RALEIGH – The North Carolina State fairgrounds come alive every October with diverse and exciting entertainment. This year visitors to the State Fair can expect to see both their favorite entertainment and exhibits alongside new performers and competitions.
New musical acts, world champion female loggers and educational agriculture shows featuring “agri-puppets” and a “moo-gician” will join popular acts such as the racing pigs, a Kenyan safari acrobat troupe, and silk aerialists.
“From agricultural exhibits to live entertainment and Midway attractions, there’s something for everyone at the North Carolina State Fair,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It’s part of the reason hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians walk through those gates every year.”
This year the State Fair is offering a new experience to fairgoers with its 2015 Homegrown North Carolina Concert Series. This free concert series will showcase the unique talents of North Carolina artists. Performers include the Charlie Daniels Band, Jason Michael Carrol, Black Sheep, the Love Language and more.
All tickets are free, but visitors interested in floor seating will need to pick up tickets beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the show at the Dorton Arena Box Office on the north side of the arena lawn. Fairgoers may only pick up tickets for the show occurring that day, and there is a six-ticket limit per person. The permanent seating in Dorton Arena will be available without a ticket on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition to a free concert series, several new entertainers will join the lineup of free performances, musical acts and grounds-roaming entertainment available at the fair, including the “moo-gician.” Children of all ages will laugh as “moo-gician” Rob LeMaster plays the part of Farmer Earl in his comedy show featuring Hershey, the dairy cow. Farmer Earl and Hershey will share humor, puppetry and magic tricks with fairgoers.
Other magical performances include the Agricadabra show and Farm Magic Agri-Puppets. At the Agricadabra show fairgoers will meet Brad, an educational agricultural specialist, as he teaches them about North Carolina agriculture through magic tricks. During the fun and interactive Farm Magic Agri-Puppets show, visitors will get to learn all about agriculture and farm animals with agri-puppets Lisa, Twerk, Boomer and Harry.
The Axe Women of Maine will also join the lineup of grounds performers. This strong-armed troupe of all-female logging athletes will chop wood with speed and precision. The group, which includes world champion loggers and axe throwers, will wow crowds with their log rolling, axe throwing, chopping ad sawing skills.
Along with the new entertainment, fairgoers should note location changes for several of the fair’s long-established entertainment options. The Folk Festival will celebrate its 67th year at the fair with a move to Dorton Arena. Visitors can stop in, sit down and relax, and enjoy folk music and dancing daily. With the Folk Festival’s move, the Circle “C” Racing Pigs get a larger home, with more seating. You can now check out the pigs behind the Kerr Scott Building near Gate 10.
This year there will be even more ways for visitors to save on North Carolina’s premier fall event. In addition to free entertainment, the N.C. State Fair is offering several new savings packages in addition to regular sales discounts.
Students will find that Friday Frenzy will be the best day to save. On Friday, Oct. 16, students who present valid school identification (student ID or 2015 report card) at the ticket booth will be admitted for $5. Only one ticket may be purchased per student ID at the reduced price. Friday Frenzy admission tickets are not available online or in advance.
Powers Great American Midways will also offer an additional unlimited ride wristband day for Friday Frenzy, from 10 a.m. to closing. The wristband can be purchased at the midway ride ticket locations and will cost $34. The wristbands cannot be purchased in advance; however, ride tickets purchased in advance can still be used on this day, in addition to the wristband.
For those who like to enjoy the fair with the whole family, the Family Four-Pack is a great deal. The four-pack includes four admission tickets and two ride sheets for $44. The pack is a print-at-home ticket that will be available online through 11:59 p.m. Oct. 15.
Finally, dedicated fair lovers planning to spend multiple days at the N.C. State Fair have the opportunity to save with two different multi-day passes. The Mini Pass allows for four-day access to the fair for just $24, and the Mega Pass allows for 11-day access for just $66. Both the Mega and Mini Passes are sold as print-at-home tickets and are on sale online through 11:59 p.m. Oct. 15. The bearer of either pass may have it scanned at the gate one time per day during the duration of the fair. You may not use these passes to gain entrance for multiple people in a single day. As with all advance tickets, there are no refunds offered for Mega or Mini passes.
The 2015 N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 15-25 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Advance tickets are on sale now at www.ncstatefair.org. Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for kids 6-12. Admission at the gate is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Go online at www.ncstatefair.org for more information.