SweetCorn

Katie Ray interned for the N.C. State Fair in 2010. This is her bio from that year: Normally, I’m known as Katie Ray. However, from now on, I’ve decided to be referred to as Sweet Corn—after all, who wouldn’t want to be nicknamed after a vegetable that tastes like candy? Growing up on a small dairy farm, I have always held the N.C. State Fair close to my heart. From the livestock and rabbits to the deep-fried food and rides, I truly do love every aspect of the Fair. Through this blog I hope to spread my enthusiasm for and keep y’all informed about 2010 Fair happenings!

Sweet Corn says fair-well

It was about this time last year when I started looking for a 2010 summer internship. At the time I was studying abroad in London and had been 4,000 miles away from North Carolina for about four months. I had mastered the London Underground, had eaten plates piled high with beans and toast and drunk kettles (literally) of hot tea and milk. Although it all sounds pretty fabulous now (except for the beans), I was definitely homesick. When I stumbled across the 65 internships offered by the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office through the North Carolina State Government Internship Program,…

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Deep Fried Challenge: A day as a blacksmith’s apprentice

While interning in the press office at the N.C. State Fair, I’ve had the opportunity to write press releases, post on the Deep Fried blog and interview blue-ribbon recipients—you know, press office stuff. However, today I was challenged to apprentice under a blacksmith in Heritage Circle. Believe it or not, I’ve never cranked a forge or hit black metal. Until now… As you can see, the blacksmiths at Heritage Forge have years and years of experience. As for me, I’m just a beginner. With some help from Don Dillon, a blacksmith who has been practicing the trade for more than…

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Take a banana break

Tucked away in the tropics of the N.C. State Fair, otherwise known as across from the Village of Yesteryear, Chiquita Banana provides banana lovers an island escape. At the booth, Chiquita Banana fans can take a photo dressed in a banana costume and sample a fresh banana smoothie. Note: If the video doesn’t appear, try refreshing your browser. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Chiquita will prepare banana smoothie samples each hour. With flavors ranging from Banana Berry Colada and Banana Split to Peanut Butter Banana and BananAde, you definitely don’t want to miss these tasty treats! For information about…

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Are you CURE-ious?

Did you know that women in the U.S. have a 12 percent chance of developing breast cancer? Did you know that there are also about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors alive in the U.S.? Located at Gate 9, the bright pink Komen On the Go bus features a hands-on game wheel, graffiti memory wall and computer kiosks full of inspirational videos on breast cancer research and awareness. Susan G. Komen for the Cure will be “going pink” for the cure today. Komen On the Go encourages fairgoers to pledge support for the cause and of course, wear pink. The Komen…

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King Action Sports turns it pink

With more than 10 years of Fair experience, Keith King works hard to change and enhance the King Action Sports stunt show each year. Whether adding a new ramp to the stage or partnering with a charity organization, King believes that these changes keep fans and fairgoers coming back each year. This year, King decided to partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to promote breast cancer research and awareness. Both King and his wife, Dani Swords, have friends and family who have been diagnosed with the disease and hope that the show will raise awareness of and support…

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Decorated cakes: The Best in Show

When I think of decorated cakes, I think of the ballroom gown-shaped Barbie cake and the gummy worm mud cake that I ate on my ninth and 10th birthdays. However, (no offense to my mother, household birthday cake creator extraordinaire), the decorated cakes that you will find in the Education Building at the N.C. State Fair are simply incomparable. The cakes are one of the most popular competition attractions; typically drawing lines of people wanting to get a glimpse of the cake creativity on display. Professional, novice and junior cake artists enter the cake decorating competitions for an opportunity to…

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Artist Spotlight: Chris Young

When it comes to country music, there are few things I like better than a smooth baritone voice (think George Strait and Josh Turner). Lucky for me, one of my favorite baritone artists, Chris Young, will perform at Dorton Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 19. As the 2006 winner of Nashville Star, Young’s rich voice is enough to excite any country music fan. His self-titled debut album and his sophomore album, The Man I Want To Be, are full of chart-topping singles such as “Drinkin’ Me Lonely,” “The Man I Want To Be” and my personal favorite, “Gettin’ You Home (The…

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Artist Spotlight: Danny Gokey

If you’re a Danny Gokey fan, opening day of the 2010 N.C. State Fair is sure to be one of the “best days” of your life. Why? Because the country singer will perform songs from his debut album My Best Days on the Dorton Arena stage. Gokey’s performance will mark the first of the 11-night concert series. My Best Days, released in March, debuted at No. 4 on U.S. Billboard charts. Full of hope and emotion, the album features hit singles such as “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” and “I Will Not Say Goodbye.” Gokey’s musical career gained…

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Artist Spotlight: Honor Society

If you have yet to hear about the up-and-coming band Honor Society, you might as well go ahead and jump on the band’s wagon. With nearly 70,000 fans on Facebook and more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, Honor Society is well on their way to star status. The band released its debut album, “Fashionably Late” in 2009 and has since been named a breakout band to watch by Rolling Stone and a Buzzworthy Artist by MTV. The pop-rock band opened for the Jonas Brothers World Tour in 2009 and has performed on Radio Disney, Miss Teen USA and The Early…

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Sweet Corn gives a bittersweet “see ya later”

When I think about dairy cows, deep-fried foods, bright lights and spinning rides, my heart skips a beat. Therefore, when presented with the opportunity to intern for the N.C. State Fair, I could have been mistaken for a 4-year-old riding the spinning tea cups. Yup, I was that happy. During my 10-week internship with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services I have interviewed blue-ribbon chefs, selected our first deep-fried photographer, promoted Blueberry Day and starred in a video or two. However, my most extensive project involved creating a 12-page newspaper supplement for children in the local area. While…

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