Archive for May, 2011

Weekend Update: May 25-28

May 25, 2011 By: Tilt-A-Whirl Category: N.C. State Fairgrounds

Get an early start to your Memorial Day weekend  at the Fairgrounds with the opening of the Southern States Regional Morgan Horse Show today at the James B. Hunt Horse Complex.  The event runs through Saturday and shows will feature a variety of horses including the dressage, English pleasure, Western, Hunt and Classic styles. Last year’s event featured more than 150 different competitions and the offerings this year promise to be just as wide and diverse.  Admission is free, so be sure to stop by.

On Saturday the Raleigh-Durham Caged Bird Society will host its 23rd Annual Pet Bird Fair and Shows .  The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Kerr Scott Building and will include a large selection of vendors, a display area featuring birds from around the world and three shows—two for cockatiels and one for African lovebirds.

As always, don’t get forget to stop by the weekly Raleigh Flea Market.  Hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and the market has one of the state’s largest selections of antiques, jewelry, and furniture.

Border collies show off their herding skills at the Got to Be NC AgFest

May 22, 2011 By: Merrie Go Round Category: Got to Be NC Festival

The three black and white border collies that were part of the sheepherding demonstration at the Got to Be NC AgFest didn’t act nervous at all even though this was the first year for their event.

As soon as they spied the sheep standing off to the side, they had a singular focus. In fact, even when the sheep were corraled at the end of the demonstration they were never far from the minds of the herding dogs. The dogs periodically ran over to the corral just to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be.

The sheepherding demonstration shows how trained working dogs can help farmers tend to a herd — whether it is sheep, cattle, goats or pigs.

It was fascinating watching a dog move a group of sheep in an orderly fashion with a series of whistle commands.  Even when one sheep decided to make a break for it, the dog would quickly bring it back into the fold — something that would be much more time consuming for a human to accomplish.

This sheep made the wrong choice, choosing to bolt from the flock. The border collie quickly chased down the sheep and steered it back to the group.

If you have never seen a sheepherding demonstration, there is still time this afternoon with a free 4 p.m. show in the Sam Rand Grandstand. Come on out and see these working dogs in action.

Wake up with the Deep Fried Crew: Festival edition

May 21, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: Got to Be NC Festival

Flying Bob and Firecracker give a rundown of the remaining activities at the Got to Be NC Festival this weekend at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Saturday’s activities includes the Masonic Carolina Pig Jig, a bluegrass band competition, the Carolina Rollergirls Roller Derby, Harley-Davidson motorcycle ride-in and tractor pull.

Sunday, be sure to come out for the FIRST robotics competition and border collie sheepherding demonstrations. You also can enjoy the best of N.C. agriculture in the food and wine expo, participate in a workshop at Carolina FiberFest, interact with animals in the Agri-Plaza and ride carnival rides all weekend.

To find more information and plan your visit, go to

Day one in photos

May 20, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: Got to Be NC Festival, Uncategorized

The first day of the 2011 Got to Be NC Festival has been a lot of fun. Here are some photos from today’s activities. There is still plenty to eat, see and do tonight at the festival, and gates will be open until midnight. Gate admission, parking and grandstand events are free, so don’t forget to come out Saturday and Sunday for even more fun. You can download a complete schedule of activities at, and keep up with festival updates on Facebook, Twitter or the Got to Be NC Festival blog.

Sun shines on Got to Be NC Festival

May 20, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: Got to Be NC Festival

Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler kicked off the 2011 Got to Be NC Festival by leading the first of three antique tractor parades this morning at the Fairgrounds. A few morning showers have turned into a warm and sunny afternoon. In addition to the large selection of antique farm equipment on display, festival-goers have enjoyed the Carolina FiberFest, Food and Wine Expo and the Raleigh Flea Market.

The Sam Rand Grandstand will be full of free activities tonight beginning with the children’s stick horse races at 5 p.m., followed by a performance by Rocky the Trick Mule, plow-horse demonstrations, draft horse pull and Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show.

There’s also plenty of food to try on the fairgrounds, so bring the entire family out for supper. The Amran Shrine will be offering plates of fresh N.C. seafood all weekend, you can get Fair favorites such as gyros and corn dogs, and also try fried butter. For dessert, there’s plenty of sweet treats, including ice cream, cotton candy and deep-fried Oreos.

The fairgrounds will be open until midnight tonight, so come out after work and enjoy the best of North Carolina. You can plan your trip and find more information about the festival at

Got to Be NC Festival and much more

May 18, 2011 By: Blue Ribbon Category: Got to Be NC Festival, N.C. State Fairgrounds

We’re getting ready for a jam-packed weekend full of family fun, and wanted to fill you in on all the activities available at the State Fairgrounds beginning Thursday.

Got to Be NC Festival and much more this weekend at the State Fairgrounds

The 6th annual Masonic Carolina Pig Jig BBQ Cook-off will take place Saturday. Samples will be available at 11 a.m.

The Got to Be NC Festival will take over most of the Fairgrounds with carnival rides and antique tractors on display in the Midway area, vendors and a community stage in the Jim Graham Building and the Food & Wine Expo in the Expo Center. Between the Graham and Expo buildings you’ll find the new Agri-Plaza featuring a Kidz Corral play area and animals on display. In Dorton Triangle, you’ll find dozens of food vendors and the Longbranch Triangle Stage featuring a variety of free concerts Friday through Sunday.

As big as the Festival is, it’s not the only event happening. Here’s a list of other events, making the Fairgrounds the place to be for the whole family this weekend.

  • The Raleigh Summer Boat Show & Sale in the Kerr Scott Building will offer free admission and a variety of boats on display. Thursday and Friday, noon to 6 p.m, Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Raleigh Flea Market will open a day early, operating Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Carolina FiberFest has expanded and will take over much of the Graham Building, along with other Festival vendors. FiberFest features spinning, crocheting and other “sheep-to-shawl” demonstrations, vendors and sales. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
  • The Hunt Horse Complex will host the Wake County 4-H Horse Show on Saturday, and the District 4-H Horse Show on Sunday. Admission is free.
  • In Dorton Arena, the Carolina Rollergirls will have their “Got to Be NC” Derby Expo on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Get a wrist band for $5 to watch all five games, or come and go as you please. Children age 5 and younger are free.
  • High school teams from across North Carolina will compete in the NC FIRST Robotics competition on Sunday in Dorton Arena from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Parking and gate admission into the Fairgrounds are free. Check out the Got to Be NC Festival website for the daily schedule of events, and keep up with Festival news on the blog.

We hope to see you this weekend!

We’re just 5 months away

May 13, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: 2011 N.C. State Fair, N.C. State Fairgrounds

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven months since the start of the 2010 N.C. State Fair. It seems like it was just yesterday we were trying our first Krispy Kreme Burger, going for a ride on the Fighter, and passing a new milestone with more than 1 million of our closest friends. We’re gearing up for the 2011 N.C. State Fair, Oct. 13-23, and can’t wait to share more about the food, rides and entertainment that make this one of the best events in the state.

This weekend at the Fairgrounds, check out the following events:

If you need a more immediate fair fix, check out the Got to Be NC Festival, May 20-22, at the State Fairgrounds. The festival features more than 1,000 pieces of antique farm equipment, a food and wine expo, fiber fest, barbecue cook-off, fish fry, classic car show, live music, grandstand events, carnival rides and more. Gate admission, parking and grandstand events are free. The Deep Fried Crew will be there covering all the events, so check back here or visit the Got to Be NC Festival blog for updates.

With just five months remaining, we want to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to about the 2011 State Fair?

Weekend update: May 6-8

May 06, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: N.C. State Fairgrounds

The Hunt Horse Complex is the busiest equine facility in North Carolina and Virginia

If you’ve never been to a horse show at the Hunt Horse Complex, you will have two opportunities this weekend to enjoy the busiest equine facility in North Carolina and Virginia. The Tar Heel Plantation Classic will feature plantation pleasure walking horses competing in meets Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you want to see a variety of breeds, come to the Carolina Mane Event Saturday or Sunday. Shows will be held for open, dressage and hunter jumper from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission for both events is free for spectators.

For those looking for something else to do, try the Raleigh Flea Market. You never know what you’ll find, and you may be able to pick up a last-minute Mother’s Day gift while you’re there.

Saturday, the Scott Building will host the N.C. Persian Festival, sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina. Come out and enjoy Persian food, traditional dances, arts and entertainment. The festival is being held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Fairgrounds also has the pleasure of being a part of two graduation ceremonies this weekend. Saturday, Shaw University’s graduating class of 2011 will take the stage at Dorton Arena for commencement exercises. And Sunday, Dorton Arena will serve as the backup site for Meredith College’s graduation ceremonies. We know this is a special time of year for all of the graduating seniors in the area, and we’re glad the Fairgrounds gets to be a part of your special day. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Did you graduate in Dorton Arena? We’d love to hear from you. Share your graduation photos with us on Flickr, post to our Facebook wall, or send us a pic on Twitter. We’ll post graduation photos next week on this blog.

County Fair time!

May 04, 2011 By: Blue Ribbon Category: Uncategorized

I took a trip to the Harnett Regional Agricultural Fair yesterday, and I am now officially excited for the 2011 Fair season! This is just the second year for the Harnett Fair located in Lillington, and it offers everything from pig races and blacksmith demonstrations to carnival rides and a demolition derby. There’s also live music and the “Harnett’s Got Talent” event on stage.

Yesterday was Youth and Senior Day, and area schools let students out early so they could come to the Fair. There were many people enjoying the Tiny Tot cheerleading competitions, junior beef livestock show, and the blue-ribbon entries and exhibits on display.

This is the first fair of the season and the only one until August, so if you’re craving a funnel cake or some ice cream made the old-fashioned way with a hit-and-miss engine, check out the Harnett Regional Agricultural Fair, running now through Saturday, May 7.

To see when and where the next county agricultural fair will be taking place near you, visit the Got to Be NC Agricultural Fairs website.

What North Carolina county fair are you looking forward to this year?

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