Enjoy New Foods, Rides and Exhibits at the 2017 North Carolina State Fair

The fair celebrates its 150th birthday with a special admission price on opening day, Oct. 12


Published:

Photo courtesy of JBicking/Shutterstock.com

It's that time of year again! The North Carolina State Fair celebrates its 150th birthday this year and will run Oct. 12-22 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Here are the details.


Kickoff Day: Special Admission Price, Buttons, Prizes

The 2017 North Carolina State Fair opens Thursday, Oct. 12, with a special admission price, commemorative buttons, food specials and prizes in honor of the fair's 150th birthday. Here’s what to expect:

  • On kickoff day only, admission to the fair will be $1.50. Gates will open at 3 p.m. that day.
  • The first 15,000 people through the gates will receive a commemorative button as part of “WRAL Button Bonanza.”
  • Each hour, North Carolina State Fair staff will hand out 150 free ride passes and other prizes to people wearing the buttons.
  • Numerous food vendors will offer items for $1.50 on kickoff day.

“The 150th North Carolina State Fair is a milestone, and we wanted to do something special to celebrate,” says Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The fair is a great deal every day, but there won’t be a better fair bargain than on Oct. 12.”

Although the North Carolina State Fair has been around since 1853, it hasn’t opened every year. Stoppages were caused by the Civil War and Reconstruction, the disbanding of the group that used to run the fair, and World War II.


Advance State Fair Ticket Sales

Fairgoers can save money by buying their fair tickets in advance at Food Lion grocery stores.

“For the second year, we are offering fairgoers the convenience of picking up their fair tickets while doing their grocery shopping,” Troxler says. “Tickets will be sold at the checkout counters at Food Lion stores statewide until store closing on Oct. 12.”

Advance admission tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children, $2 less than the cost at the gate. Children 5 and under and adults 65 and over get in free. An 18-ticket ride sheet is $10 in advance, saving fairgoers $8 off the regular price.

Wristbands, State Fair Flyer tickets, specialty packages and admission tickets for large groups cannot be purchased at Food Lion stores. For more information on purchasing these tickets visit ncstatefair.org.


New Foods and Rides

Take a food adventure at the 2017 North Carolina State Fair by trying some of the fair's new offerings, including:

  • Deep Fried Pumpkin Pie
  • Bacon Mac & Cheese
  • Blue Hawaiian Funnel Cake
  • Cheerwine Cake
  • Deep Fried Bacon & Cheese Collard Bites
  • Flamin' Hot Cheetos Roasted Corn
  • Coconut Macadamia Nut Cream Pie

Check out a map of where you can find this year's new food options.

New rides include:

  • Air Raid (8 tickets)
  • F5 (5 tickets)
  • Fun Time Railroad (3 tickets)
  • Dodgems Chop Shop (5 tickets)

Find a full list of new foods, rides, exhibits and more here.


North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resource Exhibits 

Pirates are taking over the north lobby of Dorton Arena during this year’s North Carolina State Fair as the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources kicks off a celebration of the state's most notorious pirate, Blackbeard, for the 300th anniversary of his exploits along the North Carolina coast. Check out a replica of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, and join in on all the swashbuckling fun at the department's new exhibit. 

Other exhibits will offer the chance to explore a working tobacco barn, learn about North Carolina state parks, and investigate North Carolina’s historic sites, aquariums, zoo and museums. 

  • Take a virtual bike ride through a state park, travel back in time to a state historic site, and see a ship’s cannon undergoing restoration at the N.C. State Parks and Historic Sites exhibit just outside Dorton Arena. Enjoy kids’ activities and crafts, and special programs lead by park rangers.
  • Discover a working tobacco barn in the Heritage Circle area, managed by Duke Homestead State Historic Site, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the North Carolina Tobacco Growers Association. See volunteers string and cure tobacco the old-fashioned way. Try your hand at looping tobacco and take a peek inside the barn to see the curing process. Catch the looping contest at 2 p.m., Oct. 13, and witness one of the last surviving (mock) tobacco auctions in North Carolina at 2 p.m., Oct.20.
  • Learn about the many ways you can explore North Carolina’s history at museums, experience creatures from all over the world at the North Carolina Zoo or aquariums, or explore the natural world with the state's natural science museums at an exhibit in the north lobby of the Dorton Arena. 
  • See interpreters portraying soldiers from throughout American history during the Military Appreciation Parade and historical uniform revue at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18.

“We’re always so excited to participate in the North Carolina State Fair,” says Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton. “I know it’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope that people will take the opportunity to visit our exhibits and learn about all the amazing experiences our department has to offer, all across our state.”

This is DNCR’s fourth year partnering with the fair to help visitors explore arts, history, nature and culture in North Carolina. Each year, the department’s exhibit attracts about 250,000 visitors.

Sources: The North Carolina State Fair press office and North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

 

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Calendar

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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
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View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
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View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd
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Cost: For all ages (adult accompaniment required for all children); FREE. Registration

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Cost: $29/person

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Whole Brain Escape
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Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
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101 Wilkinson Ave.
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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Cost: $0

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Duke School
3716 Erwin Road
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Telephone: 919-416-9420
Contact Name: Logan Blaylock

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Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
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Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Hillsborough Main Library
137 West Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 919-245-2525
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
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Cost: $25-$45/person

Where:
McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

When Possum sees the full harvest moon, he decides to throw one last party before the long winter. But everyone is too busy preparing for winter and it looks as if nobody will come to Possum's...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

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Cost: $125

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201 E Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Read and Feed
Website »

More information

See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
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View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
Website »

More information

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Cost: Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/child

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701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. 

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

November Story Time, Puppet Show and Art Activity Puppet Show Incorporated https://www.puppetshowinc.org/ presents the classic folk story Stone Soup. Activities include a story time, puppet show...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Branch Library
900 Old Fayetteville Road
Inside McDougle Middle School
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 919-969-3006
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
Website »

More information

Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resources Inventory Database and other citizen science projects. All...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Whole Brain Escape, the Triangle’s newest escape room, is debuting its 4th room! Located in Apex, Whole Brain Escape is excited to unveil The Curse of Dr. Conundrum on Friday, November 8th....

Cost: $29/person

Where:
Whole Brain Escape
410 Upchurch St
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Whole Brain Escape
Telephone: (919)355-2714
Contact Name: Heather Chandler
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

During harvest time, farmers often helped their neighbors to get hard work done during communal gatherings such as corn shucking. Learn about this fall tradition and make a corn husk doll to take...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Usher in the holidays with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Carolers, a visit from Santa, a dance scene from the Nutcracker, special performances from local schools, and dozens of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
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Join the Studio School of Durham team to sip, tinker, and create on Saturday, November 16th at 7:00pm for this FREE event!  We will provide the food, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Studio School of Durham
1201 W Woodcroft Pkwy
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
Telephone: 984-377-4502
Contact Name: Danielle Sunde
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The EWFL carries a unique experience in youth football to play in a “big game” atmosphere.  Our games begin in the afternoons on Saturday and play into the evening “under the...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Durham County Stadium
750 Stadium Dr
Durham, NC  27704
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See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2019-20 Education Guide offers 718 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.