A fast and fun first week

June 05, 2014 By: Fried Oreo Category: 2014 N.C. State Fair, Uncategorized

I can’t believe how quickly my first week as an intern with the State Fair has flown by! The next nine weeks will probably move just as fast, and I already know that I’m going to miss this place when the summer comes to a close.

I came into this internship with a love for the fair, but without a whole lot of knowledge about its planning process or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Before now, the only exposure I’ve really had to the department was just from going to the State Fair and the Got to Be NC Festival. Since I moved to North Carolina in 2005, my family has made going to the fair every year a tradition. I’m lucky enough to go several times each year: once with my parents, and a few times with my friends. I love going to the fair with different people because we all have our own fair-activity habits that we do together, like my dad and I riding the Tilt-A-Whirl every year and squeezing into a Ferris wheel gondola with my best friends. But also through those different people, and their own favorite parts of the fair, I discover something new every time. I’d never tried the apple cider slushies or frozen bananas until my friends suggested them, and now they’re both fair food favorites of mine.

Selfie with the sock monkey I won from a midway game. I was very excited!

Some friends and I after a fun night of fair festivities

Although I love trying new things, there are certain things I have to do every year at the fair, like eat fried Oreos, ride some rides (OK, maybe not in that order…), meander my way through the booths and snatch up as many freebies as possible, check out all the farm animals and prize-winning produce, and visit The Village of Yesteryear. My love for The Village of Yesteryear was only strengthened last year when one of the vendors was selling corn-husk dolls of “Wizard of Oz” characters. “The Wizard of Oz” is my favorite movie of all time, so of course I had to buy the Dorothy doll! I also love the pig races, the stunt show, the fireworks … all of it! And I’m so excited to be a part of it all this year.

Here I am eating my favorite fair food, fried Oreos!

The Deep Fried team is catching me up quickly and I’m already learning so much about the State Fair, the department and what it’s like to work in public affairs. I can’t wait to see how much I’ll have learned by the end of these 10 weeks.

During the past week, I’ve started a high school advertising campaign, written two blog posts, visited the Raleigh Farmers Market for the first time and even cheered on N.C. legislators competing in a milk-chugging competition outside the N.C. General Assembly. You can read the blog post I wrote about the event and view photos of it here.

Working with the Deep Fried Crew and getting a behind-the-scenes look at all that goes into my favorite October event is making me so excited for this year’s fair! I hope the Deep Fried blog is making y’all excited, too. Keep checking this blog for more updates on The October Original, the N.C. State Fair, and the next 134 days will go by in no time!

Intern check-in

July 17, 2013 By: Jane Deere Category: Uncategorized

With the help of the Deep Fried crew, I’ve already checked several things off of my Internship To-Do List. In case you’re wondering if all I ever do is write Weekend Updates, I’m glad to tell you no; there are many other things I’ve worked on this summer.

  1. Blog: One of my responsibilities has been writing posts for this blog. Many of the Weekend Updates have my name signed to them, but I’m also working on a series of posts about contests and concerts at the 2013 State Fair.
  2. News Releases: A lot of the announcements that have been made surrounding the fair came from press releases that were written by me. Hopefully, you have heard the most recent news surrounding the announcement of the Florida Georgia Line concert Oct. 20 at the State Fair, which was a release I helped prepare.
  3. High School Advertising: This is an ongoing project that involves coordinating State Fair advertisements in high school booster club programs and newspapers. The campaign is important because we want to make sure students know about the event and fair dates.
  4. Social Media: Just recently, I have had the chance to brainstorm social media activities to promote the fair. Be on the look out for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube campaigns!

My position is filled and managed by the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office, which offers internships across the state in many different departments. In order to give us a balanced experience, the internship program offers enrichment activities across the state. Just yesterday I was at the Governor’s Mansion for an intern reception, complete with the most delicious cookies. I’ve also been able to tour the J. Iverson Riddle Development Center and Broughton Hospital in Morganton, the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, the Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the N.C. Supreme Court. Each tour was led by a student intern working in that department or place.

I’m so thankful for the experience I’ve gained from working with the Deep Fried Crew; none of these things I’ve done would be possible without their encouragement and guidance. Reminiscing about the first half of this journey makes me even more thankful that this internship is not over yet. Until they kick me out, I’ll gladly continue reporting as the Deep Fried Protege.

A new Deep Fried face

June 04, 2013 By: Jane Deere Category: 2013 N.C. State Fair, Uncategorized

The past two weeks since I went from being just a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to an intern with the State Fair have felt less like days and more like minutes. Life with this Deep Fried Crew is a whirlwind, and I still can’t believe I get to be part of it.

Last summer, while Honey Bee was in my seat, I was serving food on a beach boardwalk in California. Sounds crazy, right? It was an adventure to say the least, but it was the adventure that catapulted my love for the fair. While in California, I got a brief glimpse of daily life in the midst of crazy rides, fried desserts and energetic people; I felt like I lived on the State Fair midway.

When October rolled around in North Carolina, I was reunited with all the sights, smells and sounds that I fell in love with over the summer.  Standing in line to ride the Fireball and thinking about the fried Snickers I would eat after (key for a successful State Fair experience: ride THEN eat), I truly thought life couldn’t get better.

And yet, it did! Just a few weeks later, I heard about the internship opportunities through the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office, one of which would allow me to get paid to make people excited about the fair. Now, after a few phone calls, interviews and months have passed, I’ve made it to the dream seat.

My love for the fair has steadily grown over the years, and I’m confident that this summer will skyrocket my State Fair enthusiasm. I’ll be more involved and even more excited than ever, which is perfect, because I want you to be, too. I’ll be working hard with the rest of our crew to keep you updated about what’s happening at the fair this October and things at the fairgrounds until then.

And although it may seem like a long time coming before the fair is actually here, don’t fret. The Deep Fried Crew is by no means waiting idly for Oct. 17, beckoning their intern to fetch coffee. In the two and a half weeks that I’ve been here, they have kept me busy with finalizing advertising for the fall, planning fun social media contests and organizing promotional efforts. Fair season has officially begun in our office, and as fast as the past weeks have gone, I’m sure that things are getting ready to really take off.

Yes, the N.C. State Fair is still an agonizing four months away, but stick around here and I guarantee you’ll feel like you’re part of it the whole year ‘round.

Merry Christmas from the Deep Fried Crew!

December 25, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

 

Happy Holidays from the Deep Fried Crew!

Thanks for celebrating 15 Days of Deep Fried Christmas with us. We hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at some of our fair favorites from the past four years. On behalf of the N.C. State Fair Press Office, we’d like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

See you in 2013!

 

Day 11: Joe’s Big Dogs

December 20, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

11. New food: Joe’s Big Dogs (2010)

There are hot dogs, and then there’s Joe’s Big Dogs. The silver diner car located between the Jim Graham Building and Dorton Arena has been a surprising sight for many people walking into the Fair from Gate 2. That’s because Joe Bushfan, owner of Joe’s Big Dogs, is selling some really big hot dogs.  You can get Joe’s all-beef hot dog in three sizes: quarter pound, half pound and yes, even a 1-pound hot dog.

Blue Ribbon, Firecracker and I decided it was best to tackle the massive 1-pound hot dog together. We spent some time talking to Joe about his new Fair food and sampling the 1-pounder with mustard, ketchup, onions and chili. Here’s our review:

Note: If video doesn’t appear, try refreshing browser.

The one pound hot dog is just $12, includes all the toppings you could want and is a full meal for a family to share. You can find Joe’s Big Dogs and other food vendors at the Fair using our food finder or by downloading the new N.C. State Fair app to your iPhone or Android devices.

Day 10: Kimmy’s Cupcakes

December 19, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

10: Food review: Kimmy’s Cupcakes (2011)

While the fair may be famous for its deep-fried creations, the baked treats at Kimmy’s Cupcakes in Kiddieland are a must-have for any fairgoer with even the smallest sweet tooth. Based out of Minnesota, Kimmy’s Cupcakes has been a hit at fairs around the country and is making its debut this year at the N.C. State Fair. To see what all the buzz was about, Baby Goat and I tried a couple of cupcakes and wrote a review. Check out the video below to see what we thought.

The best thing about Kimmy’s Cupcakes is how fresh they taste. Each and every cupcake is baked fresh daily, and each is decorated with icing made in-house. The Kimmy’s Cupcakes stand at this year’s fair is located in Kiddieland near gate 11 and the Cultivate a Career tent.

You can find out about all the fair has to offer using the Food & Fun Finder on our website or by downloading the 2011 N.C. State Fair app for your smartphone.

Day 9: French Fry’s Food Finds

December 18, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

9: French Fry’s Food Finds (2011)

Each year, French Fry creates a list of foods to eat during the fair. We’ll check with her every few days and give you an update on the list. Any of these items make it to your favorites list?

Day 6: Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples

December 15, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

6. Sampling Miss Debbie’s specialty apples (2009)

Miss Debbie from Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples was nice enough to let us sample some of her newest creations, the Pig Candy Apple, the Honkin’ Hog Apple and the Caramel Pecan Pie. You can taste these apples for yourself in the Commercial Building near Gate 11.

Here’s the details on the apples we sample in the video below:

  • Pig Candy Apple: Granny Smith Apple covered in caramel and dipped in white chocolate and covered in bacon and topped off with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Honkin’ Hog Apple: Same as the Pig Candy Apple, but with dark cholocate instead of white. (And yes, those ARE miniature plastic pigs on top of the Honkin’ Hog and Pig Candy apples. And no, you can’t eat them.)
  • Caramel Pecan Pie: Granny Smith apple covered in caramel then rolled in fresh pecans and then it is dipped in our homemade praline fudge.

Note: If video doesn’t load, try refreshing your browser.

Day 5: Deep Fried Chips Ahoy and Deep Fried Honey Buns

December 14, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

5. Deep-fried heaven on a stick (2010)

Heaven is a deep-fried honey bun, or at least that’s my opinion. The press office, along with members of the media and our new Deep Fried Ambassador, sampled new Fair foods during Monday’s pre-Fair media lunch. There were deep-fried Chips Ahoy cookies, deep-fried Honey Buns and Kool-Aid Pickles.

First, Sweet Corn and Firecracker sampled the deep-fried Chips Ahoy cookies, which are similar to deep-fried Oreos in that they are a fried ball of chocolate and cookie. Yum! Flying Bob and I joined in to tackle the deep-fried honey bun, which is about as close to deep-fried heaven as you get. Personally, I think it’s even better than last year’s deep-fried HoHos.

Note: If video doesn’t play, try refreshing browser.

The Kool-Aid pickles hadn’t cured long enough to try, but Ashlee, the Deep Fried Ambassador, was able to convince the food vendor to make a whole new creation – a deep-fried Kool-Aid pickle. Here’s her review of a potential 2011 N.C. State Fair treat.

Note: If video doesn’t play, try refreshing browser.

Day 4: Sinful Fair Foods

December 13, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: Uncategorized

Over the past four years, we’ve had the chance to sample some of the latest, greatest and strangest fair food to come to the N.C. State Fair. In the spirit of year-end lists, we thought we would look back at 15 of our favorite food-related posts from the past four years. Each day between now and Christmas, we’ll post a different food review from our archives.

4. Twitter roundup: Seven sinful State Fair foods (2011)

Food has long had a central role in shaping the way people experience the N.C. State Fair. Premiums have been awarded for the production of top notch agricultural products since the first fair in 1853, and the first booths selling food appeared on the midway around 1900. At that time, many booths sold food to raise money for churches and civic organizations, and that is still true today. What’s more, in  a survey conducted a few years back, 70 percent of fairgoers chose food as one of the reasons they attended the N.C. State Fair.

We wanted to highlight the importance of food at the fair through a string of tweets (#7fairfoods). The tweets–which were posted throughout week–outlined the seven most sinful N.C. State Fair foods that we could think of.  We wanted to bring them to you one more time in case you’re not on Twitter, you missed our tweets or you just really love fair food.

Why eat a regular greasy hamburger covered in bacon and sopped in condiments when you could take it to the next level with the Krispy Kreme burger? Toss that whole-wheat bun aside and aim instead for two mouthwatering Krispy Kreme donuts.
Nothing embodies deep fried goodness quite like funnel cakes. Though you may be tempted to forgo the powdered-sugar topping because you’re watching your waistline, go for it! The Fair only comes once each year.
Some consider mashed potatoes a great part of healthy and balanced meals. Leave it up to the fair to change all that. These delightfully delectable mashed potato bites take the food to the next level by adding bacon and cheese, then deep frying them.
Gummy bears may be good, but this is the fair, and giant gummy bears (and giant gummy worms) are much, much better! On first glance, you might think one of these bears is too much for you, but no one said you couldn’t take a piece a home.
Just when you thought Twinkies couldn’t be worse for you, we’ve brought you the Twinkie log.  The log transforms a regular Twinkie into a frozen masterpiece covered in chocolate and rolled in a topping of your choice. Photo credit: Tasting Toronto.
Chili is considered by some to be part of a healthy diet, but not at the Fair! Originating at the State Fair of Texas, a Texas Fried Frito Pie consists of all the great ingredients one would find in normal chili rolled up into a ball and deep fried. You know you want to try it.
You can have a candy bar any day of the year, but you can only have a deep fried candy bar 11 days each year at the State Fair. Whether you prefer Milky Way, Snickers or Three Musketeers we have a fix for your sweet tooth. Photo credit: alloveralbany.com.

Tweet your favorite State Fair treats @NCStateFair and don’t forget to add #7fairfoods. Also, don’t forget that advance tickets will be available online at ncstatefair.org on August 1 at 10 a.m.

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