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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What’s New at the Village of Yesteryear

  Last year the Village of Yesteryear celebrated it’s 65th birthday at the N.C. State Fair.  And, like many of us, the Village of Yesteryear just gets better with age. It’s a great place to shop for unique, one-of-kind gifts for yourself, or Christmas presents, and to learn a little about heritage crafts and their importance. More than 100 working artists will demonstrate their crafts in the Holshouser Building near Heritage Circle. Crafters include potters, quilters, bowl makers, painters and more.  This year the village welcomes five new craftsmen including a wood turner who makes beautiful hollow Christmas ornaments, a…

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NC State Fair special cooking contests coordinator offers advice to blue-ribbon hopefuls

For those of you home cooks who are blue-ribbon hopefuls, the State Fair is more than a chance to experience the attractions, tour the events and sample all things deep-fried. This is the time of year you get to show off your skills and, with a little luck, take home the grand prize. If you happen to be a wizard in the kitchen, and you plan to place your culinary creations on the State Fair’s gingham altar, chances are you will meet Lisa Prince. Prince has been the superintendent of the special cooking contests for 14 years, but she started…

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150 Reasons to Love the N.C. State Fair

Crisp fall nights, apple cider, sparkling midway lights, people watching. Let’s face it, the fair is a special place. Earlier this year we asked people on social media and those that volunteer or work at the fair just what they think makes the annual event special. Check out the responses below. Did your reason to love the fair make the list? Poster prints of the 150 Reasons to love the North Carolina State Fair will be available at The Nest in the Exposition Center lobby. Get your own 8×10 for $6 or 16×20 for $8.

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