A Day at the State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair is an annual event held over the course of 11 days in mid-October. Around a million people every year attend the fair for the fried food, rides, games or other attractions. (Photo Courtesy of Gretchen Stern)

On October 18, I walked through one of the many State Fair entrances looking forward to having a great night with two of my friends. The fair is a rite of passage for many teens, a time to have fun without close parental supervision. 

As I walked to our meeting spot, I took in everything around me. All the different people, sounds, smells, and lights were almost overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. My friends arrived a couple minutes later and we mutually decided that the most important objective was to find the fried oreos. The large amount of fried food is an important aspect of the fair, and people get to choose from a wide variety. From fried cheesecake to the bloomin’ onion, there are plenty of opportunities to eat things you would never have normally. 

Once the three of us had succeeded getting powdered sugar all over our clothes, we headed toward the rides. I have never liked rides and had planned to just watch my friends as they risked their lives, but because of peer pressure I soon found myself lying on my stomach flying in circles through the air on a ride called the Cliff Hanger. From that point on, adrenaline pushed me to test my fear as I strapped myself into ride after ride — I can proudly say I only regretted one of them. 

No matter how fun the fast rides were, we all needed a break. Our attention — and money — turned to the fair games. By the end of the next hour we had multiple stuffed animals and a sparkly plush ice cream. We stuffed all our prizes into my small bag and raced to the ferris wheel. By then the lights glowed in the darkness and as the wheel climbed higher and higher, it was amazing to see the whole fair spread out in front of us. 

The State Fair brings joy to so many people every year. For many, it is time away from daily life. Even just a couple hours to relax and enjoy yourself, or have time with friends and family, will leave you feeling better than before. 


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