What I Love About…the NC State Fair
Fall. The leaves transform from various shades of green to bright yellows, firey reds, brilliant oranges, even hot pinks. The air gets a bit cooler, or in our case here in the Triangle, it fluctuates between seasonal cools and warm summer days.
I love this season. What I love most about it, is that for ten days every October the North Carolina State Fair brings more memories, loads of fun, and deep-fried goodness.
When I was kid, I was all about the rides and the food. Hand me a pipe of pink cotton candy, a plate of fried dough topped with powdered sugar & cinnamon, and for added measure, a bag of popcorn, I was in my happy zone. Give me some time to digest and then I’d be off to ride the fastest, scariest rides. I think my very first upside down ride was at the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
For the last five years, I have been going to the NC State Fair. My tastes have changed. I no longer ride those stomach-churning-make-me-wanna-throw-up rides. Rather, I like to take a gander at the exhibits, watch pottery being made or wood being carved. I’m fascinated by the creativity & talent that surrounds me. Even the amateur photographs & paintings that win “Best in Show” intrigue me.
I also go to people watch, especially those smiling families that are just having the time of their lives. When a little girl gets off one of those bungie jumping apparatuses, runs to her daddy smiling & yelling, “Did you see me, Daddy? Did you see how high I jumped?” that just makes me smile. Kids have it so good. They’re just there to have fun.
One thing that hasn’t changed is my need to grab some delicious fair grub. I still like cotton candy, fried dough, and popcorn but now I gravitate toward cheesy fries and, my favorite gotta have treat – deep-fried Snickers. I’ve tried the other deep-fried concoctions: Twinkies and Ho-hos. I have yet to brave deep-fried PB&J and taste a deep-fried Oreo. There’s always next year.
The North Carolina State Fair has something for everyone. With a whopping record of over 1 million attendees this year, my advice for next year’s Fair: the key to having a good time is to park a good distance away (we park behind the NC State Wolfpack stadium) or take the Park & Ride shuttles, wear comfortable shoes, and not be in a hurry. Once into the gates, relax, take your time, and just take it all in.
Don’t forget to try a deep-fried something too.