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 and kicked off with a performance by Grand Ole Opry favorite George Hamilton IV. The other participants were primarily retired auctioneers, buyers and warehousemen.
The tobacco “sold” in the auction was grown at the Oxford Tobacco Research Station, tied to sticks as part of the tobacco-tying contest held last Friday and cured in the working tobacco barn at Heritage Circle. The event was coordinated by Duke Homestead.