State Fair 2010: a cultural experience

10/21/2010 at 12:52 pm | Posted in About town, Friends, just plain fun, snap happy | 2 Comments
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So after countless visits to the State Fair over the years and a stint as the deep-fried ambassador, I learned something important this week: I have A LOT to learn about the fair.

Like, tucked back behind the big midway is a neat exhibit by the N.C. Wildlife Commission, complete with shooting range. Meet Beth and Sarah, my awesome tour guides:

If you venture down across the pond (a pond? where there used to be boat rides?) you can say hello to Smokey the Bear. And he’ll say hello right back. Which is definitely freaky, especially when he joins in on your conversation. Dude has some ears.

Just around the corner from Smokey is a functioning sawmill, with lumber that you can actually buy. And behind those guys, on a little peninsula that juts out over the pond, is where the fireworks are staged.

Before Tuesday, I’d never explored Heritage Circle.

::hangs head in state fair shame::

There is so much cool stuff back there. Like a blacksmith at work, fresh-pressed apple cider for sale and tobacco that’s been strung in a competition.

I saved some face with my tour guides by admitting that I knew of the free hushpuppies at the old grist mill. But the moment was fleeting. Because then I had to confess that I never knew the grist mill actually functioned. The system of pulleys and belts, whirring about overhead and dipping into the floor below, was astounding.

What an unexpected state fair adventure! It was so refreshing to get out from the deep-fried madness and escape to this little nook.

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t eat. A ham biscuit. NC State ice cream. Al’s fries. Steak sandwiches from the NC Cattlemen’s Association (which, according to Sarah, are the best at the fair).

And, we may just have done something a wee bit embarrassing … but that photo deserves a post all its own. Stay tuned!


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  1. Well hello, Ranger Webb!

  2. I am experiencing the fair vicariously through you! :>

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