going on stage in his home state is always special. The Wilmington native and graduate of the former Goldston High School in Chatham County has played during the Fair in Dorton Arena five times since 1988. His memories of the fair go back a lot farther. “My earliest memories of the N.C. State Fair was coming with my FFA group,” Daniels said. “I remember when we visited the new building, which at the time was Dorton Arena (built in 1952). We would have a good time walking around and seeing…

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Dazzling lights and spectacular heights: State Fair SkyGazer promises to be a crowd pleaser.

Bigger and better – this year the N.C. State Fair is delivering on that promise. Fairgoers will see the fair’s newest addition, the State Fair SkyGazer, as they approach the fairgrounds – as it stands more than 60 feet taller than Dorton Arena. The SkyGazer is North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel. “North Carolinians who visit the State Fair every year have their traditions, but we never stop trying to “wow” you. We’ve been working to bring this Ferris wheel to Raleigh since it debuted in Florida in 2017,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “ It’s not often we get…

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State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts make it easy to have fun and learn something

The fair makes it easy to turn a class field trip into a learning experience. This year, three different scavenger hunts are available on the website – geared towards elementary, middle and high school students. The scavenger hunts are also encouraged for parents and homeschoolers coming to the fair. They are designed so everybody can learn a little about our state while at the fair. Sample Questions: Elementary: Agriculture is North Carolina’s No. 1 industry. This exhibit highlights some of the products grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina. If you want the best, look for the Got to…

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From Beijing to the N.C. State Fair

The following is a guest blog by Jade Wang, marketing manager for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services China Office. Wang works with the international marketing division to promote North Carolina commodities and products to China. She visited the N.C. State Fair for the first time this year.  After a brief overview, we sent her out with a camera to explore the fair on her own. Read below for her perspective on the fair as a first-time and international visitor.    By Jade Wang:  From Beijing to the State Fair in North Carolina, the crowded scenes are probably hard…

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Mythical creatures spotted

First it started with our new foods – unicorn bacon and unicorn apples. Then, we saw a few unicorns in our horticultural entries. Next, the midway was full of the colorful and mythical creatures. Finally, even our fairgoers were catching on to the trend. This was all the proof we needed – the 2018 N.C. State Fair is a magical place!  

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