You’ve Got to Be at the Got to Be NC Festival This Weekend!

With more than 100 tractors, North Carolina food and beverages, music, a carnival and free kids’ activities, the Got to Be NC Festival is an event you don’t want to miss at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, May 17-19. “The antique tractor and farm equipment display, featuring a daily tractor parade, and the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace are two of the unique highlights of the festival,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have one of the largest antique tractor displays in the Southeast, and the marketplace features around 80 North Carolina companies offering the opportunity to sample the…

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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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Lumberjack Competition showcases talent, promotes environmental stewardship

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show returns to the State Fair this year with displays that will leave you buzzing from excitement. A 6-man team of professional lumberjacks will chop, saw and roll their way through this highly competitive performance. This year, the show is bringing a new canine competitor to North Carolina: Gracie, the log rolling dog. Gracie is about a year old, and she’s the only silver Labrador log-rolling dog currently performing in lumberjack competitions. She’ll try to stay afloat as the logs do their best to spin her into the water. The Lumberjack Show features events like springboard…

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ARCY is a State Fair work in progress

If you have been able to come to the fair more than once, or like a handful of us really lucky people get to be here every day, you may have watched the progress on the 120-foot long piece of art being created by Ryan Christenson of Wallingford, Conn. outside of the Exposition Center. Christenson, also known as ARCY, has been doing graffiti art since high school and has been touring for about three years. He creates about 100 8×12 walls in the eight months he spends on the road each year. “Public graffiti art is more respected than it…

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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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Q&A with Poppin’ Penelope

Poppin Penelope and her brightly colored balloons are decorating the Expo Center lobby for a second year. We caught up with Penelope to find out a little about her unique talents and what she thinks of the N.C. State Fair. How did you get started as a balloon artist? “My brother is Farmer Phil. He’s played the N.C. State Fair in the past and was the first one in the family in this type of business. I saw he was having a lot more fun at his job than I was having at mine. I do balloon art, but I…

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Casey’s top 5 fun things to do for free at the Fair

There’s a new bird in town – Fair mascot Casey the Cardinal. And he’s got lots of tips for fairgoers.  This week we are looking at a few of Casey’s favorite things to do for free. Discover new North Carolina music. We’ve got the Homegrown North Carolina Concert Series. More than 80 bands are playing at this year’s fair on three separate stages. Casey can’t wait to find a new favorite group to practice his swanky dance moves. Pick a racer on the Hogway Speedway The Circle “C” racing pigs and the Hogway Speedway have moved to a new location…

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Deep Fried Countdown: 10 days

We’re just 10 days out from the start of the 2012 N.C. State Fair. That’s right, just 10 days until the jaw-dropping rides, deep-fried delicacies and amazing agricultural exhibits. If you’re starting to plan your trip, we’ve got the following 10 tips to get you ready for the fair. Buy tickets in advance Buying tickets in advance not only saves you money, but also saves time standing in line when you get to the fair. You can purchase your tickets online at www.ncstatefair.org or at nine area retail locations. If you like rides, make sure to buy your ride sheets…

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FREE: Grounds entertainment

On any given day at the N.C. State Fair, you can catch more than 20 free performances from our lineup of talented grounds entertainment. You can see BMX stunt bikers flying through the air, witness the side-splitting powers of a comedy superhero and even see the super-fast speed of racing swine. They’re just a few of the free entertainment options, which also includes eight roaming acts and at least six daily concerts on the Waterfall and Bluegrass stages. The following is a rundown of this year’s grounds acts. What are your favorite acts at the State Fair? Circle “C” Racing…

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Sounds from the Waterfall and Bluegrass Stages

Dorton Arena isn’t the only place to find amazing performances during the Fair. Music lovers will want to make sure they check out the free concerts at the Waterfall Stage and Bluegrass Stage during the Fair. Just outside Dorton Arena on the northwest lawn, Raleigh native Jeanne Jolly will play a mix of country, folk and Americana songs. The singer/songwriter, who has been compared to Alison Krauss, spent a lot of her youth in the Blue Ridge Moutains listening to its influential bluegrass sound. After moving to Los Angeles and traveling across North America in a jazz group, Jeanne is back in North…

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