Sights, Sounds and Smells: Ag Jam

If you’re a country music/food junkie like me, there was no better place to be last Saturday than the Diet Pepsi Got to Be NC Ag Jam. We got to celebrate N.C. agriculture and growers to the tunes of Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke, Jamey Johnson, Heartland, Jake Owen, Eric Church, Tracy Byrd and (whew!) Blake Shelton. Check out the sights, sounds and smells from the top-notch event and keep your ear to the ground for info on next year’s Got to Be NC Ag Jam. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler kicking things off with media partners from Thunder Country, WQDR and…

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Warning: Barnyard animals on the loose in Raleigh!

Before… …and after! Apex High School art students put finishing touches on their beaux-vine art. At the State Fair last year, you may have noticed a few unusually attired animals competing for top honors alongside the usual livestock staples. But while most of the cows, chickens, pigs and horses at the Fair make sure their manes and feathers are shiny and unruffled for competition, their fiberglass counterparts in the Farm Animal Frenzy contest are getting their last coats of paint, glitter and paper mache. (The site is hilarious in itself–check out its “Barnyard Rules” that pop up on each page.)…

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Now it’s a little easier to be green

It might not be so easy on Kermit, but the NC Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance is helping to make it easier for the 2008 State Fair to become a little greener. This year we’re starting a pilot program to encourage recycling on the fairgrounds. As you can imagine, with almost 900,000 people coming through out gates the trash can really start piling up. Here is the note from the DPPEA: We are seeking volunteers to help staff these stations to prevent contamination of the recyclables. There will be three recycling stations throughout the fairgrounds that need two…

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Hyping the fair, part 1: Choosing a theme

We do a number of interviews before the State Fair begins, and a frequent question is “How did you choose the theme?” If I had taken more — um, I mean any — marketing classes in college, I would be able to give some pithy answer about analyzing market research to find exactly the right words and phrases that would resonate with the public and persuade them to drop everything and come to the fair. That’s all well and good, but market research doesn’t always meet with success. Can you say “New Coke“? So at State Fair Theme HQ, we…

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You can’t win if you don’t register!

The decorated cakes are always a popular. An article in today’s N&O about recipe contests got me thinking about cooking contests. And then I had an “AACK” moment when I realized that NOT ONLY is the fair just 29 DAYS AWAY, the deadline to register for competitions is only A WEEK away. A few deadlines have already passed (livestock and wine categories are a few), but most will close out on Sept. 24. The good news is that you can do it all online this year or print out an entry form and mail it in, as long as it…

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What’s your favorite fair food?

In surveys taken at the Fair, people say again and again and again food is the top reason they come. And they certainly have plenty of options to choose from. Nearly 350 vendors have signed up for 2008 and a few more may be added before gates open Oct. 16. Now mind you, not every vendor is a food vendor, but there are hundreds of food booths to choose from. What the Fair’s most famous for is good old Southern deep-fried fare, the inspiration behind this blog. Seriously, is there any kind of ho-ho or chocolate candy bar that hasn’t…

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Everyone’s talking about…

…the N.C. State Fair! Just to make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up some great articles and blog posts on our favorite topic. The links will take you to the original sites: Does a banana suit count as pants?: Our favorite WRAL blogger must be checking out our Pants Dance Revolution YouTube channel. She’s rounded up a week’s worth of blog posts on her Fair blog. Photography competition: On the Peter and Sofia blog, we get a sneak peek into one of the photography department’s “Faces of NC” competition entries. N.C. State Fair engagements photo shoot: We mentioned a…

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I’m thinking sherbet

Yesterday, we got our new “uniform” for the 2008 State Fair – our polo shirts. It’s a geeky thing, but we always get excited to get a new shirt and start wearing it around town. It’s a great conversation starter, usually beginning with the question, “Do you know when the State Fair is this year?” Or “do you know who’s playing in Dorton Arena?” So, you’ve got to be on your game and know the answers if you wear a Fair shirt in public this time of year. But, it’s fun and it definitely gets people talking, even if they’re…

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Remebering Sept. 11 and saluting the Men and Women in the armed forces

Surely, all of us who were born before 1990 remember that beautiful September morning in 2001 when the world seemed to stop. In Raleigh, it was a gorgeous day and we were busy with getting ready for the upcoming fair when a co-worker (Merri-Go-Round) came into the office and said that a plane had struck a building in New York. My first thought was nothing like the horrrible reality that it was. For the rest of the day, we kept up with the news on a small, 6-inch, black and white television, and watched out our windows as workers scurried…

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‘Moos Ireland’: Cow Beauty Pageant

I just came across the Bailey’s Champion Cow Competition held every year in Ireland. Bailey’s, the maker of Irish cream, holds the contest in which 30 cows compete for the countrywide title. (Get it? “Moos Ireland?” As in, watch out Miss Ireland, Bessie is on your tail? Sorry, you can blame that pun on Ireland’s RTE News.) The ladies are judged on how shapely their legs are, the curves of the backs and the shape of their udders. I couldn’t find a pictures of this year’s winner Lumville Danois 2, but I have to say that the 2006 winner above…

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