Jeff Miles interned for the N.C. State Fair in 2011. This is his bio from that year: People usually call me Jeff Miles but when asked what my favorite part of Fair was, rides was the first thing that came to mind--so call me Tilt-A-Whirl from here on out. I've always been a big fan of the State Fair and I'm really excited to be working here this summer. I'll be bringing you weekly updates on the goings on at the fairgrounds and hopefully much more. I can't wait to see you all in October (and hopefully before)!

Challenge accepted: Turning clay at the Village of Yesteryear

A few days ago, Bearded Lady, Firecracker and Flying Bob took on the deep-fried brownie for the first installment in our series of fan-selected press office challenges. On Sunday, I took on another press office challenge. Jessica, one of our fans, asked us to try to throw clay in the Village of Yesteryear and I decided to be the guinea pig. As many of you probably know, there are several wonderful potters in the Village. Jim Weber of Milner, Ga., one of those potters, agreed to help me out. Check out the video below to see how I did. I…

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Food Review: Deep-fried candy and caramel apples

You may have stopped by one of McBride’s concession stands at the fair in the past. It’s particularly famous for its giant turkey legs, chicken, ribs and barbecue. This year, in addition to some of the old standbys, McBride’s also has a new twist on a State Fair classic with deep-fried candy and caramel apples. Firecracker and I tried to resist, but gave into temptation earlier this afternoon to bring you a review. Check out the video below to see what we thought:

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Find your fit at Cultivate a Career

Over the summer, we gave you a preview of the new Cultivate a Career exhibit at this year’s fair. Sunday, Baby Goat and I took a tour to discover all the great activities the exhibit offers visitors. Check out the video below of our experience: Upon entering the exhibit, head for one of the laptop stations and take an interest test. This test is designed to help you get a better idea of the types of jobs you would enjoy most. After finishing, the computer gives you a personality score you can use to guide yourself through the rest of…

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Decorated-cakes winners demonstrate contest’s diversity

The decorated cakes contest has become famous among fairgoers for the diverse entries it attracts each year. You can read more about the work that goes into the cakes here. This year’s winners have proven to be no exception to that rule. Elizabeth Prioli of Chapel Hill took the top prize in the professional category for her Native American-themed cake complete with a drum, feathers and a moccasin, while the best-in-show winner in the non-professional category was a more traditional four-tiered white cake by Carol L. Deely of Cary. Mary Moseley of Whitakers rounded out the best-in-show winners, taking the…

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Artist Spotlight: Kellie Pickler

I have to say that I’m generally not a country music person, with a few expectations. Kellie Pickler is one of those exceptions. I was so surprised at how much I liked Kellie Pickler’s music the first time I heard it, and it’s why I have already bought my ticket for her show on Oct. 23. The three-time CMT Music Award winner has a smooth country-pop fusion sound that keeps her catchy songs on constant replay in my head. Perhaps best known for her appearance on season five of American Idol, Pickler has since released two albums, one of which…

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3 Days to Go and the Flower and Garden Show is in Full Bloom!

Three days out, and things are officially in full swing here at the fairgrounds. The Dixie Classic Fair ended Sunday, and many of the rides and vendors have come to our fair from that fair in the past 24 hours to setup shop. Though busy seems to be the dominant mood out here, there is one patch of tranquility among the commotion–the Flower and Garden Show. Visiting the Flower and Garden Show is like walking through the pages of a first-rate garden magazine. You’ll find more than 90 demonstrations, a few great photo-ops and some of the best gardening competitions…

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Enjoy free music at this year’s State Fair

The State Fair offers great deals on musical entertainment for the  entire family. The State Fair’s Bluegrass Stage and the Waterfall Stage will play host to a variety of live music acts, all of which are completely free and appropriate for the entire family. The  Bluegrass Stage is located in Heritage Circle and will feature two different acts, both representing some of the best traditional bluegrass music. The Grass Cats are famous for playing music as diverse as traditional fiddle and banjo music, bluegrass classics, acapella gospel numbers and popular hits. A North Carolina born-and-bred act, the Back Porch Bluegrass Band focuses…

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Save money at 11 advance ticket sales locations

The N.C. State Fair is a wonderful place to have great family fun on a budget, and with advanced sale tickets, we’re making the fair experience even more affordable. Here’s how it works: Starting today, admission and ride tickets for the fair will go on sale at 11 different locations around the Triangle. Those locations include: N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. N.C. State Fairgrounds, Gate 9 off Trinity Road, Raleigh, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Clayton Corners Shopping Center, U.S. 70 in…

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Weekend Update: September 23-25

Though the fair is still a few weeks away, this weekend the fairgrounds will be abuzz with activity. The weekend kicks off with the Southern Ideal Home Show in the Graham Building and Exposition Center Friday through Sunday. The Triangle’s biggest and best home and garden event and will be packed full with hundreds of experts providing advice on home projects and selling home and garden-related products. Three other events will feature shopping opportunities: The North State Toy & Hobby Show Saturday and Sunday collectible toys, sports cards & sports memorabilia in the Scott Building. Sunday a wide variety of…

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Artist Spotlight: Dionne Warwick

I remember the first time I heard Dionne Warwick sing. I was 8 years old and my entire family was stuck inside our house to escape the cruel Massachusetts winter raging outside. My mom and I were sitting on the couch as near to the fire as we could be, flipping through the channels on TV. At some point we stopped on The First Wives Club. The comedy is a syndication favorite, and it opens with Warwick doing a cover of the Jack Jones song “Wives and Lovers.” I asked my mom who was singing and she said she didn’t…

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