Celebrating historian Paul Blankinship’s last State Fair

While 2017 marks the 150th N.C. State Fair, it is also fair historian Paul Blakinship’s 25th and final year educating fairgoers about the event’s history. Blankinship grew up in BrevardĀ in Transylvania County. After graduating high school, he went to college in Florida to pursue a degree in physics. In 1971, he moved to Raleigh to earn a graduate degree in oceanography at N.C. State University, and shortly after he met his wife. They married in 1977. It wasn’t until they settled into their first home that Blankinship developed an interest in the history of the fair. “We bought a house…

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Happy Birthday, State Fairgrounds!

While we were all waiting patiently to cross the street the other day to get to our cars, Flying Bob looked up and noticed the date on the historical marker and realized that the Fair has a birthday this year. So, a few days later, I finally got around to doing a little digging and realized we are 80 years to the day of an important anniversary. On this day in 1928, the first State Fair was held on this site as a state-owned entity, not owned and operated by the State Agricultural Society, which had disbanded and sold the…

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