Basnight’s is back with more local seafood

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café made its fair debut with a bang in 2017 featuring menu items such as jumbo lump crab dip, bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp and grits. But for Caroline Basnight, the spotlight shines on local fishermen. “We try to use ingredients grown in North Carolina for everything we serve,” Basnight said, “but there’s never been a day we’ve served anything but local seafood. Her parents opened the Nags Head restaurant in 1995, and since her mother came from a background of commercial fishing, there was never a doubt that the family would use local seafood. At Basnight’s fair…

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On-the-Spot Competitions are back with more events than ever at the NC State Fair

Good news fairgoers! Based on the popularity of the On-the-Spot Competitions at the fair, we’ve decided to ramp up the variety of events to give visitors an opportunity for daily participation. Although these competitions don’t come with money rewards, they do come with ribbons and bragging rights! Competitions were chosen based on their success and popularity at other fairs. “Many fairs host an on-the-spot event where visitors can compete, well, on the spot,” said John Buettner, competitive exhibits director. “Winners of these competitions take home a ribbon, bragging rights, and sometimes the item they were using to compete, such as…

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Science is in motion on this year’s N.C. State Fair rides

Imagine you’re on a fair ride. Do you notice how you pick up speed during slopes on the Fun Slide? What about the decreasing height of the hills on the Mighty Mouse Coaster? Do you feel like you’re being pushed outward on the Merry-Go-Round? Believe it or not, this can all be explained by scientific forces. How does this work? Laura Bottomley, the director of North Carolina State University’s K-12 engineering outreach unit, The Engineering Place, said the same concepts are behind almost every ride you go on at the fair. “It’s momentum, friction and forces in motion,” she said,…

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It’s “farm-to-fair” at Al’s Fries

Al’s French Fries has been around since 1959 as one of the oldest and longest-standing vendors at the fair. Its menu is simple: a heaping portion of hot, delicious french fries with condiments of your choosing. But what you might not expect from this fry stand is that Al’s features locally sourced ingredients straight from North Carolina farmers. For Debbie Anderson, it’s all about honoring her father’s legacy. “We’ve never strayed from what Daddy did,” Anderson said. “We still buy potatoes from Ford’s Produce, we always fry in peanut oil and we still serve Coke products.” Anderson’s father, Al Beckwith,…

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Archetype Brewing wins State Fair beer competition

Cheers to this! Archetype Brewing has won Best in Show in the N.C. State Fair Beer Competition with their Belgian Strong Ale. The brewery bested 32 other gold medal-winning beers to secure the N.C. Brewers Cup trophy. With North Carolina being the home to more than 260 breweries and brewpubs, the 2018 NC Brewers Cup featured the stiffest competition yet in the event’s seven-year history, with 76 North Carolina breweries competing for medals over two days of judging. Twenty certified beer judges from across the Southeast traveled to the competition to select the finest examples of each beer style from…

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Lumberjack Competition showcases talent, promotes environmental stewardship

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show returns to the State Fair this year with displays that will leave you buzzing from excitement. A 6-man team of professional lumberjacks will chop, saw and roll their way through this highly competitive performance. This year, the show is bringing a new canine competitor to North Carolina: Gracie, the log rolling dog. Gracie is about a year old, and she’s the only silver Labrador log-rolling dog currently performing in lumberjack competitions. She’ll try to stay afloat as the logs do their best to spin her into the water. The Lumberjack Show features events like springboard…

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“Touch and See” offers interactive display for Fairgoers with visual impairments

The Handicrafts and Hobbies competition showcases the work of some of our state’s most talented painters, wood carvers, quilters, glassblowers and potters. In the Commercial Building, you’ll find handmade items created by young and old alike. However, the displays come with a warning: please don’t touch the crafts. Judith Uhrick, superintendent of Handicrafts and Hobbies, hopes to change that with a new exhibit. She and others developed an idea for “Touch and See” – an interactive, tactile display that makes Handicrafts and Hobbies more welcoming to those with visual impairments. At Touch and See, participants can hold and manipulate different…

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Take the Selfie Challenge!

Pics or it didn’t happen! The Selfie Challenge is part scavenger hunt and part photo contest. Can you find all 14 items? Participation is easy: Visit the N.C. State Fair Snap a selfie with each listed item Upload your selfies to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and include  #ncstatefair  in the caption Some items will be harder than others. You’ll have to check the daily schedule for Casey’s appearances at Casey’s Clubhouse. The stilt walkers are a roving act, so keep an eye out around the Flower and Garden Show. Be prepared to stay up late to snap the last item, as fireworks…

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RaeLynn & Bucky Covington bring a night of country to Dorton Arena

Country singers RaeLynn and Bucky Covington will be making ties back to their Carolina roots as they perform at the N.C. State Fair in the Homegrown Music Fest on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Dorton Arena. Here’s a little refresher on the artists: RaeLynn RaeLynn auditioned for the second season of The Voice, where she was given her platform and began her career as a country singer. Since her time on the Emmy-winning show, she has released numerous singles including “God Made Girls,” which was the highest debut single by a solo female upon its release in 2014,…

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The art of the N.C. State Fair fireworks

David Davis may not consider himself an artist, but he spends his work days matching up colors and using the sky as a muse. Davis is the facility manager at Zambelli Fireworks, a company the State Fair uses each year to put on the nightly firework displays we all know and love. Designers and technicians carefully plan each show to include an artistic use of colors and sound, and the N.C. State Fair is one of their special events. “The fair is different because we do a fake finale where we shoot multiple shells at a rapid pace, let it…

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