From the Tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
This year has really seemed to fly by, and it is almost hard to believe that once again it is time for the State Fair. This annual event, celebrated by thousands, is a highlight of the year for me and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services because it gives us the opportunity to showcase North Carolina agriculture.
Across the fairgrounds, you’ll find traditions and cultural attractions from North Carolina’s past. You’ll also see the handiwork and artistic and culinary skills of fellow residents. And, of course, you’ll see examples of North Carolina’s agricultural diversity and agricultural economy on display and in competition. This mix is what makes the annual N.C. State Fair a celebration of all the best that North Carolina has to offer.
Every year I hear stories from fairgoers about their favorite experience or activity at the Fair. Some people tell me how many years they have been coming and how they wouldn’t miss a Fair because it is an event they look forward to year after year.
If you asked 100 different people what drew them to the fair, you might get 50 different answers. Food always seems to be the number one draw, and you can be assured you will find plenty of good eating options at the Fair. I personally am glad I have 11 days to spread it over.
The livestock shows, giant pumpkins and watermelons, decorated cakes and canned goods, and Folk Festival are also popular attractions. One of my favorite events is putting in the barn of tobacco on opening day to cure the old-fashioned way during the Fair. The tobacco-tying contest brings back a lot of memories for people and provides a hands-on connection to the past.
I am proud that people have such great affection for the Fair. It’s hard not to love it.
We have been hard at work getting everything ready for the 2008 State Fair, and I hope you will like the additions and activities you will find.
Since 2007, one of the projects we’ve undertaken is creating more seating space near the Expo Center and in front of Dorton Arena. The Dorton triangle project includes a series of raised planters like those around the new Midway. Landscaping will improve the general appearance of the area and also provide places for people to sit and eat. More lighting has also been added in the area.
We will unveil a brand new exhibit this year -- GreenNC – which highlights ways we can all help do our part to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources. To go along with that, we will also have recycling bins on the grounds so people can recycle cans and plastic bottles.
I am excited about the 2008 State Fair Oct. 16-26, and hope I will see a lot of our Agricultural Review subscribers at this great fall event. I’d like to remind people they can still go online at www.ncstatefair.org and get good seats for concerts in Dorton Arena and purchase advance ride and admission tickets. It’s a good way to save time and money.