General Fun!

  • Tag your kids, tag your wife, tag all your friends. The State Fair is a BIG place and sometimes it’s easy to get separated. We’ve got stickers at every gate and information booth to help us reunite you if someone goes astray!
  • Get an “I Met Casey Cardinal” button when you say “Hi” to Casey at his Clubhouse in Kiddieland.
  • We’ve got selfie stations all over the place! Capture your memories…and get ready for holiday card season!
  • Deep Fried B-I-N-G-O—can you get five in a row?
  • Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good #selfie? Print a copy of our Selfie Challenge to bring with you—how many can you get?
  • Love Science & Math? Check out our STEM-based Scavenger Hunt. Not a big fan of Science & Math? This one’s for you!
  • Thursday, October 18th is Food Lion Hunger Relief Day. Bring five cans of food to the gate in exchange for one admission ticket.
  • 11 days. 3 stages. 120 concerts. Hear old favorites & discover new artists as part of our Homegrown Music Festival.
  • Sponsors are located throughout the grounds—stop by for a visit and score some free swag!
  • You’ll like be covering many miles on your trip to the fair. Make sure you bring a water bottle and stay hydrated! We’ve got two brand new bottle filling stations! One across from Casey’s Clubhouse and one in the grassy area, under the trees, between Kiddieland and the Scott Building.
  • Field of Dreams will be decked out this year for Holidays on the Farm…make sure you have camera ready to capture the perfect holiday card and our specially themed backdrop!
  • Where am I? Am I missing something? What time are the pig races? Make sure you pick up a Daily Schedule either at the entrance gates or one of our Guest Relations booths.
  • Don’t want to fight the traffic? Head over to park at our Reedy Creek/Edwards Mill Road site and you can not only park for free, we’ll bring you straight to the gate for free too!
  • Make sure you’re following us @ncstatefair for our daily Insta Story giveaways.
  • We’ll cut the ribbon and commemoratively open our 151st N.C. State Fair on Friday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. in the Tobacco Pavilion in Heritage Circle. Come on out to shake hands and thank those who’ve worked so hard to make this the best Fair yet!
  • Sharing the Fair with your friends on social media? Don’t forget to #ncstatefair and you’re automatically entered to win the Fair Fan Photo of the Day presented by the Carolina Hurricanes. Winners will receive some awesome swag, including Hurricanes tickets for some lucky winners!
  • Tuesday, Oct. 16, we’ll be hosting our Senior FunFest in Dorton Arena from 9-10:30 a.m. We’ll have Bojangles’ biscuits, coffee and some awesome entertainment from the Folk Festival.
  • The smiles and memories made will be the best part of your visit!!

 Competitions

  • Celebrating their 70th year, the Folk Festival celebrates North Carolina’s musical heritage daily in Dorton Arena.
  • Think you have what it takes? Participate in a pull-up challenge at the U.S. Marines exhibit on Military Day, Wednesday, Oct. 17.
  • We’ve got a new educational opportunity this year! In Hobbies and Handicrafts, those who are visually impaired can touch different exhibits as one of our staff talk them through the process of creating the piece.
  • On the Spot Competitions are happening in the Commercial & Education Buildings —you never know where you’ll spot a spontaneous rubber chicken fling or ice cream eating contest.
  • We’ve definitely got the best cooks in the region! Head over to the Commercial/Education Building and take home a cookbook of all of last year’s Special Cooking Contest winning recipes.
  • It’s time for a rematch! Cheer on Commissioner Troxler and Farm Bureau’s Lynda Loveland as they compete head-to-head in our Tobacco Stringing Competition on Friday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.
  • Head over to the Apprenticeship Tent daily to cheer on your favorited tradesman/woman.
  • Want to indulge your artistic side? Don't miss the Arts & Photography area in the Scott Building and see the world through the artist's lens.
  • Time to get off Pinterest and get some inspiration in real life! Head over to the Commercial/Education Buildings to view this year’s competition entries and get ready for your next project!

 Entertainment

  • Always a crowd favorite, the Hogway Speedway is back in action near the Scott Building. Cheer on Piggy Gordon as he vies for the ultimate prize…a cheese doodle! Pig Races happen multiple times daily...you won’t want to miss these!
  • Real-life lumberjacks are displaying their skills in the N.C. Forest Service area, located behind Heritage Circle. Check the Daily Schedule for Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show times.
  • Show your appreciation by stopping to observe the Military Appreciation Day Parade as it meanders through the fairgrounds on Wednesday, Oct. 17th at 11 a.m..
  • From deep in the swamps of Florida, Kachunga displays his skilled reflexes and agility to wrestle a ferocious man-eating reptile with his bare hands.
  • Bubble Wonders performs bubble tricks like you’ve never experienced before.
  • Don’t worry—the giant ladybugs frolicking in the Flower & Garden Show are quite charming!
  • Rock-it loves to rock! Challenge the larger than life robot to dance-off—he’s got some serious moves!
  • Let your little ones unleash their inner artist at the State Fair Monster Mural located in Kiddieland.
  • New this year, the Canine Stars are in the Grandstand showing off their skills in dock diving, flyball racing and more!
  • If you see a giant Chicken Rider near Gate 11, don’t be alarmed—he’s from a friendly flock!
  • There’s a runaway ostrich near Dorton Arena, keep your eyes peeled!
  • Experience the authentic sounds of Appalachian mountain music at Jeff Robbins’ Mountain Music, Stories & Dance show as part of Field of Dreams. See Daily Schedule for show times.
  • You’re never too old to learn how to stop, drop and roll, the Fire Safety Show isn’t just for kids!
  • Need to take a break and get pampered at the Fair? We’ve got sponsors with massage chairs in the Scott Building and across from the Antique Farm Machinery Building.
  • Always a hit at the Fair, make sure you stop by the WRAL tent outside Dorton Arena to meet your favorite newscaster and spin their swag wheel!
  • Watch in amazement as the Chinese Imperial Acrobats twist and turn, performing amazing feats of flexibility under the big top daily near Gate 9.
  • Prancing dogs and other circus attractions will thrill the whole family under the big top daily near Gate 9.
  • Daily near Gate 2, the Red Trouser Show will amaze onlookers with feats of agility.
  • Arrghh, mateys! The Pirates of the Colombian Carribbean will delight you with an retro pirate show near Gate 11.
  • The 440th Army Band will be performing on the Waterfall Stage on Wednesday, Oct. 16th. Come on out to support the troops!
  • Who doesn't love lasers? We'll have a laser light show nightly from 7-10 p.m. over the pond near Gate 8.

 Exhibits

  • Mom knows best…wash those hands!! We’ve got handwashing stations near every animal exhibit. You can even test how well you wash in Germ City near the Graham Building. The black light never lies!
  • See our steam-powered saw mill in action—located behind the N.C. Forest Service exhibit.
  • The N.C. State Forest Service will have aircraft you’ll be able to explore as they explain how they fight fires from the air.
  • We always believe you can never have too many tractors! Head over near the Wilbur Terminus of the State Fair Flyer to check out our antique tractor display area.
  • Everyone loves Rootle & Read-A-Roo! Visit the UNC TV exhibit outside Dorton Arena.
  • Giant pumpkins and watermelons, oh my! Find the biggest of the big on display in the Expo Center.
  • In May, we received a vintage milk truck! You’ll find it on display in the Antique Farm Machinery Building along with other “new” equipment.
  • Take a virtual reality tour of a pig farm at the NC Pork Council booth in the Graham Building.
  • The Wildlife Resource Commission exhibit is a great place to practice your aim and learn about firearm safety from Wildlife Enforcement Officers at the Pellet Gun Range and don’t forget to grab your commemorative American Alligator button.
  • While visiting the N.C. Forest Service exhibit, meet 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear & tell him your favorite part of the fair.
  • The newly renovated Antique Farm Machinery Museum is full of machines from days gone by.
  • Interested in the History of BBQ and its importance to North Carolina Agriculture? The NC Pork Council & Department of Cultural Resources team up for an exhibit in Dorton Arena that’s sure to get your mouth watering.
  • Holidays on the Farm—visit Field of Dreams to learn how your food makes it from the farm to the table.
  • Head over to Safety City between Gates 1 and 2 and see how your driving is impaired while driving under the influence…we’re pretty sure your kids will love taking home a “clicker” too!
  • One of the most beloved parts of the Fair, we’ll have fireworks every night at 9:45 p.m.
  • Ever wondered how your soil was formed? Head over to the Soil and Water Conservation Exhibit behind Heritage Circle and explore the Tunnel of Soil.
  • Held daily in Field of Dreams, make sure the littles enter our on-the-spot coloring contest for a chance to take home a State Fair bookbag!
  • The N.C. State Highway Patrol are bringing out the classics. Check out their vintage highway patrol cars and learn how to join their ranks in front of the Scott Building.
  • On Military Appreciation Day, Wednesday, Oct. 16, the North Carolina National Guard will set up a display of Humvees, tanks and more in the Grandstand from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • That’s a what? Have the little learn about some interesting veggies in our Vegetable Petting Zoo daily in the Expo Center.
  • Want to know if you have cash out there waiting for you? Make sure you stop by the N.C. State Treasurer's booth in the Scott Building and claim your cash!

 Flower & Garden Show

  • Who doesn’t like a good photo op? While visiting the Flower & Garden Show, climb into the Big Chair and say, “CHEESE!”
  • Learn techniques to make a grapevine wreath at home in the Flower and Garden Show.
  • Catch a live fruit carving demonstration from The Fruit Carving Ninja on the weekends in the Flower & Garden Show.
  • Ever wanted to channel your inner sensei and cultivate your own bonsai? You can find out how in the Flower & Garden Show.
  • On weekend nights in the Flower & Garden Show, you can check out the skills of our fire dancer.
  • Have a love for exotic birds? Check them out in the Flower & Garden Show.
  • An N.C. State Fair tradition…the mum tree will be back in the Flower & Garden Show. Get those cameras ready!

 Heritage Circle

  • Stroll through the Village of Yesteryear where kids & kids-at-heart can decorate their own stuffed toy.
  • Watch potters throw pots and learn from more than 75 crafters about heritage arts in Village of Yesteryear.
  • No matter what day you visit, something will be happening at Tobacco Barn in Heritage Circle. From stringing and hanging to curing and auctioning, learn about the history of North Carolina Agriculture.
  • Learn old-fashioned woodcarving techniques to handcraft large, dough bowls in Heritage Circle.
  • Visiting on a Sunday? Church services will be held at 8:30 and 11 a.m. at the Church in Heritage Circle.
  • Heritage Arts are on full display in Heritage Circle. From a working blacksmith shop to chair caning and dough bowl making, come take a step back in time with us.

 Animals

  • Never been to a farm? Head over to the Expo Center to see are baby animals and their moms! We’ll have cow/calf pairs, a sow and piglets, baby chicks and many more!
  • Honey bees are our most important pollinators! Head over to the Expo Center and learn how to start your own backyard hive.
  • Head over to the Hunt Horse Complex on Friday, 10/12, to see the Draft Horse Pull. This is the one time a year this event is FREE!
  • They paid WHAT for that steer? Head over to the Graham Building on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. and watch an auctioneer cattle rattle to SOLD at the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions.
  • Learn about modern dairy farming practices at the Southland Dairy Farmers’ Mobile Dairy classroom, located between the Expo Center & Graham Building.
  • Visit the FFA Barnyard to see all the baby farm animals.
  • The Hunt Horse Complex will be home to daily horse shows. Head over to check out everything from mini horses, carriage pulling, draft horses, our youth show and more!
  • Though they may be little, they are fierce! If you’re here on Sunday, Oct. 21, make sure you catch the Pygmy Goat Costume and Agility Contests in the Kelley Building beginning at 9 a.m.
  • Ever wanted matching outfits with your cow? Don’t miss the Dairy Cattle Costume Class in the Graham Building on Sunday, Oct. 21 in the late afternoon.
  • Interested in starting your own backyard flock? We can help answer your questions in the Poultry Tent near Gate 2.
  • Swim, swim, swim…our duck pond behind the Graham Building near Gate 2 will be filled with all sorts of friendly fowl.

 Food

  • Who doesn’t love a good sample?? Wet your whistle for a full bag of cotton candy goodness in the Commercial and Scott Buildings!
  • Don’t be shy, say, “YES!” to the kettle corn sample in Kiddieland!
  • Discover food products from across North Carolina in the Got to Be NC Agriculture exhibit just outside the Scott Building.
  • Grab a hushpuppy at the entrance to and take a tour of the Old Grist Mill.
  • Learn bread-baking tips from the best. Neomonde will be doing daily demonstrations in their tent next to the church at Heritage Circle.
  • Head over to House Autry Mills for a free hushpuppy in the Commercial & Education Buldings.
  • Peanuts are one of the biggest cash crops in North Carolina. While you’re in the Commercial/Education Buildings, pick up a sample…or two…shhhh…we won’t tell if you don’t!