Paul Bunyan’s Lumberjack Show still delivers after decades of fair appearances

Lee LeCaptain loves bringing the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show to the N.C. State Fair. It’s something he first did in the early 90’s. At that time, the show was based in Heritage Circle, and it made use of the pond there. “To me [this fair] is one of the best in the nation. I enjoy it probably better than any other state fair in the country,” LeCaptain said after a recent show during the 2021 fair. “I come here, it’s like home. It’s just very comfortable. It’s almost like here is a vacation, but I’m still working hard. I work…

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Advice from the Deep Fried rookies

The N.C. State Fair is full of surprises and hidden gems. When you work at the fair for the first time, like I did in 2019, those things add up quickly. If you’ve visited before, it’s easy to think you know pretty much everything there is to know. If you’ve visited a lot, you learn even more and find even more surprises and gems over the years. I can say I learned a lot by working at the fair and being inside the gates for all eleven days in 2019 (plus a week before opening day too). I wasn’t alone…

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Tucked into a forest, new fairgrounds building highlights natural resources & conservation

There’s a new building on the fairgrounds for 2021, and a unique element of its design could have you staring at the walls. The new building will generally be called the Natural Resources Center. It’s tucked away in the wooded area in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds, which is called the N.C. State Fair Conservation forest. In 2021, the forest is sponsored by Enviva. The area is behind the flower and garden show and Heritage Circle. That’s the area where you can find the sawmill demonstration and the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show. It’s also where you find Smokey Bear,…

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Flea market and other activities return as cautious fairgrounds reopening continues

Shoppers rejoice! The flea market at the N.C. State Fairgrounds has reopened, and it’s welcoming the public once again – the socially distanced, clean-handed, nose-and-mouth-covered public, of course. Officially called The Raleigh Market these days, it actually re-opened a few weekends ago for the first time since closing because of COVID-19. It will be open Labor Day weekend as usual, just not on Labor Day since that’s a Monday. The market didn’t reopen as soon as retail locations were allowed to welcome customers again though. Spokesperson Kimberly Benou said the management knew there was interest from customers and that some…

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Cleanup with Casey

Wondering what’s been going on at the fairgrounds? Look no further, Casey Cardinal and his friend, Assistant Fair Manager James Romer, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the renovations taking place at the fairgrounds. Due to COVID-19, nearly 200 scheduled events at the fairgrounds have been canceled so far this year.  With extra time on his hands, Romer has been busy with N.C. State Fairgrounds staff improving the grounds in preparation for the 2020 N.C. State Fair. The fairgrounds crew have checked many things off their to-do list so far, like spreading mulch, painting, repairing livestock pens, and pruning and…

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NC products showcased for fairgoers

If you’re looking for a showcase of some of North Carolina’s very own products at the N.C. State Fair, you have to check out the “Got To Be NC” exhibit tent. This year’s tent will be packed with 34 vendors from 24 cities or towns across the state. Six of the vendors are new this year, while at least five returning vendors promise to have new or updated products in their booths. Many vendors will be in the exhibit tent for either the first or second half of the fair, but eight vendors will be there all 11 days. You’ll…

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Comedic duo Rhett & Link bring their N.C. history to the fairgrounds Oct. 12

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal may shoot their million-hit YouTube videos in Burbank, California, but the comedians got their humble beginnings just an hour’s drive from the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The pair host a whimsical daily morning talk show on YouTube called Good Mythical Morning, or GMM, which has over 14 million subscribers. Their four channels have a whopping 7 billion subscribers total. GMM has featured notable actors such as Daniel Radcliffe and Amy Schumer, other YouTube stars like Colleen Ballinger of the web series Miranda Sings and even popular young adult novelist John Green. Their one-night-only live fair performance,…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 17 – 19

Sail to the Carolina Boat Show Boat lovers will want to be at the Fairgrounds this weekend. The Carolina Fall Boat Show & Sale features 12 marine dealers and more than 200 boats on display. Hours are Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Graham Building. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and military members. Admission is free for children younger than 12. Tickets are available online. Also, be sure to check out the Original Coin & Currency Show. This event features a…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 9 – 12

Learn about wellness at the Fairgrounds If you or your children are intolerant to gluten and other food allergens, the Raleigh Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event may be the place for you this weekend. The event will feature presentations from experts in allergic living, free lectures, cooking demonstrations and product samples. A Kid’s Corner will be provided by Parents of Allergic Kids. Adult admission is $10, and admission for students, seniors and military members is $8. Admission is free for children younger than 13. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday in the Scott Building. Be sure to…

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Weekend Update: Aug. 2 – 5

A day to enjoy Japanese culture The 2018 Japan Summer Festival is Saturday in the Exposition Center. This year’s Japanese Natsu Matsuri Summer Festival will feature traditional street food and drink, including Japanese beer. Attendees can enjoy stage entertainment and traditional Japanese bon odori dancing, performances with taiko drums and other Japanese musical instruments, Japanese choir and musicians, martial arts demos and other Japanese cultural entertainment. Tables will be hosted by other Japanese interest groups and will feature traditional Japanese games for children, displays of Japanese arts and crafts, cultural presentations and Japanese items for sale or trade. Advance ticket admission is…

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