The August Early Bird gets the deal

July 31, 2013 By: Funhouse Category: 2013 N.C. State Fair

State Fair tickets go on sale tomorrow and for those of you who buy early, you’ll have the best chance for good seats to a concert and get the added bonus of scoring free tickets to the fair.

The August Early Bird Special runs only for the month of August and it allows ticket buyers to earn up to three free adult admission tickets based on the total purchase amount in a single order before convenience fees. Planning to spend between $60 and $120? You earn one free ticket. Purchases between $120.01 and $220 earn two free tickets, and purchases of more than $220 earn three free tickets.

Let’s do the math for those of you planning on buying tickets to see Scotty McCreery on Oct. 21 or Oct. 22. If you plan on making it a date night, order two concert tickets at $25 apiece, a ride sheet for $10 (because every date night should include a ride on the Ferris wheel) plus one admission ticket at $7 for a total of $67 before convenience fees. The Early Bird Special means you get your other admission ticket free.

Another way to take advantage of this special is by bringing a group. For example, taking a group of 20 teenagers from your church’s youth group to the fair? Your order would earn you two free admission tickets to give to your chaperones.

Online admission, ride, grandstand and Dorton Arena concert tickets apply toward purchase total, and orders must be completed before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31.  More information about advance ticket sales can be found at the fair’s Web page.

Advance tickets go on sale Aug. 1

July 31, 2012 By: Bearded Lady Category: 2012 N.C. State Fair

The wait is almost over. Advance tickets for the 2012 N.C. State Fair go on sale Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. Buying early is the best way to save if you want to stretch your dollar as far as you can on admission, concerts, grandstand events, rides and more. And, if you’re looking for a front-row seat to one of the Dorton Arena concerts, you’re definitely going to want to be in front of a computer when tickets go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m.

We want your ticket-buying experience to be as smooth as possible, so here are some tips to have a stress-free experience:

  • BE PATIENT! Things may run a little slow, but your order won’t time-out.
  • You’ll see  “Buy Now” buttons when it’s time to go on sale. Note: It doesn’t matter what time it is on your computer. The tickets go on sale when the Etix server says it is 10 a.m., so it may be a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later than 10, based on your computer clock. But keep in mind that if you refresh too often, your computer may cache the page and not actually refresh. Check your browser settings to clear the cache if you don’t see the “Buy Now” buttons.
  • You’ll want to choose your concert tickets FIRST. Then go back and buy your admission and ride books.  (Admission is NOT included in the price of concert tickets.) And don’t forget about the Early Bird Special: if you buy at least $40 in purchases before convenience fees, you’ll earn a free admission ticket. (More information on the Early Bird Special program here.)
  • If you are purchasing tickets for the Varsity Vocal Showcase, remember to identify which school you want to support with your ticket purchase. Select “DUKE” at checkout if you are buying a ticket to support Rhythm & Blue. Select “NCSU” if you want to support Grains of Time or Ladies in Red. Select “UNC” if you want to support The UNC Loreleis or UNC Clef Hangers.
  • If you aren’t happy with the seat selection, you can try to check back a little later as better seats MAY be released. This is because a seat selection is held for at least 5 minutes. If a purchase isn’t completed, or if a credit card transaction is not approved, those seats will be re-released into the general pool of tickets available for purchase. WARNING: You are not guaranteed better seats if you wait because it depends on whether or not people go through with their transactions or not, so try this tactic at your own risk!
  • Have your credit card ready- we can only accept MasterCard and Visa. Don’t type spaces or dashes as part of your credit card number. Also, you’ll need to know your credit card’s security code, so go ahead and identify that ahead of time.
  • There is no limit on the number of concert tickets you can purchase, except for the Scott McCreery concert. You will only be able to purchase six tickets for the Scotty show. If you are buying more than 99 concert tickets for any other show, please contact us directly.
  • Lastly, everything is processed through our great ticket partner, Etix. So if you have problems, they are going to need to help you out. Here’s a link to their support page.

Advance tickets available Monday at 10 a.m.

July 28, 2011 By: Bearded Lady Category: 2011 N.C. State Fair

As a first-time homeowner (and subsequently, first-time mortgage payer), I like to save a buck wherever I can. Trust me when I say the best way to save money on admission and ride tickets to the State Fair is buying your tickets early. And, if you’re looking for a front-row seat to one of the Dorton Arena concerts, you’re definitely going to want to be in front of a computer when tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. Tickets to grandstand events will also be available on Monday.

We want your ticket-buying experience to be as smooth as possible, so here are some tips to have a stress-free experience:

  • BE PATIENT! Things may run a little slow, but your order won’t time-out.
  • While you’re waiting, check our Twitter and Facebook pages Monday morning for a special promo code to save an additional $2 at check out. The promo code is good Monday only.
  • You’ll see  buttons when it’s time to go on sale. Note: It doesn’t matter what time it is on your computer. The tickets go on sale when the Etix server says it is 10 a.m., so it may be a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later than 10, based on your computer clock. But keep in mind that if you refresh too often, your computer may cache the page and not actually refresh. Check your browser settings to clear the cache if you still don’t see the “Buy Now” buttons.
  • You’ll want to choose your concert tickets FIRST. Then go back and buy your admission and ride books.  (Admission is NOT included in the price of the concert tickets.) And don’t forget about the Early Bird Special: if you buy at least $40 in purchases before convenience fees, you’ll earn a free admission ticket. (More information on the Early Bird Special program here.)
  • Have your credit card ready- we can only accept MasterCard & Visa. Don’t type spaces or dashes as part of your credit card number. Also, you’ll need to know your credit card’s security code, so go ahead and identify that ahead of time.
  • If you aren’t happy with the seat selection, you can try to check back a little later as better seats MAY be released. This is because a seat selection is held for at least 5 minutes. If a purchase isn’t completed, or if a credit card transaction is not approved, those seats will be re-released into the general pool of tickets available for purchase. WARNING: You are not guaranteed better seats if you wait because it depends on whether or not people go through with their transactions or not, so try this tactic at your own risk!
  • There is no limit on the number of concert tickets you can purchase (unless you are buying more than 99, in which case you need to contact us directly.)
  • Lastly, everything is processed through our great ticket partner, Etix. So if you have problems, they are going to need to help you out. Here’s a link to their support page.

Advance sales at walk-up locations start today

September 30, 2010 By: Firecracker Category: 2010 N.C. State Fair

You are all my friends, so I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Starting today, we are selling tickets at nine retail locations across the region. We’ve got locations in Burlington, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Durham, Raleigh and Wilson. Why is this a secret? Well, it’s not really, but for some reason, every year most people wait until the last two days that tickets are on sale to buy their tickets. You see, you can save some serious dough by buying in advance. But if you wait until the last minute, you’ll spend more time to save money.

No lie, here's the Gate 9 ticket booth on Oct. 1 (left) and Oct. 14 (right) last year.

So stop by one of our locations this weekend and truly save money AND time!

Locations:

Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook. We’ll likely be out and about visiting several locations in the next week and giving away some free Fair swag.

Powers Great American Midways will return in 2010

December 01, 2009 By: Flying Bob Category: Uncategorized

The Vertigo swing tower made its debut at the 2009 State Fair.

The Vertigo swing tower made its debut at the 2009 State Fair.

If you’ve grown accustomed to the rides and games at the N.C. State Fair, you’ll be happy to know that the company operating the midway will return again next year.

State Fair organizers have signed a contract with Powers Great American Midways to operate the carnival rides and games at the 2010 State Fair. Under the contract, Powers will pay the State Fair a fee based on the number of people who buy admission tickets to the Fair.

That financial arrangement has been good for the State Fair, which does not receive any taxpayer dollars to cover operations. Powers paid the 2009 State Fair more than $3.4 million.

Powers has operated the carnival at the State Fair since 2006. The company has introduced several new rides over the years, including the Vertigo, Vortex and Drag Strip. Powers’ performance history and the financial benefit to the State Fair were factors in the decision to sign a contract with the company for next year, says State Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt.

The 2010 State Fair is scheduled for Oct. 14-24.

American Idol alum Anoop Desai rounds out Dorton Arena concert line-up

July 31, 2009 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2009 N.C. State Fair

anoop_desai_Since we announced the Dorton Arena line-up a couple weeks ago with one missing performer, our Facebook, blog and Twitter sites have been buzzing with suggestions on who should fill that spot. We heard a lot of good suggestions, but there was one particular artist campaign that stood out to us–mainly because the plea came from the artist himself.

Our concerts this year have a decidedly local appeal, as N.C. natives Kellie Pickler, Eric Church and Jason Michael Carroll are all performing just a few hours (and in some cases, minutes) from where they grew up, and we’re happy to add American Idol alum and Cary native/UNC-Chapel Hill student Anoop Desai to that list. He’ll bring his unique blend of hip-hop, R&B and pop to the stage on Food Lion Hunger Relief Day, Thursday, Oct. 22. You’ll remember that Firecracker even blogged that Anoop was not a possibility because he was performing on the American Idol tour. However, we were able to work it out and we’re excited to be Anoop’s first solo act.

Tickets for the show will be $5, and go on sale with all of the advance online ticket sales Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. on the the N.C. State Fair Web site.

Listen (or watch) and win

October 06, 2008 By: Flying Bob Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

There are several ways to get your admission, ride and concert tickets for the 2008 State Fair. You can buy them online or at our nine walk-up locations. You can also win them.

Numerous radio and TV stations are giving away State Fair prize packs consisting of admission tickets, ride sheets and T-shirts (several are throwing in concert tickets, too). There are some interesting contests, so check out the individual media outlets below for details on how to win one of these prize packs.

In the Raleigh area, you can listen to G105, 93.9 Kiss-FM, The Rooster 106.1, 100.7 The River, K97.5, Foxy 107.1, Mix 101.5, HIS Radio WRTP, 94.7 QDR and 96 Rock, and watch NBC-17, CW-22, My RDC-28 and ABC-11. You can also check out the Carrboro Citizen newspaper and WRAL.com.

In the Greenville/Washington area, listen to The Bear 97.9 and 98.9.

In Rocky Mount, listen to Power 95.5, Jammin’ 99.3 and 98.5 The Big Dawg.

In Wilmington, listen to Jammin’ 99.9, Z107.5, La Gran D 98.7 and Surf 98.3.

And in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area, listen to 97.1 QMG, 93.1 The Wolf, 98.7 Simon and 102 Jamz, and watch TV stations WXII-12, WFMY-2 and WCWG-20.

Good luck.

A great deal

October 01, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair


Most Fair enthusiasts know that the best way to see the Fair (other than working there) is to get your tickets in advance. It saves you a good bit of cash and you can avoid standing in line to get your admission tickets.

Adult tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the gate. Children’s tickets are $1 in advance, $2 at the gate. Ride sheets (18 tickets per sheet) are $10 in advance, $18 at the Fair.

Tickets have been on sale on the Internet for two months now, and starting tomorrow and going through Oct. 16 at 6 p.m., you can make stops at nine retail locations to purchase your tickets. The locations are:

I did a bit of math (scary for a communications major, I know). According to my calculations, a family of 4 who is buying 2 adult tickets, 2 children’s tickets and 2 ride sheets will SAVE $22 over gate prices. So it goes to show that a little bit of planning will save you real money. You can then plan to use your savings to buy your favorite Fair foods!

And while we’re on the subject of prices, I’ll go ahead and head off some comments I know I’m gonna get (and am probably inviting by even mentioning this.) Every year we get complaints that the Fair is too expensive. But I have to argue that it’s still one of the best entertainment values around, especially if you take advantage of our advance sales program. You spend less on admission that you do to see a movie and you can spend all day at the State Fair doing things for free. Yes, the food is expensive, but the prices are still cheaper than at most Triangle-area entertainment venues, including movie theaters! The good thing at the Fair is that you can shop around for less expensive food items. You can’t do that when you go to a concert or sporting event – the price is the same wherever you go. Also, did you know that you can bring your own food to the Fair with you? Yep, just don’t bring any glass onto the grounds and know that your bags are subject to be searched at the gates. And of course, as they say in the commercials, the value of your memories at the N.C. State Fair: priceless!

Set the alarm!

July 31, 2008 By: Firecracker Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Concert in Dorton Arena at 2007 N.C. State Fair

Concert tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., and as you know, the early bird gets the best seats! Here are some tips for a successful concert ticket purchase:

  • Go to the State Fair’s web site a few minutes before 8 a.m. You can either go to the Tickets page and scroll to the bottom OR go to the Dorton Arena Nightly Entertainment page to buy tickets for a specific artist. When it gets close to 8 a.m., start refreshing your browser. You’ll see “Buy Now” buttons when it’s time to go on sale. Note: It doesn’t matter what time it is on your computer. The tickets go on sale when the eTix server says it is 8 a.m., so it may be a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later than 8, based on your computer clock. So just keep refreshing. [Update: if you refresh too often, your computer may cache the page and not actually refresh. Check your browser settings to clear the cache if you still don't see the "Buy Now" buttons.]
  • Buy concert tickets FIRST. Once you get your concert tickets, you have 15 minutes to finish your transaction. If you have time, go back and buy your admission and ride books. If you don’t have time to do more shopping, finish your transaction and come back and buy your other tickets. [Update: I've talked with one of the programmers at eTix and he gave me an update. The "shopping cart" feature will not be turned on in the morning, so if you want to buy multiple types of tickets, you will have to make multiple purchases. This is because of the number of people who are on the site at one time. We'll turn the shopping cart on later in the day when traffic dies down. I've also been informed that there isn't a 15-minute time limit in the first hour or two because of the traffic on the site...it may take more than 15 minutes to finish your transaction. So be patient and it will be worth the wait! As you can see in the above photo, Dorton isn't very large. The photo was taken from the very top of Dorton with a wide-angle lens, so you can see that there really isn't a bad seat in the house.]
  • Have your credit card ready- we can only accept MasterCard & Visa. Don’t type spaces or dashes as part of your credit card number. Also, you’ll need to know your credit card’s security code, so go ahead and identify that ahead of time.
  • If you aren’t happy with the seat selection, you can try to check back a little later as better seats MAY be released. This is because a seat selection is held for 15 minutes. If the seats aren’t purchased within that time frame, or if a credit card transaction is not approved, those seats will be re-released into the general pool of tickets available for purchase. WARNING: you are not guaranteed better seats if you wait because it depends on whether or not people buy tickets within the alloted time, so try this tactic at your own risk!

Good luck and happy shopping! (If you can identify the group playing on the stage in the picture, you can win some State Fair swag!)

One week from today!

July 25, 2008 By: Cotton Candy Category: 2008 N.C. State Fair

Yep, tickets go on sale ONE WEEK from today. To get the best seats in the house, you’ll need to be at your computer bright and early as tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. Word from the State Fairgrounds is that Toby Mac, Skillet/Leeland and Bobby Flay all are generating a lot of interest. Will we break last year’s record of five sold-out concerts?

All the concert tickets will go on sale at the same time, except the Wednesday night mystery guest, which will go on sale in early September.

Admission and ride vouchers will also go on sale next week online. We’ll start walk up sales at area malls, the fairgrounds, downtown Raleigh and the State Farmers Market on Oct. 2. For more information, go to the tickets page on our Web site.

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