Pumpkin

I'm Charlotte Spence, also known as Pumpkin. I'm a UNC-Chapel Hill student, Raleigh native and life long fairgoer. I'm so excited to take part in the researching, writing and planning process of one of my favorite traditions in the Tar Heel state as a summer intern!

Celebrating historian Paul Blankinship’s last State Fair

While 2017 marks the 150th N.C. State Fair, it is also fair historian Paul Blakinship’s 25th and final year educating fairgoers about the event’s history. Blankinship grew up in Brevard in Transylvania County. After graduating high school, he went to college in Florida to pursue a degree in physics. In 1971, he moved to Raleigh to earn a graduate degree in oceanography at N.C. State University, and shortly after he met his wife. They married in 1977. It wasn’t until they settled into their first home that Blankinship developed an interest in the history of the fair. “We bought a house…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 15-17

The Triangle Gujarati Association Navaratri is Friday and Saturday in Dorton Arena. The TGA was created in 1988 to serve the Gujarati community in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The organization aims to promote and preserve Gujarati Culture. The event is a pre-Navaratri celebration and will feature traditional cultural line dancing from Gujarat, India. Hours are 8 to 11 p.m. both days. Admission is $12 for TGA members and $15 for non-members. The Old North State Antique Gun and Military Collector Show is Saturday and Sunday in the Scott Building. U.S. and foreign military arms, antique guns and memorabilia from…

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Old West meets State Fair with newest building addition in Heritage Circle

Heritage Circle is adding another log cabin to its footprint, reworking the wood from a former stagecoach office from the 1800s into the new Public House. According to Bob Stanfield, the construction manager for the project, the stagecoach office was located in Rockingham County. So, what is a stagecoach office? Stagecoaches are a popular symbol of the Old West. They were carriage-like vehicles pulled by horses or mules, and they were used to transport people, packages, mail and money. Although they originated in England in the early 1600s, stagecoaches did not appear in the United States until the late 1700s. Stagecoaches earned…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 8-10

Opa! It’s one of the tastiest weekends of the year. The popular Greek Festival returns Friday through Sunday in the Graham Building. The event will offer authentic Greek food, a marketplace, live music, dancing and more. A portion of the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Hours are Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults. Admission for ages 13 to 19 and seniors is $2, and children ages 12 and under are admitted for free. Attention bargain shoppers: The J. Crew Fall…

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Weekend Update: Sept. 1-3

The Equestrian Exchange Consignment Sale will run Friday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 3, with free admission throughout the weekend. The event is North Carolina’s largest equine-item consignment sale. It gives attendees the opportunity to buy and sell tack, saddles, show clothing, barn supplies, horse wear and other riding gear. Event hours Friday through Sunday are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The sale is in the Holshouser Building. Other events: The Kennel Club Dog Shows are Friday through Monday in the Graham Building. The American Kennel Club registered dogs will compete each day for points that will lead to…

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State Fair concert lineup at Dorton Arena

One of the staples of North Carolina’s culture is our diversity of music — from country to folk to beach — and the 2017 State Fair will give fairgoers ample opportunity to experience it all. With 118 concerts spanning over 11 days, music lovers can top off an afternoon of rides and fried food with the musical styling of their choice. Not to mention, all the performances are free with paid State Fair admission. Dorton Arena will host some of North Carolina’s most popular musical acts each night at 7:30 from Oct. 12-22. The lineup begins with a statewide Battle of the…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 18-20

The Carolina Fall Boat Show and Sale is Friday through Sunday in the Graham Building. The event will feature a boat inventory reduction sale showcasing 12 marine dealers and over 200 boats on display. Hours are Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and members of the military, and children ages 12 and under are admitted for free. The Original Coin and Currency Show is Saturday and Sunday in the Martin Building. The show will offer a…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 11-13

This weekend at the fairgrounds has something for jewelry makers, horse lovers and brides-to-be. Here’s what’s coming up: The Raleigh Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event is Saturday in the Scott Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature hourly presentations from experts about living with allergies. There will also be product sampling and cooking demonstrations. The Kids Corner will be provided by the Parents of Allergic Kids. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and military. Children under 13 are admitted for free. The Southern Bridal Show and Expo is Saturday and Sunday…

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Pumpkin is wrapping it up

I’m not sure how to begin to summarize the summer I’ve spent interning with the N.C. State Government Internship Program. To say I’ve gained experience in the real world by working with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services State Fair Division is an incredible understatement. Here’s why. Throughout my internship, I attended press conferences, directed a video shoot at Food Lion and even met Gov. Roy Cooper at the Executive Mansion. Along the way, I improved my skills as a writer, an interviewer and a videographer. Not to mention I managed a grassroots high school advertising campaign! But the most…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 4-6

The Summer Special Horse Show is Friday through Sunday in the Hunt Horse Complex. The event is combined with the Finally Farm Horse Show Series and the Johnston County Show Series. Shows will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Admission is free for all spectators. The Dixie Gun and Knife Classic is Saturday and Sunday in the Graham Building. Attendees can buy, sell or trade collectible firearms, custom-made knives, hunting equipment, fishing gear, ammo and more. Event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults. Children…

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