Winners picked in the Heritage Tobacco Harvest Competition

Tobacco is a tradition in North Carolina, and you will find plenty of examples of this cash crop on display at the State Fair. At 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, teams of three will compete in the annual tobacco stringing contest for bragging rights and cash prizes. All that tobacco plus many more sticks will fill the antique tobacco barn, where the leaves will be cured by heat during the week. On Friday, Oct. 20, there will be a mock auction simulating the old way of buying and selling stacks of tobacco bundled onto burlap sheets. You can also find…

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Living the ‘Arepa Loca’

Arepa: A Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine made from maize or corn dough and filled with meat, cheese, sauce, beans, etc. On Monday, Oct. 9, during State Fair Media Day, media and guests tasted new foods from 14 vendors and voted for their favorite. Arepa Loca, a Raleigh-based family business, took home the blue ribbon for 2017 Best New Food. This is their first time as a vendor at the fair. Pedro, Nancy and Nataly Garcia began sharing their unique taste of the Colombian cuisine six years ago at an international festival. The Garcias pride themselves on serving good quality products,…

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Ride your bike to the State Fair, and other alternative transportation options

Raleigh residents are finding more designated bike lanes around town, encouraging folks to use their bikes as a means of transportation. There is even a bike sharing-service around N.C. State University and the downtown area. Biking to the N.C. State Fair is also an option for people who live within riding distance. The fairgrounds has added new bike racks near Gate 1 at the end of the Education Building that runs along Hillsborough Street. Riders will need to bring their own locks to secure their bikes before heading into the gates for a fun day at the fair. Or you…

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Commissioner Troxler to defend his title Oct. 13 in the celebrity tobacco stringing competition

    Having grown up on a farm in the Midwest, WRAL television anchor Lynda Loveland is no stranger to farm life. But tobacco stringing was a farm task she had never tried her hand at, until 2016. Last year in front of a friendly crowd of experienced tobacco folks, Loveland took on Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in the first celebrity stringing competition. Team WRAL, which also included producer Kelly Riner and guest hander and four-time champion stringer Sandy Jones, had a great cheering squad, but came up a little short in the competition. Fairgoers will have a chance to…

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Stay safe at the fair

The State Fair is a fun place to be, but with thousands of people on the grounds every day, the population of the fairgrounds is larger than most cities and towns across the state. With that, keep in mind that the same things that happen every day in a city could happen at the fair. Here are a few suggestions to help make your day at the Fair even more enjoyable. RIDES Follow the instructions of ride operators. The majority of ride incidents occur because of rider error. Don’t rock the seats on gondola rides such as the Ferris Wheel or…

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Dillon Fence singer Greg Humphreys looks forward to reunion at NC State Fair

Greg Humphreys sees Dillon Fence’s Oct. 21 show at the N.C. State Fair as both homecoming and reunion. It’s a homecoming for the Winston-Salem native, who now calls Manhattan home. And it’s a reunion for Dillon Fence, which plays only a few shows a year. Humphreys, the band’s singer and guitarist, will be getting together with Chris Goode (bass), Kent Alphin (guitar) and Scott Carle (drums). “We’re going to pull old fans out of the woodwork,” said Humphreys, speaking by phone recently from Abingdon, Va., a tour stop with Electric Trio, the band that takes up most of his time…

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Strongman John Beatty is a real life super hero

The N.C. State Fair has it’s own version of Superman. Strongman John Beatty can bend steel, flip over cars and lift motorcycles. When he’s not performing at fair, he also helps save lives as a registered nurse at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill. As a nurse, he’s been able to bend plates and turn screws implanted in patients. His strength is also useful for moving larger patients in need of care. “We have had several bariatric patients that weight up 500-600 pounds that are difficult for most people to move,” Beatty said. Beatty’s fair shows range from tearing a…

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Take Advantage of Advance Deals

Get in on the advance price on the state fair tickets while you still can. You can save up to $2 per adult ticket if you make your purchase by Oct. 12, which is opening day. If you like to find deals on things, you could appreciate this. Be sure to set the alert on your phone so you’ll be reminded to act on it. Children’s advance tickets are $3. After the 12th, they are $5 at the gate and $4 online. All children under 6 attend the fair for free. Regular prices for tickets are $10 at the gate…

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900 miles of toilet paper and other numbers

150. That’s how many times the N.C. State Fair has been held since 1853. Which means there has been 150 opening days, 150 times there’s been blue-ribbon winners and 150 times that folks have gathered from all over the state in Raleigh to celebrate agriculture and North Carolina. While we were thinking about the significance of 150. We began to think of some other numbers (some of them a little weird) that define the N.C. State Fair.   2,400: Supersized rolls of toilet paper (or 900 miles) 100: Carnival rides 34: Number of year’s Big Smokey has been at the…

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Nearly a year after Hurricane Matthew, students thankful for more normal routine to prepare for State Fair

On Oct. 8, 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck North Carolina and left homes, roads, schools and land damaged in its wake. For Gray’s Creek High School FFA students, the storm caused more than just physical harm — they were left questioning if they could show the livestock they spent months preparing for competition at the N.C. State Fair. “We have worked six months nonstop for this, and this is the only chance we have,” Tara King, FFA adviser and agriculture teacher at Gray’s Creek, told the school board in the days leading up to the fair. Despite all Cumberland County schools being temporarily…

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