The North Carolina State Fair just wrapped up its opening weekend, but is still around for six more days and is sure to deliver hours of fun for everyone. With all kinds of rides, attractions, entertainment, things to see, and hands-on learning, a day at the fair can be educational, fun, and memorable.
“My favorite thing to do at the fair is ride on the rides with my best friends,” said WPU senior Maya Alexander.
The fair has a variety of rides that can be enjoyed by all. There are slower rides that will still be fun without an adrenaline rush. Numerous fast rides can be found that are thrilling for the very brave at heart. Have fear of heights tested with rides that go high in the air overlooking the fairgrounds.
“My favorite thing about the fair is that it’s a time to meet up with old friends and spend time together. It’s like a family reunion,” said WPU senior JaDa Paulk. “Everybody comes together. I went Friday and hung out with old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.” [sidebar title=”Best Fair Food” align=”left” background=”on” border=”all” shadow=”on”]
This year, there were a lot of unique and delicious food options at the fair. Here are some of the top fair food favorites:
- Sweet Corn on the Cob/Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Corn: Roasted sweet corn coated in butter and crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
- Unicorn Candy Apple: A ripe red apple candied in white chocolate and candy, with a rock candy stick to hold
- Deep Fried Frog Legs: Battered and deep-fried frog legs
- Ribbon Fries: Crispy fried potato chips wrapped and piled high
- Fried Pickle Chips/Spears: Crunchy pickle spears/chips coated in batter and deep fried to perfection
- Footlong Bacon Wrapped Corndogs: A hot dog wrapped in thick and juicy bacon, battered and deep fried
- Jumbo Turkey Legs: Jumbo turkey legs grilled and fried to a crunchy and crispy perfection
- Cookies and Cream/S’mores Candy Apples: Red and green apples coated with white and milk chocolate, then rolled in Oreos, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs
Not All Rides
If going to the fair means avoiding rides all together, then there are still many things to enjoy. Relax while enjoying the atmosphere of the fair while listening to music. The fair has countless entertainment options. Whether it be concerts, performances, or stunt shows, the entertainment is a great way to spend a day with friends and family.
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See how one of the vendors feels about his stay in Raleigh on this Facebook Live video by Mary Kubeny.
Hear students discuss the fair on the Peace Talks podcast.
Crafts and hands-on learning is another thing the fair offers that is also educational. There is a building called “Village of Yesteryear” that makes for a great way to learn about how things are made by hand, just like they were years ago in Colonial NC. Glass blowing, pottery making, jewelry making, paintings, or watching musical instruments being made, the Village of Yesteryear is the place to go, if wanting to experience all kinds of handmade crafts and things of interest at a leisurely pace.
The 4-H buildings are another place of interest to take in at the fair. The 4-H buildings have so many things to check out, and will be sure to deliver with interesting and creative exhibits that are typically not found outside of the fair. From farm animals to cakes, hand-sewn items to photography, these buildings contain it all. One of the most fun things about the fair is looking at different animals. Cows, goats, sheep, baby chicks, pigs, turkeys, the tallest horse and more can be seen up close. The fair is a must for animal lovers.
Also inside some of the buildings are fruits and vegetables that are grown on local farms around NC. These beautiful samples of NC produce are ranked by judges to see who has the best-looking, home-grown foods. There are endless tables of every variety and color of apple. A pumpkin that is over 1,500 pounds is a sight to see, along with the sweet potatoes that have been creatively-decorated and displayed by children.
Go inside another 4-H building to see cakes that have been placed in contests. People who make these cakes are really creative and talented. This year, several cakes are standing out to fair goers as not only beautiful, but having fun themes.
Some of these cakes portray the movies Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter, and Up. While being there, take a look at the different types of breads, and different sweet and savory foods people have made that are award-winning. There are lots of other crafts and things for sale that are not typically found anywhere outside of the fair. Take a look at all of the ornately handmade clothes too. All of these unique things have been created by local artists, and are a must-see when the fair comes to town.
After spending a day at the fair, enjoy a firework display starting at 9:45pm. Whether watching the fireworks from atop the Ferris wheel or while walking to the car to head home, the fireworks are a sight to see, and the perfect way to end a fall day at the NC State Fair.