Things to See and Do This Year
The contest also kicks off a host of activities that we’re proud to present at the fair to help you explore our state’s history and heritage. Here are three things to be sure you see on your visit to the fair this year:
- Explore a working tobacco barn in the Heritage Circle area, managed by Duke Homestead and the N.C. Tobacco Growers Association. You can take a peek at the curing process if you visit during the week, or see the finished product if you stop by on the weekend.
- Discover the Tar Heel State’s connections to World War I at an exhibit we’ve created in the north lobby of Dorton Arena. You’ll see how the fairgrounds were used a training center and learn more about the how the Great War impacted North Carolina.
- See interpreters portraying soldiers from throughout American history during the Military Appreciation Parade and our 2nd annual historical uniform revue at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, Wednesday.
- Experience a mock tobacco auction in the Heritage Circle area Friday at 2 p.m. Though now largely replaced by contracts between tobacco companies and farmers, tobacco auctions were once the center of the economic and social life of many rural North Carolina communities.
Even if you’re not a regular to the N.C. State Fair, you can’t argue that the annual event is part of our state’ rich culture and that it has a deep history. To commemorate those deep roots and help you explore them, the State Archives and State Library offer several great resources:
- Blue Ribbon Memories: Your History of the N.C. State Fair, is an online exhibit that showcases photographs, premium lists, newspapers clippings and other materials available on our State Fair Ephemera Digital Collection and allows fairgoers to share memories of their own State Fair experiences.
- The State Archives and State Library Flickr accounts both feature dozens of photographs, video clips and ads from fair publications over the years. Several of the items are newly-posted this year.
- Two videos from the State Archives, posted here and here, show the fair as visitors saw it in the 1940s and 1960s, respectively.
- Hundreds of scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, local histories and photos featuring the State Fair are available online from cultural institutions across the state through DigitalNC, which is supported in part by the State Library.
Happy exploring! We hope to see you out there at this great North Carolina tradition.