By Mary Kubeny
Having a media pass for the NC State Fair is an amazing opportunity for any journalist, especially a broke one in college.
I took on the fair on Thursday, Oct. 18, the day patrons could donate five cans of non perishable items for free admission. From the moment we arrived and got a special parking spot near the entrance due to being media, we could tell that the media pass was going to provide us with a very different fair experience than we had had in the past.
As we walked through the entrance gates a very friendly volunteer welcomed me personally as a “VIP” and thanked me for providing coverage at the fair.
The Media Pass was bright green, so I had expected some people would notice, but I had no idea just how distinguishable the badge would be. I could spot other members of the media who had the same badge through the crowds of people looking for their next meal or thrill ride.
Vendors were quick to notice the badge around my neck as well. Some simply smiled and waved as they would with another passerby, but a few were hoping to get their big break on camera.
Sharim Bakurma, a corporate sponsor at the NC State Fair for two years now, had employees who were so excited about the thought of the publicity they would get, that they insisted for me to speak with him. I wasn’t sure what I needed on film at the time and I needed practice, so I did a short interview with Bakurma.
“It’s great to see the young generation getting involved,” said Bakurma.
Everyone at the fair was extremely nice and hospitable, although it was near impossible to find fair goers who felt confident enough to appear on camera, even with me showing them my media pass. I suspect if I had been using more official gear, then they would maybe have been more excited.
We shot a Facebook live video in front of a henna and airbrush booth while at the fair, and the workers were very grateful and thanked us for the publicity with free henna tattoos on our hands. The guys we interviewed were super eager and very nice throughout the whole experience, despite it being a new and somewhat awkward experience for us all.
The interview turned out great and the video was viewed 163 times on Facebook.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am extremely grateful that The Peace Times applied for and received a Media Pass for the NC State Fair this year, and provided me with this great opportunity.
The Peace Times offers many other unique experiences and opportunities that William Peace University students can participate in by registering for the class in their upcoming schedules!