Aromatic Roasters Roast Up the Best Cup of Joe at N.C. State Fair

Dominic Treadwell with Aromatic Roasters of Pittsboro won the annual coffee competition on Friday, Oct. 12.  This brew master won $100 along with a N.C. State Fair ribbon and, of course, bragging rights. The contest is sponsored by Dilworth Coffee and Stockton Graham & Co. Mello Coffee Roasters of Davidson was named reserve champion and earned $75. Honorable mention went to Carrboro Coffee Roasters of Carrboro. The 12 competitors were judged based on their brew’s aroma, flavor, balance, after taste, acidity, body, sweetness and overall impression. Exhibitors were responsible for a written description of their coffee entry, roasted coffee beans…

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Woman completes bucket list item with cooking competition win

Mary Boury returned to the N.C. State Fair to mark something off her bucket list – competing in the Special Cooking Contests .  It paid off on opening day with a first-place win for the N.C. Peanut Growers Association recipe contest and a third-place win in House-Autry Mills Cornbread Challenge. Boury is originally from Girard, Pa. She moved here years ago because her daughter lives here and she became a regular at entering cooking competitions at the fair. “Mary moved back to Pennsylvania a few years ago,” said Lisa Prince, special cooking contest superintendent. “We haven’t seen her in the…

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A love affair

What keeps Gail and Grant Simons at the Root Beer Cart coming back for their 32nd year at the N.C. State Fair? It’s a true love affair. “We love fairs, we love people and these are our friends,” Grant says. “That’s as good a reason as any to keep coming back every year.” Celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, the dynamic duo is still at it, serving their famous root beer out of their red and white striped tent all over the east coast. “We start in July and go to six fairs in New York,” Gail said. “Then, we slowly…

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Giant pumpkin and watermelon set new State Fair records

A 1,551.5-pound pumpkin grown by Chris Rodebaugh of Lewisburg, W. Va. and a watermelon weighing 327.5 pounds grown by Christopher Kent of Sevierville, Tenn. took the top prizes in the N.C. State Fair’s Great Pumpkin and Watermelon Weigh-Off. Both entries shattered previous N. C State Fair records. Rodebaugh is a first-time grower, and gathered the information needed to grow his super-sized pumpkin from the internet. “I saw some entries into my local State Fair in West Virginia and thought, ‘that’s pretty neat.’ I thought I’d try to grow one myself,” he said. When asked if he’d return in 2019, he…

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Cool Runnings wins Best New Food at annual State Fair media day

Stephen and Andrea Millington have been serving up jerk chicken, tacos and pork wraps for 18 years at the N.C. State Fair. This year, the couple took top honors for best new food at the annual N.C. State Fair media day, their new jerk pork wrap with mango sauce. Most of the year, Stephen and Andrea Millington work day jobs. Stephen is an  IT technician in Durham and Andrea is an accountant in Raleigh. During the fair, they take their vacation to run Cool Runnings Jamaican food at the N.C. State Fair. Andrea is from Jamaica and many of the…

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More than Showing Livestock…It’s Family

In the livestock show world, family is a big deal. They are your cheerleaders, and greatest critic. They back the trailers, feed you between classes, hold you during disappointment, and celebrate with you through wins. In short, showing livestock is a family endeavor. However, the cool thing about that family, is it is often much larger than the one you were born with. This is a story of more than one family, but in reality, they seem more like one big family. It’s the story of two girls. Two families. And yet, sheep and one dream turned them into one…

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Noche Latina brings Hispanic heritage to the Fair

It’s a night of art, music and entertainment representing our Latin community. Check out the performances on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Dorton Arena. Throughout the evening, a Venezuelan dance group and a Mexican dance group will perform, along with a salsa band and a mariachi band. The individuals in Noche Latina are all community members that were chosen to perform to embody the Latina heritage in the Triangle area.  The groups will perform traditional dances and music to represent the diversified cultures in our society. “Noche Latina is looking forward to engaging with people in the community…

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Basnight’s is back with more local seafood

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café made its fair debut with a bang in 2017 featuring menu items such as jumbo lump crab dip, bacon-wrapped scallops and shrimp and grits. But for Caroline Basnight, the spotlight shines on local fishermen. “We try to use ingredients grown in North Carolina for everything we serve,” Basnight said, “but there’s never been a day we’ve served anything but local seafood. Her parents opened the Nags Head restaurant in 1995, and since her mother came from a background of commercial fishing, there was never a doubt that the family would use local seafood. At Basnight’s fair…

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Friday Frenzy, Dizzy Passes and other tips for parents of teens headed to the Fair

Getting old enough to walk around the fair without your parents is a rite of passage for many youth.  Here’s a few tips to help nervous parents navigate sending their teen out on their own. Have a meeting place. Suggestions for a good meeting place are the waterfall area, the Martin Building on the Midway or the Tobacco Pavilion. Don’t rely just on cell phones. With the rides and number of people, the fair can be a noisy place. Don’t count on your teen hearing their cell phone. Also, on busy days, cell service can be a little spotty. Purchase…

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On-the-Spot Competitions are back with more events than ever at the NC State Fair

Good news fairgoers! Based on the popularity of the On-the-Spot Competitions at the fair, we’ve decided to ramp up the variety of events to give visitors an opportunity for daily participation. Although these competitions don’t come with money rewards, they do come with ribbons and bragging rights! Competitions were chosen based on their success and popularity at other fairs. “Many fairs host an on-the-spot event where visitors can compete, well, on the spot,” said John Buettner, competitive exhibits director. “Winners of these competitions take home a ribbon, bragging rights, and sometimes the item they were using to compete, such as…

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