“A Whole Lotta Happy” at the N.C. State Fair

By on October 14, 2009


There are many reasons people from across North Carolina make an annual trip to the N.C. State Fair. Squealing, speed-racing pigs. Giant, blue-ribbon pumpkins. Old-fashioned ferris wheel rides. And, of course, deep-fried food on a stick.

Beyond the bright lights of the Midway, however, the N.C. State Fair has focused on celebrating our state’s agricultural heritage. In 1853, the State Agricultural Society held the first State Fair; it was four days long and the largest attendance day had 4,000 fairgoers. After the Agricultural Society disbanded in 1925, the Fair was placed under the control of the Department of Agriculture three years later and moved to its present site at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

Today, the State Fair aims to educate all North Carolinians about the importance of agriculture to our heritage and our economy. We have several agricultural exhibits that are fun for the whole family:

  • Field of Dreams: Kids can pick up a basket at the entrance and pick crops such as apples, strawberries and cucumbers and learn about other crops and how they turn into everyday staples, such as peanut butter and cereal. After picking the crops, children can then “sell” their harvest at the Field of Dreams Farmers Market for “fair money.” The money can then be spent at the Field of Dreams Grocery Store. New features to this exhibit include a resting area for parents and a greenhouse. And don’t forget to stop by the photo op site just outside of the exhibit for a great fall family photo. Presented by the N.C. Farm Bureau and the NCDA&CS, this exhibit also includes a coloring contest, storytelling center and a photo area where families can take a snapshot from their day at the “farm.” Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
  • Got to Be NC tent: Discover food products from across North Carolina at the Got to Be NC Agriculture exhibit, located just outside the Scott Building. The exhibit displays North Carolina’s agricultural diversity and educates fairgoers on what products they can find locally. Food and nursery products from the Goodness Grows in North Carolina and the Freshness from North Carolina Waters programs will be available for fairgoers to taste and purchase. Food producers and companies with a variety of samples will change throughout the week.
  • N.C. State Fair Ark: North Carolina’s diverse production of livestock is featured at the State Fair Ark, where more than 60 animals are exhibited. Fairgoers can see cattle, sheep, goats, swine and learn more about the various breeds of farm animals raised in North Carolina. The Ark’s Avenue of Champions will feature grand and reserve champions from the junior market steer, lamb, goat, turkey and barrow shows. Visitors also can milk a cow with the help of volunteers from the N.C. State University Animal Science Club. The Ark is located in the Exposition Center and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

We hope you’ll include some of these agricultural exhibits — as well as the livestock shows in the Jim Graham Building and horticulture entries in the Expo Center — during your visit. Check out the N.C. State Fair Web site for tickets and the Deep Fried @ the N.C. State Fair blog for behind-the-scenes info.

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  1. jeanne b
    October 20, 2009

    Mr Troxler
    As a fair goer for the past 52 years, I would like to comment on the fair this year in particular. I attended today and enjoyed every moment that I was there, watching my grandchildren ride rides, viewing the exhibits and visiting the livestock barns. I do however want to say how extremely saddened and disappointed I was to find that the Chrisitians had been provided an extremely small area in the back of the livestock building in order to convey and share the Word of God. I feel that they at least rank equal to, if not way above, every other organization that was invited to reside within the Kerr Scott building. In this day and time, in particular, with the woes of this world, we should allow these disciples of God to be in the spotlight and not only be able to share their knowledge of the Word, but give hope to some who may not otherwise know God and his Son. I think that we as a society owe this to the people that take time away from their own familes and jobs to share the Word, to be provided a better “home” on the fairgrounds in the future