State Fair offers “Whole Lotta Happy” Oct. 15-25
When it comes to the N.C. State Fair – whether it’s the food or the entertainment – fairgoers want the traditional mixed with something new.
Fair organizers have delivered on the fan’s expectations, rebooking favorite acts and finding new artists to keep fairgoers excited about the 142nd N.C. State Fair, which runs Oct. 15-25.
The Fair will again open a half-day early for a Preview Day on Thursday, Oct. 15. Preview Day will feature discounted gate admission and Powers Great American Midway will offer a $25 Preview Day Ride Wrist Band for unlimited rides. Gates will open on Preview Day at 3 p.m., and the exhibit halls and Midway will open at 3:30 p.m.
The grounds entertainment lineup has been finalized, with some favorites returning, plus some new faces that are sure to be crowd pleasers. The Circle C Racing Pigs will be back on the Hogway Speedway near Gate 9. The Dazzling Mills Family makes a return to Raleigh after a few years away. This crowd favorite will perform in front of the Expo Center. Also in front of the Expo Center is HoopDrum, the Carrboro duo of Julia Hartsell and Scott Crews. HoopDrum is described as a hypnotizing dance with hoops set to live music.
In the grandstand, look out for the high-flying action of the King Action Sports Stunt Show. BMX flatland and ramp riders, as well as a motocross jumper, will thrill the crowd with their stunts. The tractor pull takes place in the grandstand on the first weekend, and the demolition derby smashes its way into the grandstand on the last weekend.
Rock-it the Robot, the 9-foot-tall robot, will be back dancing and interacting with fairgoers. He’ll be eye level with the new juggling stiltwalker, Charlie Stron. Both will be strolling the grounds near Kiddieland.
The Mobile Robots are back this year on their miniature tractors and tricycles to interact with fairgoers in Kiddieland. Michelle’s Magical Poodles and Hubba Bubba the Clown will have shows on the stage in Kiddieland Fun Park, and Al the Artist will be roaming Kiddieland again in his pink pedal car drawing caricatures of fairgoers. Steve Trash, the “Rockin’ Eco Hero,” will present an environmentally friendly magic show, and Ronald McDonald will also appear daily in Kiddeland Fun Park.
Fairgoers will find a range of musical options on the fairgrounds. U.B.U. Band will play a variety of dance music on the Kitchencraft Waterfall Stage Oct. 15-17. Sound Express will finish out the week playing a variety of dance music from the ‘50s to current hits. In Heritage Circle, the Back Porch Bluegrass Band will be on the Bluegrass Stage daily. Broke-N-Lonesome will also appear on the Bluegrass Stage on the weekends.
Those who are more comfortable playing video games than carnival games can check out the new Interactive Gaming Experience behind the Folk Festival Tent. Popular video games will be available to play for free. The exhibit will also feature a Guitar Hero playoff and championship.
The nightly entertainment in Dorton Arena has a decidedly hometown feel. Highlights from the lineup include four North Carolina natives: Jason Michael Carroll kicks things off on Oct. 15; Kellie Pickler performs on Oct. 17; Anoop Desai will perform his first-ever solo concert on Oct. 22; and Eric Church closes the Fair on Oct. 25. Check out the State Fair Web site for the complete Dorton concert lineup.
The N.C. State Fair will be held at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Oct. 15-25. Discount tickets are on sale online now through Oct. 15. Adult tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the gate. Children’s tickets are $1 in advance or $2 at the gate. Children 5 and under and seniors age 65 and older get in free. Ride sheets can also be purchased in advance for $10 for a sheet of 18 tickets. For more and to buy tickets, go to www.ncstatefair.org.