North Carolina State Fair – Raleigh NC

RATING: ♦♦♦

While we were at Sycamore Lodge Resort in Jackson NC, we happened to notice that the North Carolina State Fair was being held in Raleigh, about 50 miles away. Since there wasn’t much to do in Jackson, we decided to drive up to the fair.

We had never been to a state fair before, and didn’t really know what to expect. When we got there, the crowds were huge. We had to park miles away. Fortunately, the fair provided a free shuttle from the parking lot to the gate. At the gate I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was Senior Citizen’s Day, and seniors 65+ got in free. So we only had to pay for one ticket. I’m a senior and Becky’s not yet.

The fair had three main types of attractions. The first was the midway with rides and games. The second was the entertainment venues. And the third was traditional fair fare with animals, crops, and farmer stuff.

We didn’t much care about the games and rides. But the midway was crowded, and people were having a great time. We did however enjoy the music, most of which was old school country style with lots of fiddles, banjos, and mandolins. We even saw a clogging contest. There was some first rate talent.

Oddly one of the entertainments was a small troop from the Chinese National Circus. Not something we expected to see in North Carolina. But they were excellent.

We also enjoyed the farmer stuff. Most of it was what you’d expect, cows, sheep, hogs, etc. But there was one section that was quite a surprise.

North Carolina has a long and proud history as a tobacco producing state. Prominently displayed in the agricultural area was a large section devoted to tobacco, which included some historic machinery and buildings used in the production of the crop. And the focal point was a beautiful wood and glass case that showed off the blue ribbon winners for the best tobacco in the state.

Hard to imagine many other places in the country doing such a thing. I guess every area has something that they’re proud of, even if other areas find it shameful. As they say, travel broadens the mind.

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