Country rocks Dorton Arena with Parmalee and OSMR

Parmalee is a country rock band, composed of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, their cousin Barry Knox and friend Josh McSwain, that originated in Parmele in Martin County. The group was formed in 2001 when the members began practicing every Tuesday and Thursday night in a barn they dubbed “Studio B.” Since then, Parmalee has gone on to produce five albums and has been featured on Billboard, AOL.com and Clear Channel. It wasn’t long before the band members realized they needed to broaden their horizons outside of the barn in Parmele if they wanted to jump-start their music career. After…

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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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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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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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