It’s fall and it’s mid-October so that can only mean one thing around these parts: it’s North Carolina State Fair time! Every year Raleigh becomes the hub of rides, games and food as far as the eyes can see. Before you go there are a few things you should know. The State Fair veterans at NC Voices have you covered. Get your mouth and belt loops ready for an exciting journey.
The first rule of thumb is to dress comfortably. It’s North Carolina and we have three to four seasons in one day. Check the weather forecast to make sure you dress appropriately for your visit. Wear comfortable clothes for your visit. You will be in long lines and constantly navigating the State Fairgrounds. Don’t come looking like you’re going to New York Fashion Week. Your feet will either thank you or punish you. Please understand that if you are going to eat well, clothing with waist-expanding technology is needed. I always wear bigger clothing to make space for the great time I’m about to have.
Plan Your Travel
This is Raleigh and if you know anything about the capital city just know there will be traffic. There’s highway construction everywhere including Wade Avenue and I-440. Be prepared for stop-and-go conditions. Be prepared for more traffic than usual due to Triangle bus services not being provided this year. Bus Driver shortages will impact the State Fair as GoTriangle, GoRaleigh and GoDurham simply don’t have the capacity to run State Fair routes this year. GoTriangle is reporting they had over 100 drivers before COVID-19 and now they have about half of that. There are still other close proximity shuttle options and even Amtrak options to the fair. Please pack patience during your visit.
Well if you are me the main reason you attend the fair is for the food. There are over 41 new foods at this year’s State Fair. This is why we recommend you wear loose clothing. A few highlights are Pepsi Glazed Mini Donuts by S2 Concessions. This treat is exactly what you think, a donut with a Pepsi glaze. Nothing says North Carolina like a donut and Pepsi. If you are looking for something a little more creative try the DoriEsquites from Douglas Farm. The combination of popular tortilla chips and a favorite side dish had joined forces. This meal is Mexican street corn in a Doritos bag of crushed Doritos. I’ll never look at Doritos bags the same. If turkey day in November is just too far away, then you are in luck. Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ had introduced a Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Leg. It’s a smoked turkey leg with all the fixins stuffed in it. For time’s sake, you have stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. You have the option for candied yams, collards or mac-n-cheese. I just got full thinking about all of that in a turkey leg. Again, dress accordingly because you will eat, eat and probably eat again. Skip the fitness plan and any other plan you are on during your visit.
The State Fair runs from October 13-23, so that’s 10 days of events and there are lots of them. Check out the daily schedule to plan your visit. Don’t forget to check out the nightly fireworks at 9:45 pm. It’s pretty amazing, but don’t worry, you will hear them from far away. Have fun, be safe and eat everything in sight during your visit.