There’s a frenzy at the Fair

October 13, 2010 By: Bearded Lady Category: 2010 N.C. State Fair

Grace Christian School's entry, "Hamina Biscuit," won Best Overall in the Farm Animal Frenzy contest.

Maybe it’s the funny names like “Hamina Biscuit” or “Pepto the Flying Pig,” or maybe it’s how high school students are able to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art using recycled materials. Either way, Farm Animal Frenzy is one of my favorite parts of the Fair.

In the contest, schools had a month to transform a recycled pickle barrel into a common barnyard animal. In addition to the pickle-barrel base, each animal had to be created with 80 percent recycled material. An assortment of  seventeen cows, chickens, turkeys, goats, horses, pigs and sheep rolled into Dorton Arena for judging, and the winners were selected Monday:

  • Best Overall: “Hamina Biscuit” – Grace Christian School, Raleigh
  • Execeptionally Green: “Gruff” – Garner High School, Garner
  • Exceptionally Creative: “Pepto the Flying Pig” – Millbrook High School, Raleigh

While these were the top three winners, you have a chance to select your favorite animal in the “People’s Choice Award.” You can vote for your pick  at the Farm Animal Frenzy website, or submit a text vote while at the N.C. State Fair. Information about the text contest can be found on the signage at each animal, and you can download a map of the animal locations here.

Join us for the frenzy when the gates open Thursday at 3 p.m.

Animals from Farm Animal Frenzy have new homes

January 20, 2010 By: Flying Bob Category: Uncategorized

Five fiberglass animals that competed in the N.C. State Fair’s Farm Animal Frenzy have new homes. All five pieces were sold to North Carolina buyers in an auction that ended yesterday. The items add a total of $1,521.58 to state coffers.

“We had quite a bit of bidding for these pieces so it was fun to finally get to open the bids and see who bought them,” said State Surplus Property Officer Robert Riddle. “We hope everyone enjoys them … .”

Riddle said the three 6½-foot-tall chickens and a life-size cow and horse each averaged about 50 bids, ranging from mere chicken feed to $352.58, along with high foot traffic and a marked increase in calls.

Bill Ellis, director of the Kinston Parks and Recreation Department, knew a good deal when he saw one. He snagged a chicken and the horse for $300 each, but was outbid for the cow. “We’re going to have fun with them,” Ellis said. “We’re going to use them at our Neuseway Nature Park. We’ve got a miniature train and we’re going to put them along the track for young kids to enjoy.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Wayne County Livestock Development Association Inc. bought a chicken for $259. The other items were sold to citizens in Raleigh, including $310 for a rooster and $352.58 for the cow.

“I just found out and I’m still kind of stunned,” said an amused Julie Woolsey, who bought the rooster. “For the short term, he will go in the yard, but I have plans to fix him up with some friends as an art project.”

Hat tip to Jill Lucas at the N.C. Department of Administration

See related post: Five Farm Animal Frenzy animals are up for auction

Five 2008 Farm Animal Frenzy animals are up for auction

January 06, 2010 By: Flying Bob Category: Uncategorized

If you’ve ever had a hankering to own one of the fiberglass animals that competed in the 2008 Farm Animal Frenzy contest at the N.C. State Fair, now’s your chance. The State Surplus Property Agency is accepting online bids for five animals (a cow, horse and three chickens) until Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. (You don’t have to bid on all five.) You can register to bid here.

The animals were decorated by high school art students as part of the Fair’s annual Farm Animal Frenzy art contest. They were on display at the 2008 State Fair, and though in need of a little sprucing up, they would make a great addition to a restaurant or rec room, says Robert Riddle, state surplus property officer.

The objects for auction are on display during business hours at the Surplus Property Warehouse, 6501 Chapel Hill Road (Hwy. 54 West) in Raleigh. To see pictures and view the bids online, visit, and then select 1/19/2010 for the “open date.” For more information about the auction, check out the Department of Administration’s news release.

To refresh your memory about the 2008 Farm Animal Frenzy, check out this previous Deep Fried post.

Note: Bid closing date has been corrected.

Fuquay-Varina High School wins People’s Choice Award in Farm Animal Frenzy contest

October 23, 2009 By: Flying Bob Category: 2009 N.C. State Fair

Fuquay-Varina High School's 'Sleepy Sheepy'

Fuquay-Varina High School's 'Sleepy Sheepy'

Fuquay-Varina High School’s “Sleepy Sheepy” won the People’s Choice Award in the 2009 Farm Animal Frenzy competition at the N.C. State Fair. “Sleepy Sheepy” received 505 votes in online polling, outdistancing Durham School of the Arts’ “Raul the Rooster,” which placed second with 426 votes.

Fuquay-Varina’s entry had garnered an honorable mention in the judges’ competition, but proved to be the most popular with the public. As the PCA winner, the high school gets bragging rights for the next year.

Below is the high school’s description of its winning entry.

Sleepy Sheepy has just finished eating jam from his JAM PACKED WITH FUN jar and has fallen asleep. He is dreaming of all the wonderful things at the fair. He is COUNTING all the great fair food and dreaming of everything that will make him A WHOLE LOTTA HAPPY! Sleepy Sheepy is definitely A WHOLE LOTTA GREEN with a body made of 5 gallon buckets, a head made of a soccer ball and sand bucket, legs made from plastic bottles and fur made from bottle caps. He can’t wait to wake up and enjoy A WHOLE LOTTA HAPPY at the N.C. State Fair!

You can view all the animals at

And the Farm Animal Frenzy winner is…

October 13, 2009 By: Blue Ribbon Category: 2009 N.C. State Fair

… “Franny La Poulet” from Durham’s Cresset Christian Academy!

Franny is a five-foot-tall chicken covered with interwoven plastic shopping bags to create the look and color of feathers. Her eyes are old slide projectors bulbs, and her beak and feet are covered with paper mache newspaper. Franny is sporting a bow, glittery eyelashes made from plastic spoons and toenails made from plastic caps. At night, this “green” farm animal creation will glow from the three solar lights placed inside. She was created by the school’s AP art class.

As part of the first-place honors, Cresset Christian Academy art students will receive $1,000 for their school.

Wakefield High School won second place and $750 for its unnamed sheep made of wood, five-gallon paint buckets, and fur made of electrical chords, clothes lines and various other wires. The face is made of telephones, hair curlers, light bulbs, computer mice and other materials.

Panther Creek High School’s “Moona Lisa” was awarded third place and $500. The cow was made of plastic milk containers.

Take a look at this video to see highlights from this year’s incredibly creative creations.

The judges were amazed with the different types of recycled materials used, and had a hard time deciding on the winner. Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School and Fuquay-Varina High School both took home honorable mentions for their sheep creations. Southeast Raleigh created “Kelsey’s Sweater,” which was made of wood and recycled yarn. Fuquay-Varina’s “Sleepy Sheepy” was made of five-gallon buckets, a soccer ball, sand bucket, plastic buckets and plastic bottle caps.

The animals will be on display throughout the Fair at various locations on the fairgrounds.

There will also be a People’s Choice online voting contest from opening day through Thursday, Oct. 22. Go to to vote for your favorite animal.

Congratulations to everyone!

Deep Fried Ambassador debut

October 12, 2009 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2009 N.C. State Fair

swellblog3 Our first Deep Fried Ambassador, Suzanne from the Pretty*Swell blog, will kick off her official duties this afternoon when she live-blogs and tweets from our pre-Fair media lunch. Follow @swell_mama on Twitter to see her thoughts on some of the brand new deep-fried foods, entertainers, Farm Animal Frenzy contestants and more.

We’ll also be unveiling another new Fair food that will debut at the media lunch, just like last year’s deep-fried pecan pie and deep-fried mac’n'cheese. Stay tuned!

High School Art Classes + Farm Animals = “A Whole Lotta Green”

September 08, 2009 By: Blue Ribbon Category: 2009 N.C. State Fair

Click to see some photos from the 2008 Farm Animla Frenzy Competition

Click to see some photos from the 2008 Farm Animal Frenzy Competition

For a couple of years, we’ve had a crazy competition for high school art classes called the Farm Animal Frenzy. In the past, each school was given a large, fiberglass farm animal to decorate, and compete to see which farm animal best fits the current State Fair theme.

Over time, we inherited a large collection of eclectic farm animals because some schools couldn’t take back their creation after the Fair for one reason or another. Being the resourceful people that we are, we have found other interesting ways to use these animals, such as in certain videos, but quickly realized that we would have a fiberglass herd before long.

So, this year, we decided to add a new twist to the competition — Farm Animal Frenzy is going green! Instead of a pre-made animal, each participating school receives a wooden saw horse to use as a frame to design and paint or decorate an “environmentally conscious” farm animal around this year’s theme, “A Whole Lotta Happy.” Farm animals have to be built using a minimum of 80% recycled or recyclable materials such as old toys, used car parts, newspapers, cans, bottles, fabric, CDs, etc. The other 20% can come from natural materials like rocks, sticks and leaves, and construction materials like nails, glue and tape are acceptable. (more…)

Frenzy of a good time

October 11, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

One thing I love about the Farm Animal Frenzy competition is the reaction from the crowd. Whether we are at the mall or at the fairgrounds, people are drawn to these animals.

All of the farm animals (19 total) were dropped off at the fairgrounds yesterday and getting them put in their proper places was number one on the list of things to do today. This is a time-consuming task that takes four or five people about four hours to complete.

Before we got started, all the animals were set in one place and there was a steady stream of people stopping by to check them out, take their photos with the animals, and generally give their opinions on the artistic and creative merit of each animal. (It probably didn’t hurt that they were all staged right outside of the area where people were dropping off entries for the Art and Photography competition). When we started moving the animals, it was quite a sight, and we caught lots of smiles from people as we drove through the fairgrounds. I laughed that we were like a parade float, so decided that this would be a great chance to debut our new gadget, a Flip Mino.

So, here’s a short video of one of our many parade floats today. The commentary and shaky camera are courtesy of me. Hopefully I’ll get a better grasp of video taking soon. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite farm animal. The winning school will get a gift certificate from Jerry’s Artarama. We’ll announce the winners on Monday afternoon, so stayed tuned! And a special thanks to Saturn of Cary, Saturn of Chapel Hill-Durham and Saturn of Raleigh for being this year’s sponsor!

Take Time for the Frenzy

September 22, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: Uncategorized

“Sancta Bos” by Cresset Christian Academy in Durham

Take a stroll around Triangle Town Center and you’ll run into some strange looking characters. “Miss Moo,” “Dali,” “Javier,” and “Merlin” are just a few of the cows, chickens and horses that have overtaken the mall as part of the N.C. State Fair Farm Animal Frenzy.

“Playin’ Hooky” by Garner Magnet High School

I was there Saturday morning with the judges to make sure everything was in place and had the chance to get a good look at all the animals. Last year’s entries into the first-ever Farm Animal Frenzy were going to be hard to top, but I think they did even better this year. I spent a good two hours at the mall just walking around all the animals. I promise every time I looked, I saw a new detail, to the point that I was sure I saw it all. But, sure enough, when I downloaded the pictures this morning, I kept catching new details that I didn’t see on Saturday.

“Corney Carney Carl” by Wakefield High School

The high schoolers did a great job coming up with artistic and fun ideas to promote the 2008 N.C. State Fair theme, “Take Time for A Great Time.” I think the most amazing part is that animals are delivered right before school starts, so this is the first project a class or club has to work on. They get the animal for less than a month before we pick them up for the public viewing period. The class has to brainstorm ideas and come to a consensus before even starting on a project.

Riverside High School chicken

So, when you get a chance, stop on by Triangle Town Center to see all the animals and then go online to vote for your favorite school. Don’t worry, if you can’t make it to the mall, they’ll all be at the N.C. State Fair, so you can check them out there!

Plan on joining us at Triangle Town Center on Oct. 2, from 4-6 p.m. for a Farm Animal Frenzy / Advance Sales kickoff!

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