The North Carolina State Fair is a 150-year-old tradition, but that doesn’t mean the vendors have run out of deep-fried concoctions and new attractions.
“We have seen the evolution of the fair,” Brian Long, fair spokesperson, said. “When it first started, it was designed to educate farmers about new techniques. Over time, agriculture is still the foundation, and we’ve added entertainment.”
The fair also highlights the artwork of individuals across the state. The tradition of submitting pieces to be judged is long-running. Each year, the showcase is widely anticipated by fairgoers and participants alike.
“Every year, they bring a piece in and some of them go on to be artists,” said Shirl Keith, N.C. State Fair superintendent of fine arts and photography. “They see the progression when they’re little, and then they’re seniors and they hug my neck and every year they come back to see me. That to me is rewarding.”
Besides art, the food is a major factor in for returning fairgoers. This year, Cheerwine funnel cakes bring classic Southern flavor to the scene, while Thanksgiving egg rolls add a new twist on fall flavors.