From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
North Carolina’s fair season is hitting the home stretch, and I hope folks have already had the opportunity to visit a county or regional fair. These are fun community events that showcase the talents and skills of residents and also highlight agriculture in the area.
The N.C. Mountain State Fair wrapped up a successful 2014 fair, despite several rain days. While we did not break the overall attendance record, everywhere I went on the grounds, I saw people having a good time.
We did have a record Ingles Day, with 3,428 people bringing in five cans of food in exchange for admission to the fair. All food collected is donated to the MANNA Food Bank, which supports 200 partner agencies across 16 Western N.C. counties.
We are proud to be a partner in hunger-relief efforts through the Mountain State Fair and the N.C. State Fair. Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the N.C. State Fair will be Thursday, Oct. 23. Bring five cans of Food Lion brand food for free admission that day.
The State Fair theme this year is “The October Original,” because this is a truly unique event. Where else can you find so many deep-fried treats, racing pigs, agricultural exhibits, art, crafts, tractor pulls, flowers, giant pumpkins, livestock, heritage crafts, rides, activities for the kids, horses, cutting-edge ag equipment and technology, displayed in one place?
I think about everything you can see and do at the State Fair and I believe that all of those things are what make the fair an annual tradition for many people and their families. The fair offers something for everyone.
I personally love all the exhibits and activities in Heritage Circle and the livestock shows. There are so many activities in these areas – tobacco tying contest, storytelling, music, livestock competitions – that I could spend all of my time there and be completely happy. My grandchildren love the rides, games and foods. And my wife, Sharon, never misses the Village of Yesteryear and its crafters – sometimes visiting more than once or twice.
This year, fairgoers will find many new attractions to join the traditional fair favorites. You can read more about the new items in the State Fair article above and on page 8.
I do want to mention a special exhibit in the North Lobby of Dorton Arena, highlighting North Carolina’s military role in World War I. We have a longstanding and proud military tradition in this state, and I think visitors will enjoy this exhibit, which coincides with the 100th.