A look back at the NC State Fair
If you ever have the chance to go to a State Fair in the US: do it! It is an indescribable experience that I believe is truly unique to America.
There were booths frying foods that I didn’t know you could (or even should?) fry! Fried oreos, fried ice cream, fried twinkies, fried butter, fried pop tarts even fried fruit if you wanted! Then you had the simply straight-up strange: Krispy Kreme burgers, turkey legs the size of your head, cheesecakes on a stick, waffle cones filled with mac-n-cheese, cheese churros, glaze-dipped-and-cereal-rolled bacon, cheerwine funnel cakes, sweet corn covered in Cheetos. I was starving in the car on the way to the fair but as soon as I took one step into the gates, my appetite was gone: it was almost as if the smell of the food was enough to fill my stomach. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Spread out over the fairground are a series of fair rides, games, events, competitions and stalls. Be prepared to spend an unnecessary amount of money trying to win stuffed animals and goldfish to bring home later in the day. Try to avoid the few scams as well, such as the stand showing the ‘World’s Smallest Horse’ and the games that require an impossibly steady hand in order to win. If you can resist, try going to some of the free events instead, like the vegetable competition, where farmers show off their largest, most prized harvest in the hopes of winning awards. Also, please don’t miss the pig races either- just follow the squeals and raging crowds, but try to get there early so you get a seat as it’s an extremely popular event.
Yet the most amazing part of the whole experience was seeing the true North Carolina. In Chapel Hill we live in a little bubble of college students and professors, but at the State Fair, families from all across NC travel to Raleigh to attend. So, people-watching is a definite must.
We certainly enjoyed the weekend trip to the fair and I would recommend it to all future GLOBErs and just anyone travelling around in the US.