North and South Carolina fairs convene in Raleigh

Fair managers and organizers from across North and South Carolina took over the Sheraton Imperial Hotel last week for the annual Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention. The convention, which highlighted economical ways to improve the fair experience, began Wednesday night with an auction and reverse raffle. Proceeds from this event supported the N.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs’ educational scholarships. On Thursday, attendees heard from Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler and Sen. Bob Atwater.  In the trade show, attendees met with many family-friendly entertainers; managers often book new acts and finalize carnival contracts during this part of the convention. Friday was packed with…

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Top Deep Fried Blog posts of 2009

2009 was a great year here in the deep-fried N.C. State Fair offices. We broke individual and overall attendance records, had a Twitter-ific tweetup, collected more cans on Food Lion Hunger Relief Day than ever before, crowned our first Deep Fried Ambassador and, of course, taste-tested some pretty interesting deep-fried food. As we cross into another year, we thought we’d take a look back at the top five Deep Fried Blog posts of 2009. 5. Deep-fried Ho Hos and chocolate-covered bacon Note: If video doesn’t appear, try refreshing your browser. 4. State Fair Press Office: Concert lineup announced Note: If…

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What I learned in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

This week, I represented the N.C. State Fair at the International Association of Fairs and Expos annual convention in Las Vegas, along with Mike Pleasant, our assistant manager. It was a great opportunity for networking with knowledgeable people from fairs around the world, and for taking some interesting educational workshops. At a workshop called “Greener Fairs,” I was asked to present a case study about our recycling program, and at the “Social Media Power Up Lab” I was grilled on the nitty-gritty details of our social media campaign. In both sessions, attendees asked great questions and shared advice from their own experiences. Mike and I picked up some…

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Powers Great American Midways will return in 2010

If you’ve grown accustomed to the rides and games at the N.C. State Fair, you’ll be happy to know that the company operating the midway will return again next year. State Fair organizers have signed a contract with Powers Great American Midways to operate the carnival rides and games at the 2010 State Fair. Under the contract, Powers will pay the State Fair a fee based on the number of people who buy admission tickets to the Fair. That financial arrangement has been good for the State Fair, which does not receive any taxpayer dollars to cover operations. Powers paid…

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Social media presentation

We had a great time at last week’s Triangle Social Media Club meeting. Special thanks to Wayne Sutton and the Our Hashtag team for inviting us to speak, Twine Interactive for hosting and to Jason Peck, our fellow speaker. In case you missed it, here is the presentation we gave to the group. We saw many familiar faces and were excited to meet a few new people as well. Keep up with the Triangle Social Media Club through its Facebook page – the December meeting should be announced soon. Also, stay tuned for updates from our own Green Thing, who…

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Flea Market re-opens on Saturday

The 2009 State Fair has ended, but that doesn’t mean the fairgrounds shuts down until next October. In fact, as soon as the gates were closed on the last night of Fair, we all took a deep breath and started to reorganize and prepare for the many upcoming events. Throughout the year, the State Fairgrounds hosts everything from coin shows to a roller derbys, but there is one event that happens nearly every weekend — the Raleigh Flea Market. On Saturday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m., flea market vendors will re-open their shops, where you can buy swing sets, salsa and so much more. There are food…

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Deep Fried Ambassador update: Can I get a piece of lettuce?

This is our 2009 Deep Fried Ambassador’s last roundup for our Deep Fried Blog. We had such a blast following her blog posts and were happy to have her as part of the deep-fried crew. Be sure to stop by her Pretty*Swell blog, and check out all of her posts on her deep-fried adventures. This is my final post as your Deep-Fried State Fair Ambassador. Sniff. I have lived and breathed the North Carolina State Fair for two weeks and loved every minute of it. I traversed practically every square inch of the fairgrounds, tried all sorts of new things,…

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Folk Festival superintendent Annette Pulley wraps up her final Fair

With the final song on the Folk Festival stage today, superintendent Annette Pulley will bring to a close a storied association with the festival. This marks the 61st year of the festival that is dedicated to preserving and celebrating North Carolina’s traditional music and dance. For more than 40 years, Pulley has had a role in the Folk Festival. She has been a performer, a judge and, for more than half of her time with the event she has served as superintendent. She has literally seen children grow up on the Folk Festival stage, later returning with their own children to…

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Press Office Challenge: Top 5 edition

On the first day of the Fair, Firecracker issued a challenge for the press office staff to do something they have never done before at the N.C. State Fair. As an intern from South Carolina, there are a lot of things that were new for me this year. Yes, I have been to the N.C. State Fair before, but I usually limit my trip to one night – enough time for one ride, a turkey leg and some N.C. State ice cream. I waited until the last day to post this blog, and now present Bearded Lady’s Top Five New…

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Chinese tobacco buyers get a taste of the State Fair

Asian visitors to the N.C. State Fair are becoming a tradition. Last year, Japan’s ambassador to the U.S. visited. Saturday, a group of 22 Chinese tobacco buyers toured the Fair. The group has been in North Carolina for almost a week, meeting with representatives of U.S. Tobacco Cooperative and others involved in exporting N.C. tobacco to China. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler took a few members of the delegation for short rides on the Big Cart. Afterward, the group visited the Got to Be NC Agriculture exhibit, sampled homemade ice cream and strung tobacco in Heritage Circle, saw dairy cattle in…

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