I’m Evie Fordham, but you can call me Wildflower. Since I was able to hold a pencil, I’ve loved to write. In elementary school, I stuck handmade “neighborhood newspapers” in my neighbors’ mailboxes. In middle school, I thought I had made it big when I started writing for my church newsletter. And through high school, my desire to go to college and major in journalism never wavered.
My college path led me out of state to Patrick Henry College in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C. I love the D.C. area, but I sure do miss North Carolina (and its sweet tea) when I’m away. That’s why I’m excited to spend my summer as an intern writing about a tradition that, to me, sums up my home state: the North Carolina State Fair.
Since its inception in 1853, the State Fair has been all about celebrating what makes North Carolina great and coming together to make it even better. Farmers and their families from across the state traveled to Raleigh to have fun as well as learn about the latest developments in farming and industry. Today, the fair has something for everyone in our diverse state and showcases North Carolinians’ accomplishments, from flower growing to goat raising.
I picked my nickname, Wildflower, because I’ve always been drawn to the gardening side of the fair. As a kid, after riding the Flying Bobs a couple of times and sharing a funnel cake with my sister, I’d beg to go see the flower and garden section. It was such a peaceful corner of the fair where you could stroll through the garden exhibits (I remember especially loving a Dr. Seuss-themed garden) and admire the roses, dahlias and zinnias in the flower competition. Recharging in the gardens was my favorite way to end an exciting, but exhausting, day at the fair.
Because of this, my internship experience of writing and learning about the State Fair seems like a dream come true. I’ve only been here a couple of days, but I’ve already learned so much, like why pollinators are important, what an amazing tradition the fair is, and how much the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants to serve the people of North Carolina. I’m thankful for the State of North Carolina Internship program that made this possible. And I’m excited to give you a glimpse into the happenings at the State Fairgrounds – especially around fair time – on the Deep Fried Blog. Enjoy!