Tobacco auction celebrates N.C. culture and heritage

The mock tobacco auction, a relatively recent addition to the fair’s lineup, was held in the Expo Center earlier today. The auction celebrates the importance of tobacco to North Carolina’s economy and the important role the crop continues to play in the Tarheel state’s culture and heritage. Though tobacco is now sold primarily through contracts between farmers and tobacco companies, auctions were the primary method of tobacco trade between 1859 and 2004. Check out the video below to see a part of today’s activities. A fair tradition since 2005, this year’s auction included the participation of a Chinese trade delegation…

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Enjoy free music at this year’s State Fair

The State Fair offers great deals on musical entertainment for the  entire family. The State Fair’s Bluegrass Stage and the Waterfall Stage will play host to a variety of live music acts, all of which are completely free and appropriate for the entire family. The  Bluegrass Stage is located in Heritage Circle and will feature two different acts, both representing some of the best traditional bluegrass music. The Grass Cats are famous for playing music as diverse as traditional fiddle and banjo music, bluegrass classics, acapella gospel numbers and popular hits. A North Carolina born-and-bred act, the Back Porch Bluegrass Band focuses…

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She’s alive!

When we first got word that DiVine would be performing at the State Fair this year, we weren’t really sure what to think. Then, we saw this YouTube video. Note: If video doesn’t play, try refreshing browser. To me the performance is enchanting, a little frightening, but overall mesmerizing. After seeing the video, I wanted to learn a little more about the character, so I called up the original DiVine, Priscilla Stephan, to get her take on the character she created in 1996. It all started with a little bit of nature and the question, “What would it be like…

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Twitter roundup: Eight enlightening State Fair exhibits

So far, we’ve brought you some of the highlights in State Fair food, rides and games. For our last social media series on the fair’s attractions, we’re bringing you some of the best exhibits that the fair has to offer (#8enlighteningexhibits). Though the carnival aspects of the fair sometimes get more attention, the exhibits preserve our state’s culture, promote North Carolina agricultural products and provide opportunities for people from across the state to connect in areas of shared passion. In this way, the exhibits are at the core of what the fair is all about. The Antique Farm Machinery exhibit…

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Tobacco auction at the Expo

Tobacco is a large part of the agricultural heritage of North Carolina and you can see it across the fairgrounds. Throughout the Fair, a dedicated staff stokes the fire at the Heritage Circle tobacco barn, and you may remember Merrie Go Round trying her hand at tobacco tying earlier this week. Yesterday, retired tobacco buyers, warehousemen and auctioneers re-enacted a live tobacco auction in the Expo Center. The event demonstrated how tobacco was traded for more than 150 years in North Carolina. During auction, tobacco is laid on the ground. As the group of buyers and warehousemen move down the line,…

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Neomonde baking demonstrations at Heritage Circle

Fairgoers will notice a new smell wafting from Heritage Circle this weekend. The fresh-baked bread from Neomonde Baking Company joins the smells of warm apple cider and cured tobacco in a demonstration tent beside the old chapel. Artisans from the local bakery will spend four hours each day, starting today, bringing volunteers on stage to create some of the store’s signature recipes. The exhibit also featured artisan breads for sample. Here are some highlights from last Sunday’s demonstration: If you missed the baking demonstrations last weekend, you still have time to see and taste the delicious breads today through Sunday, Oct. 22-25, from 4…

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Accepting the Press Office Challenge: Tobacco tying 101

OK, so I took Firecracker up on her challenge to do something at the Fair that I had never done. As we were talking through this idea, it came to our attention that there were plenty of things to choose from, which seemed crazy since this is the 14th year for both of us. So on Friday after the official tobacco-tying contest was finished, I decided on the spur of the moment to try my hand at stringing tobacco. And I knew exactly who I was going to get to teach me to string tobacco – Sandy Jones of Maple Hill,…

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Loopin’ and stringin’

For the past three years, a new tradition has been taking root at the State Fair. It’s called Tobacco Heritage Day, and it’s on the first Friday of the Fair. On this day, the public is invited to help fill the old log barn in Heritage Circle with tobacco grown at the Oxford Tobacco Research Station. Tobacco is tied to tobacco sticks, then hung in the barn. Depending on where you’re from in North Carolina, the process of tying the tobacco is called looping or stringing. Once the barn is loaded, a wood fire cures it for about a week….

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Sights, Sounds and Smells: Mtn. State Fair, Part II

“Squilling” Earnhardt Jr., “Piggy” Gordon, “Rutter” Martin and “Hoggy” Jarrett of the Circle C Racing Pigs (a company based out of Newton, N.C.) make their laps on the Hog Speedway for their final prizes–cheese puffs! Read a great review of the race from the Times-News. And don’t forget to visit these little fellas when they travel to the State Fair in just a few weeks! The Ferris wheel at the Mtn. State Fair had incredible views of the mountains and, if you timed it just right, airplanes taking off out of the Asheville Regional Airport across the road. A curious…

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