The North Carolina State Fair, an event whose humble origins begin with a small four day agriculture event held in 1853, has become a yearly tradition for many North Carolina natives. Much of the reason for the fairs current success is perhaps the diversity of attractions it offers. Whether you go for the fried food or displays of giant vegetables, livestock judging or pig racing, to peruse the craftsmanship in the Village of Yesteryear or to pursue the coveted prize of a giant stuffed animal at one of the many carnival games, there is a little bit of everything for everyone.
2015 has already seen record attendance numbers with its first Thursday, the 15th of October, setting an opening day record at 47,677 guests, breaking the previous record set in 2010. Many more visitors will make their way to Raleigh as the week continues and they are drawn to the many events and attractions.
Of the many events and attractions, perhaps one of the most publicized is the State Fair’s fried food that has become infamous for being as creative as it is unhealthy. As a part of the State Fair’s social media, there is a blog run by the fair called the Deep Fried Blog. Of this years many deep fried sensations, the star of the show is a newcomer called, “Fry Me Over the Moon”, a combination a Moon Pie, Hostess Cupcake, Oreos, and Reese’s Cups, all deep fried into a single creation. Not only has this been publicized on the State Fair’s blog, but many other media outlets have covered this State Fair delicacy such as WNCW, The News and Observer, and WRAL, just to name a few.
While this modern fried phenomenon draws much attention, a less advertised, but long running tradition for many is the more relaxing Heritage Circle, a place where visitors can get fresh home made ice cream from the Grist Mill and listen to the line up of bluegrass musicians at the Bluegrass Stage. While bustling energy surrounds the novelty fried food vendors as people squeeze their way through the busier segments of the fair, Heritage Circle offers a completely different state fair experience. It is tucked away from the heavy foot traffic of the main paths in a much quieter wooded area where visitors can sit and enjoy the feeling of a simpler time.
Today’s fair goers are offered a wide variety of attractions that range from experimental to traditional. There is something for everyone this fall at the NC State fair grounds as the festivities continue until October 25th.