Archive for September, 2008

Fair Pics: Fooood!

September 30, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Today’s tagged Facebook and MySpace photos are all about one of this blog’s favorite topics…Fair food!

Kelli McIlnay captures her friend Brian trying out last year’s newest concoctions: fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

A Fair feast caught on camera by MySpace-er Charlie of Raleigh.

Joni Milsap enjoying a big ol’ turkey leg. Photo by Facebook friend Kelli McIlnay.

Fair Fan: Lisa Jeffries

September 30, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Meet Lisa Jeffries, a Raleigh native who now works with her family business Jeffries & Sons, Inc., as well as being a marketing consultant. When not filling in the Deep Fried blog, she can be found out on the lake or at Carter-Finely cheering on the Wolfpack. (We’re assuming she would take advantage of the NCSU/Fair ticket promotion if she didn’t already have season tickets.) Enjoy her pictures from the 1987 Fair all over the fairgrounds. Thanks, Lisa!

How many years have you been coming to the Fair? Let me use a lifeline for this and give mom and dad a quick call… Mom said my first trip to the fair was actually at about 10 months old – she and grandma took me in 1985. My grandma is a wonderful artist who always has work on display in the Kerr Scott building – check out Nellie Macon’s art on display! You won’t be disappointed.

What’s your Fair uniform? Now that I’m a “grown up”, and I use that term loosely, it’s almost always my favorite blue jeans, super broke-in cowboy boots, and a casual shirt paired with a layer of a long-sleeve shirt or jacket… our N.C. fall weather is amazing, but goes from sunny and hot to dusk and chilly in just a matter of minutes once the sun heads down for the evening.

Favorite Dorton Arena performance? Mmmm… tough call: all of the country acts have been AWESOME! Trace Adkins, Sara Evans, Lonestar, you name it! However, I have a really good feeling about sitting in the second row for Rodney Atkins and in the 8th row for Lady A this year… those just might take the cake! I haven’t stopped listening to Lady A’s debut album since I purchased it from iTunes the day it came out.

Wackiest Fair story? My boyfriend and I have been together for over five years now and each and every year we have had a caricature done together… it’s our own little tradition and it’s REALLY entertaining to go back and look at them from time to time to see the different artists take on our “cartoon” selves!

Favorite Fair food? For a little girl, I can put down a serious amount of food. It usually starts with Al’s French Fries, followed by a delicious bowl of peach cobbler, hush puppies from the mill, pickles from the Mt. Olive folks, apple cider, foot long hot dog with chili and mustard (the pink hot dogs, too please), a country ham biscuit, and usually a plain red candy apple for the ride home.

Favorite ride? The giant slides – HANDS DOWN.

Fair Pics: Flips and Tricks

September 29, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Here’s some awesome Fair Pics of the Day for you from BMX stunt man Keith King’s MySpace photo album. He tagged us in some crazy pictures of him and his team’s amazing stunt show. The whole gang will be back at this year’s Fair in the Grandstand Monday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 26 for free. Check out their Web site for more info. Enjoy!

Facebook reaches 1,000!

September 29, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Congrats and thanks to our Facebook friends! With 1,003 friends now, the social networking site has reached the magic number as part of our 1,000 Friends Contest. On Oct. 10, all of our friends there will be entered in a drawing for 10 State Fair Prize Packs, including two admission tickets, a Midway ride booklet, State Fair T-shirt, and other fun swag. Add us today to get in on the fun.

Over on MySpace, things are picking up as well. We’re up to 606 friends there, with 12 days left to make to 1,000. You got it, MySpace-ers!

Tell your friends to add us and keep checking back to the blogs for updates and a list of winners on Oct. 10!

On Oct. 4, stencil for a good cause

September 29, 2008 By: Flying Bob Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

If you aren’t busy on Saturday, Oct. 4, the State Fair and the N.C. Division of Water Quality have a project for you. Here are the details from a DWQ press release:

RALEIGH – Dozens of volunteers will gather to stencil water protection messages and brightly colored fish on storm drains located throughout the N.C. State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct. 4. The event is being organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality, in partnership with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Stormwater runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in North Carolina and the nation. The stenciled images provide a strong visual reminder that everything that flows into storm drains also flows into our creeks, streams, rivers and ocean.

More than 200 storm drains are located on the fairgrounds’ 344 acres. Stormwater carrying litter, sediment and other pollutants enters the drains and flows first to the fairgrounds’ ponds affecting the ecology on site, then to nearby streams and eventually, to the Neuse River.

Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. in front of the Gov. Jim Martin Building, which is just inside Gate 9 off Trinity Road. Paint, stencils and gloves will be provided. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 5.

To register your group, visit or call the Division of Water Quality at (919) 807-6363.

The release goes on to say that the Oct. 4 date coincides with the annual Big Sweep, an event where thousands of people pitch in to clear the state’s waterways of debris and trash. “Volunteers at the fairgrounds will do their part by painting messages that remind people not to litter and pollute waterways in the first place,” the release says. Good point.

Artist Spotlight: Josh Turner

September 29, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Okay, I’m not a country music fan like my colleague, Cotton Candy, but I’ve gotta love an artist who has a song named after me: Firecracker. So, what can I say? I like Josh Turner already. Of course, Josh has lots of great tunes, including his debut hit, Long Black Train, Would You Go With Me, Your Man and Everything is Fine.

If it seems like deja vu seeing Josh’s name on the entertainment lineup, there’s good reason: Josh performed before a sold out crowd in Dorton Arena last year. But he was so well received, he was happy to make the return trip to Raleigh for another gig in Dorton Arena on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Just a week before he steps on the stage to kick off the State Fair, Josh Turner will kick-off a new part of his career — acting. On Oct. 10, Billy: The Early Years will open in theaters, with Josh Turner co-starring in the biopic about North Carolina’s own Billy Graham. Josh plays the role of George Beverly Shea, Billy’s long-time friend and song leader at hundreds of Graham Crusades across the world.

From Sharing his insight about his role in the film, the 2007 Grammy Awards-nominated singer revealed that his part is more like a tribute to the famed-as-spiritual adviser to multiple U.S. presidents evangelist and the prominent gospel singer/songwriter. “It was my way of honoring the legacy of George Beverly Shea and Billy Graham and what they’ve done in their lives and their careers and the lives they’ve touched – obviously including mine,” he said.

On the person whom he is depicting in the movie, he stated, “A lot of people don’t know who George Beverly Shea is, and I’m always kind of surprised by that. I’ve always been familiar with what they’ve done, what they’ve been about. So when this part was offered to me, I said yes right off the bat, absolutely. There was no thinking about it. It was a great opportunity.” -Ace Showbiz News

Great tickets are still available for Josh Turner at Tickets are just $22!

Bargain hunters paradise

September 27, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

The State Fair is just around the corner and that means that we’ve got to shut down the Fairgrounds to get ready. This is the last weekend for the State Fairgrounds Marketplace (a.k.a. The Flea Market) and for events that take place in the buildings — most notably this weekend is the Southern Ideal Home Show which is so large it is spread across three buildings: Dorton Arena, the Graham Building and the Exposition Center.

If you like flea markets and/or bargain shopping, this is a great weekend to come to the fairgrounds because all of the vendors have to move out and shut down for more than a month. Their goal this weekend (in most cases) is to sell as much as they can so they don’t have to pack it all up and store it until the Flea Market reopens on November 8th. A lot of vendors are offering discounts to help move merchandise.

Of course, not all vendors are discounting their goods, but a lot of them are, so it’s a great time to come and check out what you can find.

Other events this weekend include the Old North State Antique Gun and Military Show Sept. 27 and 28 in the Scott Building; the Raising Stars for Matthew Baldwin Fundraiser Sept. 27 in Heritage Circle and the Martin Building; the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day Sept. 27 in the Holshouser Building and the N.C. Quarter Horse Association Futurity Sept. 26-28 in the Hunt Horse Complex.

Midway Mania

September 26, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

WARNING: I was on this ride with a few screamers (um, not me, of course…) so make sure to turn your volume WAYYY DOWN before you click play. Your ear drums and co-workers will thank you!

WRAL Blogger Tara Calashain dared us in her “North Carolina State Fair getting seriously online” post to record a first-person ride on the Midway. At the Mountain State Fair back in early September, I decided to do just that. So, with a tight grip on my camera and a purposely empty stomach, I grabbed a few friends and hopped on the Cortina Bob ride.

We won’t have this exact ride at the State Fair, but Firecracker reports the Crazy Dance will be a close match. If you can stomach the Blair Witch-like spins and crazy lights (and LOUD screams), you’ll be rewarded with some really nice sweeps of the gorgeous Mtn. Fair Midway. We can’t wait to test out more rides at the Fair!

And speaking of the Midway, we have some exciting news for thrill ride-aholics. Listen up, because the details are very important on this one-day-only offer. For the first time, the Fair will offer the Unlimited Preview Day Ride Wristband on Preview Day, Thursday, Oct. 16. The wristband will run you $25 and will ONLY be available for purchase AND use on Preview Day.

So if you want to ride until your heart’s content (or your stomach is upside down), get to the Fair when the gates open at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 and make a mad dash for the Powers Great American Midways ticket booths on the Midway before the rides get going at 4 p.m. Preview Day Ride Wristbands will not be sold at the entrance gates.

CONTEST: Let us know which ride is your favorite. We’ll pick one lucky commenter next Friday to win a 2008 State Fair tie-dye T-shirt!

Fair Pics: Thrill Ride Edition

September 26, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Okay, so I lied. I said that every day up until the Fair we would feature one of the hundreds we’ve had posted to our MySpace and Facebook sites…well, there are so many that now we’ll be posting a couple a day! So help us, we can’t get enough. Enjoy today’s Midway-themed photos thanks to professional photog Charlie of Raleigh (find him here on MySpace) and Jean Odom, a Fair Fan who previously blogged about her Fair food diary. Keep ‘em coming guys!

Cover your eyes! Photo by Charlie of Raleigh.

Topsy-turvy photo by Charlie of Raleigh

Hair-raising photo by Jean Odom.

Meet the Band: Lady Antebellum

September 26, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

One of the Dorton Arena concerts I’m most excited about is with Lady Antebellum on Sunday, Oct. 19. (They’ll also be performing with Heidi Newfield…keep an eye on the blog for more on her new solo career next week.) And by the way, did I mention tickets are only $8?? Although die-hard “Lady A” fans have probably already done their homework, here’s a little background on the up and coming trio.

WHO: Hillary Scott (daughter of Grammy-winning country artist Linda Davis and accomplished musician Lang Scott), Charles Kelley (brother of singer-songwriter Josh Kelly, who recently tied the knot with Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigel) and Dave Haywood (A University of Georgia grad). How’s that for Six Degrees of Separation, country style?

WHAT: Its first single of the self-titled debut album, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, reached #4 on the country charts and was followed up by current single I’m Just Lookin’ For a Good Time.

WHEN: The band members first hung out at the Nashville home of Charles’ brother Josh in 2006. Since then, they’ve earned the 2008 Academy of Country Music award for “Top New Group” and toured with Martina McBride on her 2008 arena tour. You may have also caught the GAC special Introducing … Lady Antebellum, about their rise to fame.

WHERE: At a publicity shoot in front of an Antebellum-style mansion, Kelley said the group was struck with inspiration for their name. (You know they’re pretty good if they were already taking promotional shots before they’d even come up with a name.) “There’s not anything too terribly meaningful behind it,” Charles admits on the group’s Web site.

“Not only is this one of the best new-artist debuts in recent memory (think Dixie Chicks in 1998), Lady Antebellum’s self-titled set will go down as one of the year’s best, period. The singing/songwriting combination of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood is fresh and mature. The trio’s unique vocal arrangement—Kelley’s blue-eyed soul leads on some songs, Scott effortlessly leads on others, and the two also duet—sets them apart. “Love Don’t Live Here” is driven by Kelley’s powerful vocal, while Scott shines on the defiant “Long Gone” and the romantic “Can’t Take My Eyes off You.” “All We’d Ever Need” and “I Run to You” finds the pair seamlessly intertwining in the tradition of Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris.” — Ken Tucker,

MORE: Check out the interview above with the group. I thought it was so interesting they attribute some of their success to the Internet, especially MySpace. I guess the State Fair is not the only one to figure out that social networking can be a great way to get in touch with people and spark excitement. Also, you can take a listen to the group’s newest single, Lookin’ For a Good Time, at the country blog Roughtstock.

Let us know what your favorite Lady A song is in the comments. . .

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