Commissioner Steve Troxler: The N.C. State Fair starts in two days…We hope to see you there!


The N.C. State Fair starts in two days and we hope you are making your plans now to attend. The State Fair draws nearly a million people through its doors each year, showcasing agriculture and the best of North Carolina. The fair runs Oct. 11-21.

  • I want to talk about something a bit lighter today – the N.C. State Fair, which starts in two days and runs through Oct. 21.
  • While my department has been busy helping with Hurricane Florence recovery, work has also continued on preparations for the N.C. State Fair. Many divisions of the department participate in the State Fair, so I appreciate all the extra effort.
  • This annual tradition draws families and friends together from across the state to showcase the best North Carolina has to offer from agriculture and heritage crafts, to arts and music, to food and entertainment.
  • As we saw after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which actually hit North Carolina a week before the fair opened, people wanted something familiar and something to take their minds off everything they had to deal with at home.
  • In the case of livestock competitors, many had worked all year to get to the State Fair and more than anything they wanted to be here to compete with their friends.
  • We had a good year that year and so many people thanked me for making sure the fair went on as planned.
  • It is in those moments that I am reminded that the State Fair is bigger than any single person or organization. It is the people’s fair – enjoyed by close to a million people each year.
  • I am proud to be part of it.
  • You will find plenty of agriculture on display in the livestock shows and the horticultural and flower competitions. We have a record number of competition entries this year – 26,000, not counting livestock. That’s exciting.
  • On Friday, Oct. 12, we will again have the tobacco tying contest in Heritage Circle at 2 p.m. Just before the real contest gets under way, I will be taking on Lynda Loveland with the N.C. Farm Bureau in our own friendly challenge. That’s always good fun, except someone keeps giving me string that breaks midway through!
  • This year we’ll continue the Homegrown Music Fest with musicians and groups with North Carolina connections.
  • We’ll have some former contestants from American Idol and The Voice with RaeLynn and Bucky Covington on Oct. 15 and Britton Buchanan on Oct. 17. Also internet sensations Rhett & Link will perform on Oct. 12.
  • Be sure to check out the complete music lineup online at
  • Of course, we will have lots of deep-fried food temptations. Food is the No. 1 reason people come to the fair.
  • The Our State Public House returns with samples of North Carolina beer and wine.
  • News entertainment includes: Kachunga, an alligator wrestler; Canine Stars, a high-energy dog show; Dream City Ladybugs, stiltwalkers in the Flower and Garden area; a Fire Safety show in Kiddieland; and the return of the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, up near Smokey Bear.
  • There are also plenty of returning favorites including the racing pigs, Field of Dreams, Chinese Imperial acrobats and Bubble Wonders.
  • I hope you will plan to join us Oct. 11-21 in Raleigh.