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Agricultural Review

N.C. State Fair offers something for everyone; runs Oct. 16-26

The N.C. State Fair may be weeks away, but there’s already an excitement at the fairgrounds as preparations continue for the annual event. One reason for the flurry of activity is the Fair will open early for a Preview Day on Thursday, Oct. 16, giving fairgoers an additional evening of rides, food and games.

“The Fair is such a popular event for many North Carolinians that we felt an additional day is warranted to allow people as much time as possible to enjoy it,” said Wesley Wyatt, State Fair manager. Preview Day will also feature discounted gate admission and a wrist band for unlimited rides, which will cost $25 and will only be available on this date. Gates will open on Preview Day at 3 p.m., and the exhibit halls and Midway will open at 4 p.m.

The Fair is busy getting dust out of the air as well, as finishing touches are being placed on several construction projects. The parking lot between Dorton Arena and the Sam Rand Grandstand is being refinished with new amenities. A seating area will provide space for visitors to relax while eating their favorite foods, and new electrical boxes and water line hookups were put in as well.

The grounds entertainment lineup has been finalized, with some favorites returning and some new faces added. The Circle C Racing Pigs will be back on the Hogway Speedway near Gate 9, and Smithfield the Painting Pig will wow the crowds in front of the Exposition Center. The King Action Sports Stunt Show will be in the grandstand, marking the 10th year since Keith King and friends first made an appearance at the State Fair.

This year, a motorcross jumper will join the BMX stunt show. The tractor pull and demolition derby will also take place in the grandstand.

It’s been several years, but he’s been missed, so Rock-it the Robot is making a comeback at the Fair. This 9-foot-tall robot may look intimidating, but he steals hearts wherever he goes on the fairgrounds. At that height, he won’t have to look up to see Carrie McQueen, the stilt walker, when they pass each other on the grounds.

Oscar the Robot will also be making the rounds to interact with fairgoers. Oscar is no stranger to the N.C. State Fair, either, and will be roaming around Kiddieland. Other acts in Kiddieland include Michelle’s Magical Poodles, Magic 4 U, Hubba Bubba the Clown and Washboard Willy.

The Statue Viva rounds out the grounds entertainment.

The Wells Family Band will perform on the Waterfall Stage, along with several beach music groups. The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band will be on the Bluegrass Stage in Heritage Circle daily.

Nightly entertainment in Dorton Arena will keep things rocking, rolling and cooking. Lineup highlights include celebrity chef Bobby Flay, country music stars Montgomery Gentry, Joe Nichols, Josh Turner and Jason Aldean, and Christian music star Toby Mac. Visitors get two shows for the price of one when the up-and-coming group Lady Antebellum is joined by former Trick Pony lead singer Heidi Newfield. Check out the State Fair Web site for a complete schedule.

The State Fair will be going green this year with its exhibit Green NC. This exhibit will introduce fairgoers to easy and economical ways to help save the environment, as well as introduce future technologies. The fairgrounds will be also expand its recycling program to include bottles and cans.

Green NC is sponsored by Duke Energy and the North Carolina State Energy Office.

Fairgoers can save time and money by buying their tickets in advance.

Advance tickets are on sale online at Adult admission is $5 in advance are kids ages 6-12 are $1. A book of 18 ride tickets are $10 in advance compared to $18 at the Fair.

Starting Oct. 2 and running through Oct. 16, tickets will be available for walk-up purchase at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, the Agriculture Building in downtown Raleigh, the State Farmers Market, Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, Burlington Square Mall in Burlington, Wilson Mall in Wilson, Northgate Mall in Durham, The Streets at Southpoint in Durham and Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro. All locations will accept cash, debit and credit cards. The convenience fee does not apply at walk-up locations.

The N.C. State Fair will be held at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Oct. 16-26. For more information and to buy tickets, go to

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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