Gluten-free food options

The number one reason to come to the Fair is the jaw-dropping selection of food–but what if you’re allergic to wheat? Luckily, there are many, many options left at the Fair and Gluten Free Raleigh blog has compiled a lengthy list of foods that meet requirements. A few include: North Carolina State University Ice Cream (919-515-2760)-The following flavors are Gluten Free (Vanilla, Chocolate, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate ChocolateChip, Chocolate Chip Mint & Strawberry). Stay away from Cookies N Cream and CookieDough!-Please make sure to ask the server to wash the ice cream scoop before getting your ice creamas all scoops are…

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Let go of my Legos

LEGO butterfly photo by Mike Walsh. The Lego creations in the Hobbies and Craft building are always some of my favorites. Mike Walsh’s LEGO blog has this picture up of one of Mike’s favorite entries this year: This past Tuesday Joe Meno and I judged the LEGO entries at the NC State Fair. This is the 4th year we have done this. There were a number of really good entries this year and one in particular stood out. These butterflies are really clever and were by far the best entry across all categories. If we could have awarded a best…

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Behind the scenes: Gettin’ ready

And you thought it took YOU a while to get ready this morning: You’ll see in the video cows getting a “blow dry,” a combing, getting a “shower” (while also taking a drink) and sheep getting a “shave” as we took a walk around the Jim Graham building where the livestock hang out during the Fair. The Junior Dairy shows are up first, so we got to see dedicated kids taking care of their sheep and cattle. Check them out at the junior competitions that start up at 9 a.m. in the Graham and Kelley buildings.

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Stick ’em

The N.C. State Fair has arguably the largest midway in North America. And each of the 100-plus rides on the midway undergoes a rigorous inspection by the N.C. Department of Labor before the first rider steps on. Bureau Chief Jonathan Brooks and his crew of 24 inspectors have been working diligently to inspect each ride to make sure it is 100 percent in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. If it doesn’t pass muster, it doesn’t “get stuck.” That’s industry lingo for the sticker that certifies a ride has passed inspection. North Carolina’s standards for ride safety are among the strictest…

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Artist Spotlight: Mario

Mixing it up between the country and Christian artists at the Fair is Mario, the R&B singing/dancing sensation that you may know of from the show Dancing with the Stars. Above is a great interview from Go! TV (a play off of his last album Go!) with the singer and behind-the-scenes footage of his dance rehearsals. Mario has been around the music scene for awhile now, as his first album came out when he was only 15 years old. (When I was 15, I was Glenda the Good Witch in our high school version of the Wizard of Oz. Needless…

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More progress

Sorry, it’s been hectic here, and I’ve fallen down on my promise. Here’s a photo from the second floor of the Scott Building from this morning – one of the Midway and one of the Scott Building commercial exhibit areas. This area is always interesting to me. Usually when we leave our offices the night before the Fair opens, this area is still mostly empty, but when we come in the next morning, it’s full of vendors. Kinda like the vendor fairy comes in overnight and fills the building. But I’m sure the vendors will take advantage of the extra…

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Where to find it: Fried mac’n’cheese and pecan pie

Because of the HUGE response we’ve gotten to the deep fried pecan pie and mac’n’cheese, we tracked down Alan Rubin to tell us exactly where Fair visitors can find these tasty treats. You can find them at the Sam Rand Grandstand food exhibitor area, circled above in red, near the middle of the fairgrounds. Chef Vince Thomas’ Chef’s D’lites right across from the Grandstand restrooms will also be serving up the deep friend mac-n-cheese. Click here for a larger map, where you can use the zoom tool to get in really close…and eat away! UPDATE: We scoped out the booth…

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In the News

Durham bus tickets to the Fair are a steal: WRAL talks with Durham residents about taking the Park and Ride. October 16th Thru 26th: North Carolina State Fair: The Roadfood Digest recommends N.C. BBQ (and lots of it) at the Fair. Wake preparing health, sanitation inspections ahead of State Fair: Yup, even before the Fair starts, the N&O reports we’re making sure it’s safe for you. NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit prepares for State Fair: Litter prevention materials from the NCDOT will be on hand at its booth near the Village of Yesteryear, reports Ch. 9 news. (Note: Very cool pic…

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Diverse City

All you Toby Mac fans who have been procrastinating in getting your tickets, here’s your fair warning: you better get your tickets soon if you want to see him perform! Toby Mac, who got his start in the band dc Talk, will be at the N.C. State Fair this Saturday, Oct. 18. Tickets are still available for only $10! Go to www.ncstatefair.org to buy your tickets.

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Name that Coaster!

Name this Coaster! The ride company behind our very impressive Midway this year is giving you a chance to really make your mark on the Fair. Powers Great American Midways is bringing the world’s largest portable roller coaster to the Fair for the very first time–and wants visitors at the N.C. State Fair to give it a name. Currently, it’s called the Pinfarri RC-48, which sounds more like R2-D2’s third cousin than a truly awesome Midway thrill ride. But alongside its fellow rides–including the Vortex, the Avalance, the Claw, and one our blogger’s favorite, the Flying Bob–that just won’t do….

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