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What You Need To Know Before Heading To The North Carolina State Fair

Source: WRAL & NC State Fair Website

Well it’s October and fall is here so you know what time it is. Yep, it’s time for confusing North Carolina weather where you wake up at 7 am and it’s 40 degrees out so you dress accordingly. When you make your return  back outside around 3pm and it’s freaking 80 degrees out. Make sure you take care of your wardrobe and mental and physical health during the season change. 

On a more positive note, while you are grabbing those cooler weather clothes don’t forget to grab those loose fitting items too. The North Carolina State Fair is here! It’s time once again to eat good, ride great rides and see if we can actually win a prize at the tilted basketball goal games. This year’s state fair promises to be just as delivering as last year and we got you all covered from what to eat to where to park NC Voices got your back.


Due to the current bus driver shortage there will be no long distance park and ride to this year’s fair. This means you will need to plan your travel accordingly. Free parking is available at Carter-Finley Stadium and PNC Arena parking lots. You will appreciate us for the intel based on how much you eat and the need to walk it off to the car. You are encouraged to take Wade Avenue to Edwards Mill exit to access these parking lots. Visitors are encouraged to wear clear bags but there is no size limit. This will make your transition through the security gate smoother.  

There are two shuttle options for two off-site parking locations near the fairgrounds: 

  • Bandwidth Dogwood Lot: Located at the corner of Edwards Mill and Reedy Creek roads.
  • HWY 54 Cardinal Lot: Located off Hwy 54/Chapel Hill Road just past I-40 Exit 290.

Shuttles will run continuously from 9 a.m. to one hour after the fair closes each day.


Now that we got the business taken care of, let’s get to the food. This year’s fair will have another round of creative food and a return of some of your favorites. Just a warning to skip the gym for the next ten days or just working before the sunrise. That’s the best advice we can give you on this matter. Below are a few foods to dive into.

Candied Grapes (Douglas Farms)

Candied grapes have been a popular trend on social media and now they are at the state fair. These grapes are dipped in sweet candy coating then dried for your enjoyment. Remember don’t go eating these like your healthy grapes you pack for lunch weekly. 

Bacon-wrapped Pimento Cheese Sandwich (Ezzells Somethin’ Good)

Nothing screams North Carolina more than some good ole pimento cheese. This beautiful creation is bacon wrapped in pimento cheese and then deep-fried. Don’t even think about your calories when indulging in this greatness. 

Brisket & Waffles on a Stick (Fat Boys BBQ)

The name above already tells you what vibes we are on. Get ready for a life changing experience. Fat Boys BBQ is serving you with a sweet and savory brisket and waffled deep fried on a stick. If it ain’t deep-fried then I don’t want it. 

Morning-After Turkey Leg (Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ)

If deep-fried food isn’t your thing then try this creation on A hickory smoked turkey leg served with a side of gravy. It’s a fun way of getting that protein if you look at it my way. 


There are some new rides including a roller coaster that takes you through a Tesla factory and your traditional don’t eat before you get on rides. There are also some new entertainment features including an exotic bird show, a roaming robot and animatronic theater show. 

Our best advice we can give is for you to make a plan before attending. Identify what you want to eat, ride and see. It may save you in the end or you can just wing it and see what the fair reveals for you. Either way should deliver great results for your stomach and who cares about nutrition at this point.

Remember to have a great time and enjoy yourselves at this year’s state fair. Please eat responsibility and don’t be afraid to meet the roaming robot. They are not Terminators, at least not this year.  Stay safe my friends.

Read more from WRAL here.

For more information on this year’s state fair including times, tickets, maps and other info visit the NC State Fair website


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