Special Days


Preview Day | Friday Frenzy | Michael's Day | Senior Citizens Day | Military Day | Hunger Relief Day



Thursday, Oct. 12 - 150th Kickoff

The N.C. State Fair is EXCITED to announce our plans for our 150th Kickoff Day - Thursday, October 12!
1) $1.50 admission!
2) $1.50 portions from participating food vendors!
3) WRAL  Button Bonanza: The first 15,000 fairgoers through the gates will receive a commemorative button!
4) Each hour, State Fair staff will hand out 150 free ride passes and other prizes to fairgoers wearing their button!

Thursday, October 12th is going to be a GIANT way to kickoff a milestone year! The Fair is a great deal any day, but you can't beat this!!

Admission tickets will be available from 3 p.m. (opening) through 9:45 p.m. when our ticket booths close. Tickets MUST be purchased at the gates, and are not available in advance. Tickets MUST be used on Thursday, Oct. 12, and will not be valid any other day of the Fair.


Friday, Oct. 13 - Friday Frenzy

Student Discount with School ID or Report Card


Students can take advantage of a $5 admission ticket by presenting their school identification or recent (2016/2017) report card at the ticket booth. That's a 50% savings off the gate price! These tickets are not available online or in advance. One ticket may be purchased per student ID at the reduced price. All applicable local and state sales taxes are included in your purchase price.




Monday, Oct. 16 - Day of Hope & Happiness

presented by OneMain Financial


One of the best days of the year! We celebrate Day of Hope & Happiness with Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina by hosting families fighting childhood diseases with an all-expenses paid, memory-packed day at the Fair.


At the end of the day, we hope we have created a special time in these families’ lives...a time where sickness is forgotten, and families are reconnected.


Tuesday, Oct. 17 - Senior Citizen's Day

While seniors age 65 and over get in free every day of the Fair, on

Tuesday, Oct. 17 , they can also enjoy a free Bojangles' breakfast and entertainment at the Senior Citizen Fun Festival. The event will take place in Dorton Arena from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Handicap parking is available on a first come, first served basis outside Gate 10. Access the parking lot via Blue Ridge Rd. Overflow parking and overflow handicap parking will be available at Carter Finley Stadium (Gate A). Trams will be available to move fairgoers from the parking lot to Dorton Arena. Buses may drop off passengers at Gate 1, the closest gate to all the activities in Dorton Arena and then move to Carter Finley Stadium for parking.





















Wednesday, Oct. 18 - Military Appreciation Day


The N.C. State Fair will pay tribute to members of the U.S. Military for their service to the country on Wednesday, Oct. 18.


Join us for the Military Appreciation Parade at 11 a.m. Starting in the carnival midway, the parade will make its way through Kiddieland, past the Scott Building and back through the carnival midway.


Be sure to check out all the military displays at the Grandstand. Say hello and show your support to YOUR North Carolina National Guard as they display many types of military equipment. Get up and close to a real Abrams Main Battle Tank, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a Heavy Equipment Truck, Mini-C-130 Aircraft and much more, all located at the Grandstand area until 6 p.m.


Military Appreciation Day

Waterfall Stage Activity Schedule

Noon - Military Appreciation Day Program

12:30 p.m. - 440th Army Band

2:30 p.m. - Historical Uniform Revue presented by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources

4 p.m. - 440th Army Band

6 p.m. - 440th Army Band


Daily Military Discount

Active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsmen and their dependents (ages 13-64) pay only $6 daily at the gate. That’s a 44% discount! Proper identification (outlined below) must be presented at the ticket window to receive this discount. One valid identification is required per discounted ticket.


Additionally, veterans are offered the same discount for themselves, plus one discounted ticket for a guest or dependent, for a total of two tickets at the reduced rate. Proper identification (outlined below) must be presented at the ticket window to receive this discount.


This offer is available at our retail locations at Gate 9 at the State Fairgrounds, The N.C. Museum of History, the State Farmers' Market and Triangle Town Center. You must present proper identification at the ticket window to receive this discount. A valid identification must be presented for each discounted ticket. This offer is NOT available online or at Food Lion.


Identification accepted for discount:

  • Valid Uniformed Services ID

  • Valid Common Access Card (CAC)

  • Valid North Carolina Driver’s License with Veteran Designation

  • Valid Veteran's Affairs Health Identification Card
  • Photocopy of valid DD-214 Form

  • Photocopy of valid NGB-22 Form



Thursday, Oct. 19 - Food Lion Hunger Relief Day

Bring 5 cans of food and get in free!


Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the Fair is one of the largest one-day canned-food drives in the state, held each year to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Since 1993, more than 4.4 million pounds of food have been donated by fairgoers. Food Bank volunteers and employees of Food Lion and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will exchange cans for Fair tickets at each admission gate.