What’s New At the Fair

The North Carolina State Fair starts today!

You know what that means — Ferris  wheels, live music, fun exhibits and deep-fried peanut butter pickles … yes, we said it!

This year’s fair, themed the “Bumper Crop of Fun,” runs today, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 25.

Since 1853, North Carolina has hosted its famous State Fair to show just how important our state’s agriculture is to our society and economy, and to showcase its arts, crafts and culture.

Attracting more than  800,000 attendees, the N.C. State Fair marks the largest 11-day event in North Carolina.

Compared to the 4,000 attendees at the first State Fair back in 1853, it’s safe to say it has grown tremendously.

New This Year

Many new foods to try and rides to ride will debut at this year’s fair.

As for new deep-fried dishes, fairgoers can purchase deep-fried peanut butter pickles and deep-fried bacon wrapped Tootsie Rolls. There will be deep-fried Pop-Tarts and s’mores, too!

Hold on and enjoy the ride! Among the well-loved Ferris wheels, stomach-turning drop zone and others, will also be the new Paradise Island Interactive Play Port and Super Cyclone roller coaster.

Events will include the Flower and Garden Show, the World War I exhibit, free daily horse-riding lessons and craft beer and wine tastings featuring the Chatham Hill and Duplin Wineries.

There will be 86 different live music shows to enjoy free, including the Homegrown Series featuring bands such as The Band of Oz, the Embers and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Important dates to remember regarding the fair: Military Appreciation Day will take place Oct. 21, and Hunger Relief Day will be Oct. 22. Bring five cans of food on this day for free admission.

Something else special and new this year is Michael’s Day, which will take place on Oct. 24.

This day is being held in honor of Michael Breuer, a State Fair lover who passed away from neuroblastoma in 2014 at the age of 7. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina will host families fighting childhood diseases during this special day at the fair.

As usual, reduced-price tickets can be purchased in advance. Advance tickets for adults are $8 and $3 for children. Tickets purchased at the gate are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

To keep up with what’s going on every day at the fair, see the daily schedule at ncstatefair.org.

Fun Facts

  • In 1884: Electricity is first used at the fairgrounds.
  • In 1960: Adult admission is 75 cents and child admission is 35 cents.
  • 2007: The second Saturday of the fair saw 145,955 fairgoers, the most ever in a single day.

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