N.C. Mountain State Fair offers ‘Mountain Fun’ for the whole family

FLETCHER – Fun-filled attractions, uplifting mountain music and deep-fried delicacies are all part of the entertainment planned for this year’s N.C. Mountain State Fair, which runs Sept. 11-20 at the WNC Agricultural Center.

For some down-on-the-farm fun, visitors can enjoy the expanded Farmer Bill’s Ag-Ventures exhibit located near the main entrance. “This year, children will be able to drive sit-and-scoot tractors around a farm track, pick apples while learning about the region’s apple industry, and milk a cow,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “There also will be live farm animals, a demonstration of hydroponic growing systems and other agricultural displays. All of it ties into this year’s theme of ‘Mountain Fair! Mountain Fun!’”

Other free agriculture-based attractions include the Mooternity Ward, where visitors can see a dairy calf be born; Agricadabra, an ag-themed magic show; and more than two dozen livestock shows.

Free entertainment for all ages

Free entertainment also includes Rowdy Rooster, a kid-friendly puppet show; Sea Lion Splash, a show featuring rescued sea lions; the Kenya Safari Acrobats; Brad Matchett Comedy Hypnotist; chainsaw artist Joey Rowe; Extreme Illusions & Escapes; Dixie Starlight Express; and the ever-popular pig races at the Hogway Speedway.

Music lovers can hear some of the region’s best bluegrass, country and gospel groups during the Mountain Music Festival. Each night, guests can enjoy three to five acts – including musical groups, dancers and cloggers – on the Heritage Stage located in Mountain Heritage Circle. Performances start at 7 p.m. daily except on Sundays, when they start at 5 p.m.

Wide variety of food

A trip to the fair isn’t complete without food, and there will be plenty of it at the Mountain State Fair. Organizers expect more than 75 food vendors offering full meals and grab-and-go treats. Traditional favorites such as funnel cakes, candy apples and cotton candy will be there along with ostrich burgers, deep-fried Oreos, cheesecake on a stick, and some healthier options. A complete list of food vendors is online at http://bit.ly/1NwO2s6.

Save money with advance tickets

Advance tickets are now available at area Ingles stores, the WNC Agricultural Center and the WNC Farmers Market. Fairgoers can save $2 on gate admission tickets and 50 percent on ride tickets by purchasing in advance. More information about the fair is available at www.mountainfair.org.