Fan Fair took place on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh on Friday, Saturday and through 3 p.m. Sunday when the All Star game started. Admission to almost every event was free, including a sledding ramp for kids, a giant paper-mache puppet parade, a Hostess cupcake-eating contest, an Olympic trampoline team and many musical acts.
If you wanted to spend a little money, you could meet Hurricanes players, including All-Star rookie Jeff Skinner and get autographs and take pictures.
All of downtown was swarming with people in Hurricanes and other hockey jerseys on Friday night, and although many of the events Raleigh attempts to pull off can end up hokey and small, Fan Fair was a great success.
I attended with my family, and we tried almost everything. We saw the trampoline team (very impressive), my sister sledded, and we even marched in the paper-mache parade (embarrassing, but true). We then attended a free Three Doors Down concert – a great, energy-packed show at the Raleigh Amphitheater – before leaving at eleven with fireworks exploding above us.
Raleigh was able to put on a great event with lots to do and something for everyone. I deem Fan Fair a success that made a great impression on native North Carolinians and out-of-towners alike.