The N.C. State Fair is coming to Raleigh this week, running from Oct. 13 to Oct. 23.
The fair, located at 4285 Trinity Rd., will kick off at noon on Oct. 13. It will be open from 9 a.m. into the late evening after opening day.
For those between the ages of 13 and 64, tickets are $10 if bought online before Oct. 13, and $13 dollars at the gate. Tickets for children aged 5 and under are free. Ticket prices at the gate for children between the ages of 6 and 12, military members and senior citizens are $7, $8 and $5, respectively.
Two free parking sites with shuttle services, the Dogwood Lot and Cardinal Lot, will be available for attendees.
“We like to say that we try to have something for everyone,” Heather Overton, assistant director of public affairs at N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, said. “There's food, there's lots of competitions, there’re flower shows, artists exhibits — we have needlework, giant pumpkins, entertainment, local music. It's a big event."
The fair will feature over 40 new foods including deep-fried piggy tails: deep-fried bacon topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Thanksgiving stuffed turkey legs with gravy and cranberry sauce, Oreo Crumble Cookie Dough on a stick and the "Pig Mac" — mac and cheese and pork belly in an egg roll — are a few of the other new additions.
There will also be cooking competitions each day, dubbed "Home Chef Challenges." According to the fair's website, the competitions cover a wide array of categories, including the "Loaded Nachos Challenge" on the first day and the "Ultimate Brownie Showdown" for the second day.
Overton said the different competitions at the fair are a large part of the event. For the chili food competition, the winner receives $500.
Dewayne Smith, a restaurant manager, said he has 22 years of experience working in the service industry and has been going to the fair for 35 years.
He added that he will be the judge for the chili "Home Chef Challenge" competition: the Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-Off.
“I'm excited about it,” Smith said. “This is something I've never done.”
Another major competition is the livestock competitions, where farmers will showcase their agricultural products such as honey, poultry, fruits and nuts.
The fair will also offer a number of different rides and attractions, including five new rides: Air Maxx, Crazy Cabs, Techno Jump, Wave Swinger 2 and WipeOut.
The flower and garden exhibits will be staged in the Flower House. Other educational opportunities will be shown in the Heritage Circle, where children can learn about things such as apple farms and the forest.
Steve Trash, an eco-entertainer, said he will bring world-class street magic to the fair.
“The ‘eco’ stands for ecology,” he said. “You know, I like to teach people in really subtle ways that they are connected to nature. I do that through simply doing a magic show with trash and found objects."
Trash said he will show his audience how to transfer recyclable pieces of paper into money, and move bottle caps without touching them.
Brad Matchett, a comedy hypnotist, will also be performing at the fair. He said there are 18 people selected to be hypnotized during his show.
"I'll literally take a minute and I can help you stop smoking if you've made it all the way through my show," he said.
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