First-generation farmer wins Commissioner’s Award in 2021 Heritage Tobacco Competition

From a tobacco-tying competition, barn curing, a heritage tobacco harvest competition and a mock tobacco auction, the legacy of tobacco and its contributions to the state of North Carolina and the agricultural industry is on full display at Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair. The Heritage Tobacco Harvest Competition was started in 2015 to recognize individuals growing tobacco. Entries and winners are on view in the Tobacco Pavilion in Heritage Circle. Growers from North Carolina submit silver-dollar-sized hand ties of flue-cured tobacco to compete in different stalk position classes. Brent Leggett, a first-generation farmer from Nashville, was awarded the…

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Into The Fog brings progressive bluegrass to Heritage Circle Stage

Longtime fair attendees will tend to agree, Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair is one of the best kept secrets at the fair.  Fairgoers will find restored log cabins, plenty of sitting areas, a working tobacco barn and the State Fair blacksmiths hard at work. The area proves to be a relaxing respite from the frenetic midway and busy exhibit halls. The Bluegrass Music Stage in Heritage Circle features bluegrass bands and adds to the charm and character, while giving North Carolina artists a time to shine in front of their current fans and make new ones.  One of…

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Folk Festival moves to a new “neighborhood” on the fairgrounds

“That’s where I’ve always thought it should be.” That’s the reaction Leah Catherine Seaton had when she heard the N.C. State Fair Folk Festival is moving to a new location this year. It’ll be in an area adjacent to Heritage Circle and the Village of Yesteryear. Seaton has clogged in the festival for more than 20 years, skipping a year every now and then. So it’s a good sign when someone like her gives the stamp of approval to a new location. You can tell clogging is important to her. You can hear it in her voice and feel it…

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From racecars to guitars – Kyle Petty brings a songwriter’s circle-style to Heritage Circle

As a fan of music and fan of all things North Carolina – I look forward each year to the release of the Homegrown Music series put together by Deep South Productions. This year, a name on our list for Heritage Circle performers stuck out – Kyle Petty. I know the name as a member of one of North Carolina’s pre-eminent racing families – but I didn’t know he played music. Petty competed in more than 800 races in his 31-year career, posting 173 top ten finishes and eight wins. He was named NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year in…

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Craft soda expands options for kids and adults at the Our State Public House

For the third year, people at the N.C. State Fair will be able to taste samples of beer, wine and cider from the Old North State. New this year, craft soda will also be available, which means children and anyone else under age 21 will now be allowed in the picnic or “beer garden” area around the Our State Public House. The Public House is still relatively new. Our State magazine has sponsored it since its first year in 2017. It’s located in Heritage Circle, not far from the tobacco pavilion, the grist mill or the flower and garden show….

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60 tons of shavings: The N.C. State Fair by the numbers

The annual N.C. State Fair is less than 2 weeks away. The fairgrounds crew is busily preparing the grounds for the nearly 1 million fairgoers that will visit during the annual 11-day event. Check out these fun numerical facts about the 151st N.C. State Fair, which runs Oct. 11 through the 21st. 2,855: Number of windows on the exterior of Dorton Arena 1,674: Number of mums ordered for the Flower and Garden Show. Several of these will be used to build the giant mum-tree, one of the fair’s most popular photo spots. 60 tons: And what do you get? All…

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10 fun things you can do during your visit to the fair

Here at Deep Fried, we know a thing or two about the N.C. State Fair. Our staff has more than 50 years’ experience with this annual event, so if you’re looking for directions to help you maneuver all 200 acres of the fairgrounds or the best places to eat, we can point you in the right direction. But, before you head out to try the latest deep-fried culinary delights at the fair, here are a few things you can do to build up an appetite: Visit the State Fair Ark. This is the best place to see North Carolina’s diverse…

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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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Carolina Bluegrass Battle winners The Hey Brothers will play the NC State Fair

The Hey Brothers’ trip to the N.C. State Fair started this spring. The Pittsboro-based group was the winner of the the Carolina Bluegrass Battle at the annual Got to Be N.C. Festival. The band earned $500 and spots at the N.C. State Fair and PreddyFest. John Dudley (banjo), Allen Ray (guitar), Keith Sikes (bass), Tim Lee (mandolin) and Brian English (fiddle) formed the group in 2007. The band’s name came from old advertisements that Lee found online. Band members saw the ad and the name just stuck. The group plays mostly local and regional events, including festivals and private functions. “Everyone…

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The State Fair’s blacksmith shop is new — and old

Heritage Forge blacksmith shop

The N.C. State Fair’s newest building is actually quite old. The new blacksmith shop, a replacement for the one that sat in Heritage Circle since the late 1980s, was built with wood from two barns, each more than a century old. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler donated the barns, which he bought from a family in Guilford County five years ago. “I had seen how bad the old blacksmith shop looked and I knew it needed to be replaced,” Troxler said. “One morning I woke up thinking this would be a good use of the buildings I had. They turned out to be a perfect fit.” The…

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