N.C. State Fair cranks up the fun Oct. 12-21
Fairgoers will find plenty of tried and true attractions to go along with some new twists on fun at the N.C. State Fair Oct. 12-21.
From the giant pumpkins to the giant turkey legs, the State Fair is known for doing things in a super big way. This year, fairgoers are likely to encounter giant, artistically decorated farm animals throughout the fairgrounds as part of the “Farm Animal Frenzy” contest. Look for four-foot-tall roosters, six-foot-tall horses, oversized pigs and cows at a number of locations on the grounds, giving new meaning to the term “animals on the loose.”
Eighteen high school art classes will be competing for prize money and bragging rights as part of the competition. Each school will decorate an animal that will be judged by professional artists. The first-place entry will receive $1,000, second will earn $750 and third will get $500. All schools will receive $200 for participating.
A “People’s Choice Award Winner” will be determined from online votes casts for the favorite animal. That winner will be announced Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Fair.
Midway operator, Powers Great American Midway, marks its second year at the N.C. State Fair with several new twists on the ride front. G-Force will make its hair-raising, scream-inducing debut in North Carolina at this year’s Fair. The u-shaped rollercoaster/drop-tower hybrid will take riders high in the air before they plummet down the rails at super speeds and shoot up the other side of the tracks.
In addition, Powers Midway will bring the family ride, “Rockin’ Tug,” which features a brightly colored tugboat that moves up and down like it is rocking over ocean waves. This ride is suitable for kids and their parents.
To celebrate this year’s theme, the State Fair is partnering with Subway for a Seriously Twisted Sub Contest with a chance for the winner to get free subs for a year and tickets to the 2007 Subway 500 in Martinsville, Va.
Sub creators can go online at www.ncstatefair.org and click on a variety of bread, meat, condiment, potato chip and cookie options to create their own seriously twisted sub sandwich. Local Subway franchises will narrow down the online entries to five finalists and will make the twisted creations to be tasted and evaluated by a panel of judges.
The winner will be announced on “Twisted Tuesday,” Oct. 16, by Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. The announcement will be held in the Grandstand prior to the Keith King Bike Stunt Show.
Many people bring their cameras with them to the State Fair to capture memories of their visit. This year, the Fair will host several special photo sites decorated with banners and attractive backdrops including a site in the Expo Center with the giant pumpkins, an area in Kiddieland, at the Field of Dreams exhibit and in the North Lobby of Dorton Arena at the North Carolina Christmas tree display.
The Christmas tree display will let fairgoers get a jump on taking a picture for their annual Christmas cards. The photo op sites are noted on the map in the daily program, which can be picked up at entrances and information kiosks around the fairgrounds.
The State Fair is well known for its culinary flair, particularly when it comes to anything deep fried and served on a stick, but cooking demonstrations will also be on the menu at the 2007 Fair. The Food Network’s Paula Deen will be the featured entertainer on Wednesday, Oct.17, in Dorton Arena. She’ll be cooking up some of her favorite recipes and sharing cooking tips with plenty of Southern charm in her sold-out show.
In addition, the Got to Be NC Agriculture tent located in front of the Kerr Scott Building near Gate 11 will host daily cooking demonstrations sponsored by Holland Grill and KitchenCraft and featuring fresh North Carolina commodities. Several award-winning North Carolina chefs will turn out culinary delights in the exhibit’s Best Dish Kitchen set up outside the Got to Be tent. Stop by and check out the recipes local cooks will be demonstrating.
Fans of the bluegrass music in Heritage Circle will notice an improved venue for the daily concerts. A brand new stage has been added to Heritage Circle where visitors can listen to performances by the Johnston County-based Wells Family, Oct. 12-16, and the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band, Oct. 17-21.
Several free grounds entertainers will mark their first year at the Fair including Smithfield, a petite abstract-art painting porcine, the Raleigh-Durham based musical group Sayer McShane and keyboardist and singer Leon Jacobs. Smithfield the pot-bellied pig will perform outside the Expo Center, Sayer McShane and Jacobs will perform on the Waterfall Stage.
The N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 12-21 in Raleigh. For more information or advance tickets go to www.ncstatefair.org.