Hyping the fair, part 2: The commercials

One of the surest signs that the 2008 State Fair is rapidly approaching is the completion of the TV commercials. As reported here in July, this year’s spots use still photography and animation to depict people having fun at the fair. They also feature an advertising technique we haven’t used in several years — a jingle. Produced by MSA, one spot focuses on a family (see it above), while the other shows co-workers heading for the fair after a day at the office. Each spot will carry “tags”at the end promoting additional fair topics, such as advance tickets, park-and-ride opportunities…

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Take Time for the Frenzy

“Sancta Bos” by Cresset Christian Academy in Durham Take a stroll around Triangle Town Center and you’ll run into some strange looking characters. “Miss Moo,” “Dali,” “Javier,” and “Merlin” are just a few of the cows, chickens and horses that have overtaken the mall as part of the N.C. State Fair Farm Animal Frenzy. “Playin’ Hooky” by Garner Magnet High School I was there Saturday morning with the judges to make sure everything was in place and had the chance to get a good look at all the animals. Last year’s entries into the first-ever Farm Animal Frenzy were going…

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Fair Fan: Stephen Evans

Stephen was one of the lucky winners of our first blog contest back in July (can you believe it’s almost October already?). You may remember his brilliant “Dn’t 4get 2 get my frYd $ & funL Kk!” text message. Well, he was handsomely rewarded for his creativity with one of our new State Fair tie-dyed T-shirts and sent us a picture to prove it! Thanks for the picture, Stephen! Now we’ll definitely be able to spot you at the Fair this year.

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T-shirt winners

Congratulations to Sonja Foust and Dawn Rierson for winning State Fair T-shirts for responding to our post about Favorite Fair Foods! Please send me an e-mail at andrea.ashby@ncagr.gov with your addresses so I can send you your shirt. Wear them with pride ladies!!

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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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