Make plans now for the N.C. State Fair Oct. 13-23
Whether it's the exhibits, entertainment or competitions, visitors will find a lot to love about the 2011 N.C. State Fair, to be held Oct. 13-23 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
The latest exhibit to join the State Fair Ark, Field of Dreams and other fair favorites is Cultivate a Career. The exhibit, located near Gate 12, allows visitors to go on an interactive, career-personality scavenger hunt to learn about a wide variety of jobs available in the agriculture industry.
Fairgoers can "drive" a high-tech tractor in a simulation game, analyze specimens under a microscope and follow crops through the production process. In addition, career counselors and businesses will be present to offer college and career advice. Cultivate a Career is in the previous location of the Green N.C. exhibit.
"I think a lot of fairgoers will be surprised by the variety of careers available in the agriculture industry," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. "Cultivate a Career is a great way of highlighting ag-related jobs which employ nearly a fifth of the state's workforce."
In addition to the new exhibit, two entertainers also will be making their N.C. State Fair debuts this year. The Amazing Arthur Fratelli, Professional Show-off and Comedy Superhero, is a one-of-a-kind show featuring juggling, yo-yo tricks, comedy and magic. Fratelli will perform daily outside the Expo Building. Also, fairgoers will want to be on the lookout for DiVine, the "living vine," who will be roaming the grounds around the Flower Show and Heritage Circle daily.
During Senior Citizens Day Tuesday, Oct. 18, those ages 65 and older can enjoy a free Bojangles breakfast and entertainment at the Senior Citizens Fun Festival. The event will take place in Dorton Arena from 9 to 11 a.m. and include a performance of '50s "doo-wop" music by Frankie Faucet and the Drips.
Seniors also can enjoy some friendly competition during a Nintendo Wii Bowling tournament at the IGX tent near Gate 10. The seniors-only contest will be held at 11:30 a.m. and gift cards will be awarded to the first-place and second-place winners.
Dairy lovers will be excited about the cheese and butter contests added to State Fair competitions this year. The new contest is limited to licensed cheese and butter makers in the state, and looks to find the best locally produced dairy products. Awards will be presented on Oct. 11 during the Got to Be NC Cheese and Butter Reception and Auction.
In addition, visitors will notice physical improvements to the fairgrounds as well. Sidewalk improvements, started this summer, will offer pedestrians safer walking paths on Hillsborough Street and give train riders an easier experience getting to the gate.
The familiar fencing at Gate 1 will be replaced by a larger tent structure as the fairgrounds prepares for an expanded entranceway to be completed in 2012. Inside Gate 1, fairgoers will find a new station for wheelchairs and strollers and more ATM locations available on the south side of the fairgrounds. Visitors also will notice the new Kerr Drug General Store near the Waterfall. Fairgoers can stop by the general store for anything they need, from antacids and aspirin to memory cards and batteries.
This year, the State Fair will offer a special military discount each day of the fair. Military personnel, including active duty, reserve, National Guard, retired and veterans are invited to take advantage of a discounted admission price of $5. This discount is not available in advance or online. To obtain the discount, military personnel must show a military or veteran identification at the gate.
Discount tickets are available online now through Oct. 13. Adult tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the gate. Children's tickets are $2 in advance or $3 at the gate. Children 5 and under and seniors age 65 and older get in free. Ride sheets also can be purchased in advance for $10 for a sheet of 18 tickets.
For more information, including a complete schedule of events and show times, a list of retail locations selling advance tickets, or to buy fair tickets, go to www.ncstatefair.org. For ticket info, click on "Ticket" link.