NC State Fair: Worth the Wait?

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Wendell Falls

The long-awaited North Carolina State Fair arrives on October 14.

  The North Carolina State Fair attracts thousands of people each year. Boasting attractions such as exhilarating rides, addictive games, and live entertainment, the fair is a memorable experience for people of all ages.

  With 938,029 total attendees in 2019 (ncstatefair.org), the fair attracts more people than most concerts, festivals, and other seasonal events in the area.

  As the 2020 State Fair was canceled due to the effects of COVID-19, fair devotees look forward to the upcoming fair, taking place from October 14-24th. 

  However, a few major changes will be implemented this year. The most surprising update to fair policy includes a clear bag policy; this will require all fairgoers to carry a transparent bag made of clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC.

 

“Any clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bag is allowed. There are no size restrictions. Small purses or clutch bags no larger than 6.5 inches by 4.5 inches (approximately the size of a hand) with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the fairgrounds in addition to one clear bag.” 

(Ncstatefair.org)

 

  The clear bag policy is an effort to improve public safety and prevent bag-check errors, as well as easing the process of checking bags. 

  “I feel like it’s an invasion of privacy because I wouldn’t want everyone knowing what I have in my bag,” explains junior Annika Byzek in response to the new policy.

  Fair organizers have also decided to not mandate masks or vaccinations at the event, a decision that has been met with backlash from many locals– including Spartan Dylan Hemedinger. “I say it’s foolish. Sure it’s going to be outside, but there’s gonna be a lot of people there, and a lot aren’t vaccinated.”

  Despite the changes to fair-going policy, many Spartans continue to look forward to the nostalgic events happening at this year’s fair, hoping that it’s just as memorable as past years.

Special events will be offered, such as:

Friday Frenzy – October 15

Current students can get a discounted ticket by showing their school ID or recent report card.

AccessABILITY Day – October 17

From 8 a.m. to noon, rides and games will operate with no lights or music for an improved sensory experience. Lessened PA system announcements and complimentary noise-canceling headphones contribute to a more calm atmosphere.

Century Farm Reunion – October 18

In support of farms that are a part of its Century and Bicentennial Farms program, farms with continued ownership by a single family for 100 years or more will be welcomed into the fair.

Senior Citizen Day – October 19

Seniors will be admitted into the fair for free with proof of ID.

Military Appreciation Day – October 20

A tractor parade at 10 a.m. and music from the 440th Army Band welcomes active or past military personnel.

Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day – October 21

Fairgoers who bring six cans of food will enter the fair for free.