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Blackbeard, State Parks and N.C. History Come Alive at the N.C. State Fair

Pirate reenactors join the parade at the 2016 N.C. State Fair.

Pirates are taking over the north lobby of Dorton Arena during this year’s N.C. State Fair as the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources kicks off a celebration of North Carolina’s most notorious pirate, Blackbeard, for the 300th anniversary of his exploits along the N.C. coast. Check out a replica of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, and join in on all the swashbuckling fun at our new exhibit. Just be careful not to lose your head!

Other exhibits will offer the chance to explore a working tobacco barn, learn about North Carolina State Parks, and investigate North Carolina’s amazing array of historic sites, aquariums, zoo and museums. Be sure to stop by our exhibits and discover our state’s amazing natural, cultural and historic resources – we’ve got them all, all in one place.

  • Take a virtual bike ride through a state park, travel back in time to a State Historic Site, and see a ship’s cannon undergoing restoration at the N.C. State Parks and Historic Sites exhibit just outside Dorton Arena. Enjoy kids’ activities and crafts, and special programs lead by park rangers.
  • Discover a working tobacco barn in the Heritage Circle area, managed by Duke Homestead State Historic Site, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the N.C. Tobacco Growers Association. See volunteers string and cure tobacco the old-fashioned way. Try your hand at looping tobacco and take a peek inside the barn to see the curing process. Catch the looping contest at 2 p.m. Oct. 13, and witness one of the last surviving (mock) tobacco auctions in North Carolina at 2 p.m. Oct.20.
  • Learn about the many ways you can explore North Carolina’s history at our museums, experience creatures from all over the world at the N.C. Zoo or aquariums, or explore the natural world with our natural science museums at an exhibit in the north lobby of the Dorton Arena. DNCR staff will be on hand to provide information about all the exciting places and events we offer.
  • See interpreters portraying soldiers from throughout American history during the Military Appreciation Parade and historical uniform revue at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18.

“We’re always so excited to participate in the North Carolina State Fair,” said Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton. “I know it’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope that people will take the opportunity to visit our exhibits and learn about all the amazing experiences our department has to offer, all across our state.”

This is DNCR’s fourth year partnering with the fair to help visitors explore arts, history, nature and culture in North Carolina. Each year, the department’s exhibit attracts about 250,000 visitors.

Explore the fair from the comfort of your home
Even if you can’t make it out to the N.C. State Fair this year, you can explore the fair’s history and culture online. The State Archives and State Library offer several great resources:

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