All Aboard to the N.C. State Fair!

In addition to your admission ticket and attraction tickets, there’s one more ticket you may want to consider for your trip to the State Fair…a train ticket! If you are traveling west to the State Fair from outside of Raleigh then the train is a fun and convenient way to get to the fair! During the fair, NC By Train and Amtrak have a special stop at the State Fair (Station NSF). The train delivers passengers near an entrance to the fairgrounds, eliminating the stress that can come with parking. Passengers can board the train at stations in Charlotte, Kannapolis,…

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State Fair & Small Business – A Sweet Match

Caramel apples are a classic State Fair treat – a staple that many fairgoers would consider a “must eat” at the fair. And no one does a more over-the-top caramel apple than Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples. Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples, owned and operated by David and Debbie Booth, serves around 150 different types of apples. Each apple is a fresh Granny Smith apple covered in rich caramel and then topped with different ingredients. Its best-selling flavor is the Caramel Apple Pie, a Granny Smith apple covered in caramel, dipped in white chocolate, and rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon. Coming…

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Be a State Fair Adventurer

Want to earn a little extra credit at the fair? The N.C. State Fair makes learning something fun with three different scavenger hunts geared towards elementary, middle and high school students. The scavenger hunts are sponsored by Wake Tech WakeWorks Apprenticeship and are just one of the tools that teachers, parents and homeschoolers can use to help make a trip to the fair educational. They are designed so everybody can learn a little about agriculture, competitive exhibits and some of the other agencies that have booths at the fair. Sample Questions: Elementary: How many pounds of apples are grown in…

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New Competitions Announced for 2021 State Fair

Decorated Christmas Trees, painted rocks and stuffed sock toys! Those are just a few examples of the new competitions coming to this year’s state fair. After a year with no fair, these exciting new competitions will prove to have been worth the wait! This year’s new competitions were created in an effort to encourage competition entries as these simpler projects can be completed within weeks rather than some projects that can take a whole year. No matter your age, skill level or interests, there is bound to be a competition for you!  “Our hope is that these sorts of categories…

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Changes to 2021 Youth Livestock Shows

Although the State Fair had to be canceled last year, the Youth Livestock Shows were fortunately still able to go on. The shows are continuing this year, however, they will still not be operating in their pre-pandemic state as was hoped. Because of the financial hit these shows took when revenue was not generated by the 2020 State Fair or other events held at the fairgrounds, some changes will have to be implemented to keep the show going. Below is a list of some of this year’s major changes: The schedule will be much more spread out, allowing species to…

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Twenty-Six Students Receive N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarship

For these twenty-six students, their participation in junior livestock shows at the N.C. State Fair is now aiding them in their higher educational pursuits. Twenty-six high school students have received the 2021 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship. The scholarship is specifically for high school seniors or students currently enrolled in an institute of higher education who have participated in the junior livestock or market turkey shows at the N.C. State Fair. Twenty-five of the scholarships were worth $1000, and the remaining one was worth $1500 and was paid for by Farm Credit of North Carolina. Applicants were evaluated based on…

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2020 Horse Show spotlight: a dressage surprise

Jenna Smith has been riding horses on-and-off since she was about 12 years old. Now at age 23, she continues to find surprises – like the pleasant surprise to hear the N.C. State Fair Horse Shows would continue this year even if the fair did not. Her championship ribbon from the Oct. 23-25 show was a pretty nice surprise too. “Overall I think it went really well. We had some things we definitely could have improved on, but I acknowledge that I could have improved on it, so I wasn’t frustrated with whatever placing we got,” Smith said after racking…

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Making the Best of a Situation: Livestock Scholarship Recipients Share their COVID-19 College Experiences

“We took a lot of change in a short amount of time, but it is what it is and we just have to make the best of it.”—Zachery Keeter, NCSU freshman and 2020 NC State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship Recipient Despite precautions and efforts, colleges and universities across the country have had to close their doors to in-person classes. Headlines have often covered the numbers, logistics, and causes. However, there is another story that should be told. That of the student who is having to adapt, pivot, and navigate college in a pandemic. Students are facing challenges ranging from social…

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Grabbing a Mask and Showing Cattle

“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.” The goal was to give youth opportunities to show their cattle in the midst of the pandemic. In order to meet that goal, everyone had to be flexible and willing to do things a bit differently. The North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup is an annual event that many cattle families look forward to. It is a tradition that centers around family, fun, and cattle. It is a time to catch up with old friends and show off prized cattle. It’s a place to where conversations revolve around the cattle industry…

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Jumping for the blue: Inside the ring of the Hunter Jumper horse shows at the N.C. State Fairgrounds

In the hunter jumper world, the common phrase “going for the gold” transforms to “jumping for the blue,” as in the coveted first place ribbon. Every year farms from around the state bring their best horses and riders to compete in the Hunter Jumper shows and derby at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Hunter jumping is a style of English horseback riding where both horse and rider are judged on accuracy, form, consistency and demeanor while performing a series of jump courses. “So much of horseback riding is mental and both parties affect the other, meaning the horse affects the rider…

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