State Fair wows in 2023

state fair

By Jacob Jones and Lillian Lewis

Each year the North Carolina State Fair comes to Raleigh bringing rides, games, live music and various foods. Not to mention more than 60 animals are on display with visitors even having the opportunity to milk a cow. 

This year the NC State Fair took place from Oct.12-22 the attendance this year was down with 926,425 attendees and in 2022 it had 960,172. 

“My favorite part was playing the games and my boyfriend winning two stuffed animals for me,” said Shaleyn Webb, a senior at William Peace University who attended the fair this year. 

Webb has been attending the fair for three years now and each time she says she’s had a great experience. 

“I’ve gone to the fair for three years now and I’ve always had a blast,” said Webb 

There is also something else different about the 2023 NC State Fair. According to Fox 8, this year the Wacky Worm, a children’s roller coaster ride malfunctioned two times each with passengers inside. In each case, the ride could not start and was only slightly above ground so passengers had to walk off the ride. 

This is not the first time a ride has malfunctioned at the NC State Fair. 10 years ago the Vortex, a ride that flips passengers upside down malfunctioned and injured five people according to ABC11. The ride operator and owner were later arrested for three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Ayana Holmes, a junior at North Carolina Central University also attended the fair this year for the first time.

“One thing I liked about the fair was seeing all the vendors there and seeing everybody who were entrepreneurs trying to get their brand out there. I also ate some cool things that I’m not used to eating like corn on the cob and chicken and waffles,” said Holmes.

The vendors at the NC State Fair is one of the main attractions. From alligator tail, Korean BBQ, cotton candy and almost deep-fried anything, the NC State Fair is one of the only places to try these diverse foods in the same place.

Because it was Holmes’ first time at the fair she was able to enjoy the many different attractions and activities that the fair had to offer.

“My favorite activity was being able to shoot the shotgun. I think it only cost ten dollars to my knowledge and that was amazing. But that was definitely my favorite attraction at the fair,” said Holmes.

The fair, like every year, was extremely packed and busy. Many people struggled with parking and finding ways to get to the fair. Towards the last few days of the fair, the routes that the shuttle buses had to take for escorting passengers kept changing. Traffic became more and more hectic, and it became harder for people to navigate through the confusion. 

Through all the negatives, many people were still able to have a good time riding rides, eating food and winning prizes. A lot of people both newcomers and returning North Carolina residents, gave positive feedback on the fair and looked forward to going back again next year.