New fairgrounds police chief settling in just in time for GTBNC festival

The N.C. State Fair has a new police chief who’s just getting settled into the job in time for the Got to Be NC Festival. Anthony “Tony” Prignano started on April 25. Technically, his job title is Public Safety and Security Chief, and it’s a shift from his decades of work in the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. “When I retired from the sheriff’s office in March at age 53, I didn’t want to just quit working,” Prignano said. “I’ve been in in law enforcement for nearly 30 years. It’s not just something that leaves your blood. When it comes to…

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N.C. wine and so much more at the GTBNC Festival

The Got to Be NC Festival brings lots of the things you love about the N.C. State Fair, such as rides and fair food favorites. There are also unique elements like the entertainment lineup, the daily tractor parades and the vendors who choose to participate each year. One thing that the GTBNC Festival offers that’s a bit different than the State Fair is the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace. It’s a bit like the Got to Be NC Pavilion during the fair, but not exactly. At the this year’s festival, there are about 74 vendors, and all of them will have…

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A beginner’s guide to the Carolina Pig Jig according to three of its biggest fans

The Got to Be NC Festival returns to the State Fairgrounds this weekend. An eagerly anticipated part of the festival is the Saturday-only Carolina Pig Jig. Around 20 chapters of Masons will compete for bragging rights in this one-day competition and fundraiser. The real winners are the attendees, who for $20 gain entry and all-you-can-eat barbecue. In an effort to help out those that might be attending their first Pig Jig, we talked to a few “experts” to get their best advice for how to maximize your barbecue experience. See tips below: Paul Jones, manager of organization engagement at Butterball,…

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Get Ready for the Got to Be NC Festival

It’s a celebration of food and agriculture at the 11th annual Got to Be N.C. Festival.  Come enjoy a mix of food, fun, music, carnival rides, tractors and more. Gate admission is free. Highlights include: Homegrown Marketplace presented by Lowes Foods, in the Exposition Center. Nearly 100 North Carolina companies will be sampling and selling their products. Admission is $3 for ages 12 or older, but visitors will get a coupon for $2 off purchase (excluding alcohol) 10th Annual Masonic Carolina Pig Jig BBQ Cook-off will be Saturday beside the Exposition Center. Enjoy barbecue from 40 Masonic Lodges. Tickets are $15 for ages…

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NC State Fair youth scholarship recipients honored at Got to Be NC Festival

Following is a guest post from Marisa Linton. Marisa grew up showing and raising livestock, and currently lives on her family’s small farm in Mount Olive. She has shown animals at the N.C. State Fair for the past 14 years and is a past youth livestock scholarship recipient. She is an N.C. State University graduate, agricultural photographer and blogger. Youth who show livestock at the N.C. State Fair are a hardworking, responsible and dedicated group. They stay busy working with their animals and taking care of them. While these youth are focused on their livestock and showing, they are also…

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We’re bringing Casey back – mascot returns after 40-plus-year absence

There’s a new bird in town – and he’ll be making his debut at the Got to Be NC Festival, May 15-17. Casey Cardinal will represent the fair at promotional events and during the annual N.C. State Fair. He will begin high-fiving children and posing for selfies this month. Some seasoned fairgoers might remember Casey’s predecessor from the late 1960s and early 1970s. A few lucky fairgoers might even have a couple of souvenirs from the original Casey’s heyday. We have a few lying around the Agriculture Building in downtown Raleigh, including a key chain and cup featuring the mascot….

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Got to Be NC Festival celebrates Armed Forces Day

In honor of Armed Forces Day, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will ride a special Wounded Warrior Project tractor in today’s tractor parade at 1 p.m. The black-painted 1955 WD45 Diesel Allis Chalmers tractor is a custom build by Curtis Mabe of Parkton. He built the tractor as a tribute to all military from World War II to present. It features the names of all 10,500 North Carolinian war casualties who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. “These men and women, and the sacrifices they made for our freedom, are truly our heros,” Mabe said. Come out and show your support…

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Weekend Update: May 16-18

This weekend the fairgrounds is the place to be as the annual Got to Be N.C. Festival brings a mix of food, music, carnival rides and games, antique farm equipment and grandstand entertainment. Gate admission is free. Festival hours are Friday, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Building and exhibit hours are Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m .to 6 p.m. Sample and buy food, beer and wine from more than 80 North Carolina companies in the Food, Wine and…

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Get a taste of North Carolina at the Got to be N.C. Festival

Sample some North Carolina goodness at the State Fairgrounds this weekend as the N.C. Food Wine and Beer Expo sets up in the Exposition Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This event is part of the annual Got to be N.C. Festival. “The Got to Be N.C. Festival is a celebration of N.C. agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “What better way to celebrate than giving everyone an opportunity to sample products that are made in our state.” The expo features more than 80 companies sampling and selling products made in North Carolina. A $2 admission fee for ages 12…

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