The annual North Carolina state fair will take place at the State Fairgrounds off of Hillsborough St. and Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh from October 14 through October 24, 2010.
The North Carolina state fair is a fantastic event for the entire family to attend. From horse shows to tractor pulls to the ever-popular Demolition Derby, everyone can find something to enjoy. You can have fun on over 100 rides on the Midway and then visit some of the exhibits, like the arts and crafts exhibit or the champion livestock exhibit. And, as always, you can get your fill of all kinds of food that you probably would not eat at any other time of the year, like fried Twinkies and Oreos!
The gates of the State Fairgrounds are open from 8:00am through midnight, with the exception of the first day of the fair, Thursday, October 14th, when the gates open at 3:00pm.
Ticket prices for the 2010 North Carolina state fair are $8.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 6-12 if you purchase tickets at the gate. If you buy tickets online before the state fair starts, an adult admission costs $6.00, and the admission for children is $2.00. But beware – a convenience fee is charged for tickets bought online. Children ages 5 and under are admitted for free, as are Senior Citizens.
Once you are admitted to the North Carolina state fair, you still have to pay to ride the individual rides. This year, you can buy advance ticket sheets online or at selected stores through the first day of the fair, October 15th. The advance sheets contain 18 tickets per sheet, and the cost is $10 per sheet.
If you wait until you get to the fair to buy ride tickets, you will have to pay $1 per ticket. You will also have to buy more than one ticket in order to ride most rides – rides for the kids usually require two to three tickets each, while the more adult rides can cost you three to six tickets each.
Monday, October 18, 2010 is Youth Day at the 2010 North Carolina state fair. There will be special Youth Day educational activities in the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission exhibit.
On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 senior citizens can receive a free breakfast from 9 to 11am at the Senior Citizens Fun Festival at Dorton Arena. There will also be live entertainment during those hours. Tram services and special parking are available the day of the event.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 is Military Appreciation Day at the North Carolina state fair. Active duty, reserve and National Guard service members or spouses with valid military ID will receive free admission along with four guests.
On Thursday, October 21, 2010, you can get into the fair for free by bringing four cans of Food Lion brand food to the gate. Hunger Relief Day is a very popular day to attend the fair, so be prepared for long lines.
There are also a number of different cooking contests every year that get a lot of entrants from across the state. If you want to submit an entry to one of the competitions, you must register before the start of the fair. The deadline for most of the cooking contests this year is October 10th. This year the competitions include a peanut vegetarian recipe contest, a sweet potato recipe contest, a pecan recipe contest, a Pillsbury pie baking contest, and a “Bake for the Cure” baking contest, which benefits the Susan G. Komen foundation. Winners receive cash prizes, with some contests having a top prize of $250.
Nighttime fairgoers are treated to a fireworks display every night at 9:45pm.
One of the biggest musical highlights of the 2010 North Carolina state fair is that Danny Gokey of American Idol fame will play on Thursday October 14th at the Fairgrounds’ Dorton Arena. The Carolina Chocolate Drops will also be performing on Sunday, October 17th.
Source: NC State Fair website