State Fair: Sure to be “A Whole Lotta Happy”


The North Carolina State Fair’s new slogan “A Whole Lotta Happy” comes with big expectations from the public. The 142nd-annual state tradition promises a bigger and better time than ever with new rides, exhibits and concerts.

A new ride this year, yet to be named, incorporates two of the most popular fair rides of all time: the swings that spin like a merry-go-round and the Drop Zone. Passengers on the new attraction sit in the familiar swings and spin around, all the while plummeting up and down the Drop-Zone-like pole.

To add an educational aspect to the fair, children will be able to compete in a scavenger hunt around the fairgrounds with their parents. More exhibits such as the State Fair Ark will be in the Exposition Center every day. The “Got to Be NC Agriculture” exhibit, outside the Scott Building, shows the different types of agriculture used in North Carolina and features food for sale grown by local farmers.

Fairgoers can even participate in various cooking contests around the fairgrounds. Recipe competitions involving foods from peanuts to egg sandwiches to beef can show off their mastery in the kitchen to win Fair merchandise and cash prizes up to $250.

The Fair also employed an “Early Bird Special” between now and September 30. Those who purchase at least $40 of fair tickets online will receive an admission ticket free of charge. Another advantage of buying now is the 18-ticket sheets on sale for only $10; after September 30, prices raise to $18.

Another way to receive a discount at the fair is to participate in the Food Lion Hunger Relief Day on Thursday, October 22. In an effort to raise 200,000 pounds of food, Food Lion will allow free entry to the Fair for each person who donates four cans of food.

The Fair’s best deal goes into effect on Preview Day, or Thursday, October 15, from 3:30 PM to midnight. Preview Day wristbands are on sale for $25 and are good for unlimited rides on that day only.

Dorton Arena’s State Fair lineup is a slew of country performers including Jason Michael Carroll, Kelly Pickler and Blake Shelton, peppered with music from The Temptations as well as Nickelodeon’s The Naked Brothers Band.

The State Fair promises something for everyone this year ages one to 100. With new additions from the food to exhibitions to the rides, no one will be left out on the fun of the age-old North Carolina tradition.


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