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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Science is in motion on this year’s N.C. State Fair rides

Imagine you’re on a fair ride. Do you notice how you pick up speed during slopes on the Fun Slide? What about the decreasing height of the hills on the Mighty Mouse Coaster? Do you feel like you’re being pushed outward on the Merry-Go-Round? Believe it or not, this can all be explained by scientific forces. How does this work? Laura Bottomley, the director of North Carolina State University’s K-12 engineering outreach unit, The Engineering Place, said the same concepts are behind almost every ride you go on at the fair. “It’s momentum, friction and forces in motion,” she said,…

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Casey’s Clubhouse, Fire Safety Show and other ways to enjoy the Fair with young children

Coming to the Fair with young ones in tow? A little advanced planning can help you make the most of your day.  Here are some tips and not-to-be-missed activities for the elementary-aged and younger at the fair. Buy your tickets before the fair starts. Tickets can be purchased at Food Lion, online, the N.C. Museum of History, State Farmers Market and at Gate 9 at the Fairgrounds. It’s no fun to stand in line and purchasing in advance means designated fast-track admission at the entrance gate. Kids under six years old get into the fair free. However, with an Kiddieland…

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The Making of a Nurse: How Showing Livestock Impacted a Nursing Student

Did you know that there is a huge shortage in nurses throughout the USA? According to the American Nurses Association there will be a need for 3.44 million nurses by 2022 which is a 20.2 percent increase in RNs. In other words, there will be a need for 1.13 million additional nurses. That is a staggering number, but there are those who are seeking to fill those positions. Meet Megan Lawing. She is a nursing student at Gardner-Webb University. She is also a N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarship recipient. Megan grew up showing sheep for 15 years and showed pigs…

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American Aquarium opens Dorton Arena concert series on Oct. 11

  “Tough times don’t last, but tough folks do.” BJ Barham, front man of American Aquarium, lives those words. He’s a quintessential North Carolinian, raised amongst rows of tobacco in Reidsville. He knows a lot about hard work and the people who carry it out. That upbringing is the driving force behind American Aquarium’s alternative country repertoire, with songs heavily influenced by the lessons, stories, and lives that define rural America. “I come from a blue-collar family. I’m the only one who didn’t go into farming,” BJ says. “I moved to the big city to go to college and fell…

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Fairgrounds improvements put rabbit show on hiatus

There are some changes to the fairgrounds in an area that generally featured one of the tightest pedestrian walkways at the fair. Fairgoers coming in from Gate 8 and walking up past the Village of Yesteryear would typically face a congested area where the rabbit barn, MarketPlace and N.C. State Howling Cow ice cream booth are located. This spring the rabbit barn building was torn down to open the space up in this area. “The number of exhibitors in our rabbit show has declined over the years,” said Kent Yelverton, fair manager. “The facility that was used to house the…

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It’s “farm-to-fair” at Al’s Fries

Al’s French Fries has been around since 1959 as one of the oldest and longest-standing vendors at the fair. Its menu is simple: a heaping portion of hot, delicious french fries with condiments of your choosing. But what you might not expect from this fry stand is that Al’s features locally sourced ingredients straight from North Carolina farmers. For Debbie Anderson, it’s all about honoring her father’s legacy. “We’ve never strayed from what Daddy did,” Anderson said. “We still buy potatoes from Ford’s Produce, we always fry in peanut oil and we still serve Coke products.” Anderson’s father, Al Beckwith,…

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Scholarship Highlight–Abby Fulton and Returning Home

Some dream of moving away from home and exploring the big world out there. Some dream of going back home. Abigail Fulton is one of those that wants to go back home. Abby calls Greensboro home for much of the year as she attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. However, home for Abby is in Davidson County. It is there that she wants to go back to and use her degree of Human Development and Family Studies. “My goal is to return to my hometown in Davidson County to teach kindergarten one day. I want to be able…

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