The North Carolina State Fair, in the grand tradition of such events, is in many ways a celebration of the grotesque: Carny rides that look and feel like one rusty bolt away from catastrophe; crimes against nature and gastronomy that always involve the deep frying of something that has no place in a deep fryer; deeply unfortunate, even offensive, fashion and hair choices.
If you or a friend get the sudden urge to eat a double-bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts, please remember your human dignity and walk by.
However, we at The Daily Tar Heel overall love our state fair and encourage everyone to go. Starting with the New York State Fair in 1841, the history of state fairs in America certainly contains expansion of popular amusements and gastric assault — but they originally began to promote and celebrate state agriculture and crafts. It is this aspect of the fair, providing a connection to agrarian life, that fewer and fewer of us experience, that this board urges you to explore.
If you venture to the State Fair, go early. Many of the best things to experience are time-sensitive objects of nature. Off the main midways, tucked in the many buildings and walkways, are works of subtle beauty that will make you smile and renew your faith in what human beings can achieve.
In the State Fair Ark, you can see beautiful arrangements of the best produce our state can grow. The bounty of fruits and vegetables the state is blessed with cannot help but elicit gratitude. The pepper display alone, especially if you are a chili head, is literally eye — and mouth — watering. Farm animals young and old are on display, so close you can smell the earthy, comforting scent of a barnyard. Hardworking young children proudly display their budding animal husbandry as they parade carefully nurtured young animals for judgment and admiration. You can even milk a cow yourself, thanks to the N.C. State agriculture students teaching you how.