By: Ashley Andrews
The sweet aroma of fried dough saturates the crisp autumn air, while children shriek in delight and pull worn and weary parents from ride to ride. Though it may sound like the “happiest place on earth”, this is not Disney World. It’s the North Carolina State Fair.
As a native of N.C., I’ve been going to the State Fair for as long as I can remember. There’s a special, almost magical quality about it that has a way of bringing a diverse community together for a few weeks every year.
The fair has a little bit of everything, ranging from pig racing to music festivals and an art exhibit. However, I tend to spend my time there on classic fair activities such as eating mass amounts of fried food and riding rides that make me question my sanity.
Even as an annual attendee, it can be overwhelming to see everything the fair has to offer, so keep these things in mind if you’re planning to go:
- It’s imperative that you mentally and physically prepare to feast. This is the kind of place where you throw your diet to the wind and indulge in all the greasy, delicious and sometimes-questionable creations the fair presents. Expect the usual carnival food like corn dogs, caramel apples, hamburgers and funnel cakes, but also expect the unexpected. I’m talking chocolate covered bananas, massive turkey legs, the infamous Krispy Kreme burger and deep-fried everything.
- As far as rides go, whether you’re not a fan of being upside down or you’re a complete daredevil, there’s something for everyone. The more traditional rides include three different Ferris wheels, a few roller coasters ranging in speed and intensity, and the Zipper. For thrill seekers, the Speed, the Fireball and Khaos will get your adrenaline pumping and make your stomach drop to your feet.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to do everything you want – you could walk around for hours and still not see it all. But rest assured, you’ll always have another chance because the State Fair comes to Raleigh every year. This year, the Fair will operate from October 13-23 and admission to the fairgrounds goes from 8am-midnight.