Heritage Circle


Don't let the relaxed atmosphere of Heritage Circle fool you, the nook near the Flower Show has some of the most hard-working people at the N.C. State Fair. There is plenty of activity at the circle, from the crew maintaining the tobacco barn during the fair to the craftsmen demonstrating their traditional methods of woodcarving, blacksmithing and chair-building. Visitors can also enjoy the taste of  homemade ice cream, apple cider or a hush puppy from the Old Grist Mill as they listen to engaging stories or the sweet melodies from the Bluegrass Stage.


The exhibit area is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., except on Thursday, Oct. 12, when the exhibit will open

at 4 p.m.


Church in Heritage Circle

The Campers on Mission host a variety of entertainment daily at 12:30, 1:45, 3 and 4:15 p.m. They also host church services on Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The organization also provides food and services to carnival workers.



Learn from Lyle Wheeler, whose shaker-style chairs are crafted through the traditional methods dating back to colonial days. See live blacksmithing demonstrations, and taste homemade ice cream, apple cider and get a hush puppy sample from the Old Grist Mill.

Flue Cured Tobacco Barn


Come to Heritage Circle and see the working tobacco barn as volunteers cure tobacco the old-fashioned way. 


The barn will be filled on Friday, Oct. 13, from around noon until about 5 p.m. The leaves will be strung on sticks and hung in the barn the same way it was done across North Carolina for generations. Everyone is welcome to help! At 2 p.m., a stringing contest, sponsored by John Deere Ice Cream, will name the state champion. Grab some friends and join the competition. Entry time, and practice time will be Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. while the barn is being filled. After the barn is loaded, the tobacco will be cured by a wood fire for seven days. Fairgoers can take a peek inside the barn to see the process. After it is cured, visitors will be allowed to go inside and see the result of the hard work.

A mock tobacco auction will be held Friday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Tobacco Pavilion.

Heritage Forge

At more than a century old, the Heritage Forge was assembled from barns donated in 2016 by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. The demonstration area is constructed of wormy chestnut logs estimated to be more than 200 years old. The logs originally were used as a feed barn. The sales area was constructed from pine that came out of a tobacco pack house dating to the early 20th century. The reclamation project also extended to the flooring on the shop's porch and in the sales area. It's red oak salvaged from Duke Forest and Meredith College.


The demonstration area contains a double forge, which state and local blacksmith guilds will operate during the Fair.

Blacksmith Shop

N.C. Forest Service Exhibit


Up the hill from Heritage Circle, be sure to check out the 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear display and learn about trees and how to prevent forest fires from the N.C. Forest Service Exhibit.


Also in this area is a working steam-powered sawmill. Volunteers are on hand to explain how the engine works and show how it was used to transform timber into boards.

Old Grist Mill

Experience a historic, working grist mill and get a delicious hush puppy sample.


A gristmill (also: grist mill, corn mill or flour mill) grinds grain into flour. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.


Although the terms "gristmill" or "corn mill" can refer to any mill that grinds grain, the terms were used historically for a local mill where farmers brought their own grain and received back ground meal or flour, minus a percentage called the "miller's toll." Early mills were almost always built and supported by farming communities and the miller received the "miller's toll" in lieu of wages. Most towns and villages had their own mill so that local farmers could easily transport their grain there to be milled. These communities were dependent on their local mill as bread was a staple part of the diet.



Our State Public House


For the first time, visitors to the N.C. State Fair will be able to purchase flights of beer and wine to sample.


The beverages will be available in the new Our State Public House in Heritage Circle. Sponsored by Our State magazine, the Public House will showcase 40 breweries and 40 wineries from across North Carolina. Daily offerings will include several different styles of craft beer and wine, including award-winning examples of each.


Patrons of the Our State Public House will be able to choose from wine or beer. Each wine or beer tasting flight will contain four different samples. Wine samples will be 1½ ounces each, and each beer sample will be 4 ounces. Tickets cost $10 each and will be sold from noon to 8:30 p.m. There is a limit of one ticket per person. IDs will be checked at the door, and no one under 21 will be admitted.


The new attraction is a partnership with the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild and the N.C. Wine and Grape Council. The guild will use a portion of the proceeds for research and marketing benefiting North Carolina’s craft beer industry. North Carolina is home to 215 craft breweries and 185 wineries.


Our State Public House offerings

Wine flights

Red: Fruity, full-bodied wines.

White: Bright wines ranging from dry to sweet.

Sweet: Juicy, sweet palate-pleasers in red, white and rosé.

Carolina Sampler: A rotating mix of the styles above, plus a few surprises.


Beer flights

Light: Crisp, light-bodied beers.

Dark: Full-bodied, sweeter beers ranging from amber to brown.

Hoppy: Pale ales and IPAs showcasing hop flavor and aroma.

Carolina Sampler: A rotating mix of the styles above, plus a few surprises.

School House

This historic school house from Lizard Lick serves as the N.C. State Fair's museum. Paul and Lynn Blakinship serve as the State Fair historians and have collected State Fair memorabilia from throughout the fair's 160-year history. Hours vary.


Tobacco Pavilion


With plenty of picnic tables and a roaring fire, the Tobacco Pavilion is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of the Fair. Make sure you grab an apple dumpling or a warm cup of cider on your way down!


You can also catch Jeff Robbins Mountain Music in the Pavilion daily at 1, 4 and 6 p.m. Bring the kids by for the chance to make their own take-home bluegrass instrument!