The North Carolina State Fair has been an annual tradition in the Tar Heel State since 1853. In addition to the exhibits that come back every year, the fair is constantly adding new attractions. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which organizes the event, aims to create a family-friendly extravaganza with everything from fireworks and grandstand shows to live musical performances and livestock exhibitions. The event has been held at its present site in the state capital of Raleigh since 1928.
An exciting lineup of entertainment is planned for each day of the 2020 North Carolina State Fair. You can visit the Village of Yesteryear to see antique farm machinery and learn how early settlers lived. If you are thinking of changing careers, then make your way to the Cultivate a Career Tent where your personality will be matched with a potential job path. While children will enjoy visiting the Field of Dreams Tent, which explains how farmers grow crops, everyone is likely to enjoy a stop at the Got to Be NC Agriculture Tent, which offers sample foods grown locally.
In the middle of the fairgrounds are demonstration gardens, and experts hold symposiums on various gardening topics. Dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, meat sheep, dairy goats, pygmy goats, wool sheep, meat goats, rabbits, and poultry will all be shown. Of course, you and your family will want to explore the carnival and eat your favorite fair foods.
If you like watching live performances, check out the Folk Art Festival. During this five-day festival, attendees can watch traditional dancers vie for top honors in classical bluegrass music, clogging, and square dancing. Many of the participating teams will be wearing modern costumes and incorporating the latest music into their routines. Each team is judged on a variety of criteria, including authenticity, appearance, competence, and enthusiasm. One of the deciding factors will be how well the audience receives them, so you will want to be on hand to cheer on your favorite dance teams.
The dates for the 2020 North Carolina State Fair are October 15 to 25. You'll find the fairgrounds at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. The site is near the campus of North Carolina State University in the northwest part of Raleigh.
Going on an RV trip to the North Carolina State Fair is a popular idea. If you do not own a recreational vehicle, then consider renting one on RVshare. With the right camper, you'll be able to soak in the experience properly. Note that the campground at the North Carolina State Fair is not open during the fair even though it is open during other activities that happen throughout the year. However, there are about a half-dozen RV parks in the Greater Raleigh area.
The following campgrounds are all within an hour's drive of the North Carolina State Fair:
• 70 East Mobile Acres and RV Park: This campground, located about 12 miles from the fairgrounds, offers easy access to Interstate 70. Many of the RVs in this park are parked here permanently.
• Coopers RV Park: This campground, located about 21 miles south of the state fairgrounds, offers shady lots with concrete patios. Overnight, short-term, and long-term rates are all available at this campground in Clayton.
• Spring Hill Park: Located about 30 miles from the fairgrounds, this park offers 64 large shaded lots. Many of the lots at this campground in Chapel Hill are pull-thru, and all have full utilities available.
• Triangle RV Park: Located about 25 miles from the fair, this park offers separate spaces for long-term and overnight campers. This landscaped campground in Durham has amiable staff.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, then there are some accommodations located near the North Carolina State Fair.
• Ramada by Wyndham Raleigh: This budget-friendly hotel is located about 2 miles from the fair. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, which may be a great place to cool off after a day at the fair.
• The StateView Hotel: Located about 4 miles south of the fairgrounds, this upscale hotel offers an on-site restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and state-of-the-art fitness center.
It is easy to reach the North Carolina State Fair. If you are coming into Raleigh on Interstate 40 East or West, take exit 289, which is the Wade Avenue exit. Then, take the first exit onto Edward Mills Road and continue on it until you arrive at the fairgrounds. If you are coming to Raleigh by using I-95 North, take the I-40 exit. Then, proceed to take the Wade Avenue exit, followed by the Edward Mills Road exit. Continue on Edward Mills Road to reach the state fair.
If you come into Raleigh using U.S. 70, proceed until you reach the Inner Beltline exit. Then, proceed to the Wade Avenue exit before turning onto Edward Mills Road. If you are coming in on U.S. 64 West, take the Outer Beltline exit. Then, take the exit onto Wade Avenue. Finally, take the second exit onto Edward Mills Road. If you miss the Edward Mills Road exit, then exit on Blue Ridge Road. Turn right at the top of the ramp and proceed to the fairgrounds.
You can park in the lots at the fairgrounds. Free parking is available at Edward Mills and Reedy Creek. A shuttle will take you from there to Gate 8 of the state fairgrounds. You may also park at Carter-Finley Football Stadium and PNC Arena as long as events are not occurring at these locations. Triangle-area park-and-ride locations also offer places to park along with fair transportation.
There are many different types of tickets available for the fair. You can buy your tickets online or at the gate. You can also find tickets on select days allowing students or the military to get in at a reduced fee.
If you're planning an RV trip that involves the North Carolina State Fair, tell everyone about your experience and send in your photos. Send your pics to [email protected], and you may be featured on the RVshare blog or social media pages.
Check out @NCStateFair on Twitter and @ncstatefair on Instagram to stay current on fair happenings.