You are here
Home > Featured > N.C. State Fair Offers New Food, Rides

N.C. State Fair Offers New Food, Rides

Fair runs Oct. 13-23 in Raleigh; Homegrown Music Fest lineup set; 117 concerts slated for three stages

RALEIGH, NC – New entertainment, new food, new rides – the 2016 N.C. State Fair has it all, Oct. 13-23 at the State Fairgrounds. Spectacular Magazine attended the NC State Fair Media Day and had an opportunity to sample food and rides.


North Carolina’s musical talent and stylistic range run deep, and visitors to the 2016 N.C. State Fair will have the chance to experience that firsthand Oct. 13-23 with 117 concerts planned on three stages over 11 days.

  • Kinston’s own Maceo Parker will perform Oct. 23 in Dorton Arena. The renowned funk and jazz saxophonist has worked with such legendary stars as Prince, James Brown, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
  • The roots-rock band Delta Rae will make Dorton one of its tour stops on Oct. 15. Hailing from Durham, fans can no doubt expect to hear such favorites as “Bottom of the River,” “If I Loved You” and “Scared.”
  • Any North Carolina musical lineup is not complete without beach music, and fans can dance the night away Oct. 17 to the tunes of The Embers featuring Craig Woolard along with Jim Quick & Coastline. Both bands are staples of the genre, playing original music and covers.
  • Dorton will also host two nights of local gospel music with Elevation Church on Oct. 14 and with the Unity Choir of Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church, the Instrument of Praise Concert Chorale and Salvation & Deliverance Church Choir on Oct. 20.
  • All concerts are free with paid State Fair admission. For a complete list of all the musical acts and performance times, go to
  • Fairgoers can also check out other featured N.C. artists on the Waterfall Stage and the Heritage Circle Stage. Concerts begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 6 p.m.

Choral competition

Twenty local middle and high school choirs will sing in the N.C. State Fair’s first Choral Competition, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 13. The middle school division will compete from 4-6 p.m., and the high school division will compete from 7-9 p.m. Each division’s winner receives $1,000, and all participating choirs will be awarded at least $100. The competition is a concert event in Dorton Arena and is open to all fairgoers.

Grounds entertainment

Six new acts, including acrobats, human puppets and trained wolves, are coming to the fair this year:

  • The Red Trouser Show’s star acrobats, David Graham and Tobin Renwick, balance on each other’s heads, juggle flaming batons and more.
  • Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean features a family of performers who will do tricks on the high wire and Wheel of Death while acting out the story of pirates battling over treasure.
  • Tangled Threads, a stilt-walking puppet master and his human marionette, will interact with fairgoers near the Expo Center.
  • FireStryker, a prehistoric dragon, will roam Kiddieland with its medieval dragon trainer.
  • A pair of stilt-walking unicorns from Dream City Stiltwalkers will wander at the Flower and Garden Show area.
  • The Wolves of the World Show features a pack of trained wolves performing tricks while trainer Sharon Sandlofer educates the audience about the importance of wolves to the ecosystem.
  • All Star Big Top Circus will present its circus dogs as they perform tricks and even give the audience a doggie fashion show.

Kids’ entertainment

Three new kid-centric acts are joining the entertainment lineup at the 2016 N.C. State Fair:

  • The Cutest Show on Earth is a theater experience for kids, who will be given costumes and guided to use their creativity and silliness to produce a one-of-a-kind show.
  • Agriculture magic show The Magic Bean will get kids thinking about where their food comes from through an act that incorporates magic tricks, skits and audience participation.
  • Acclaimed cartoonist Guy Gilchrist will entertain kids with drawing demonstrations and guitar playing near Field of Dreams.


The N.C. State Fairgrounds will premiere its first permanent ride at the 2016 fair. The State Fair Flyer will transport fairgoers across the Midway, providing an aerial view of the grounds. The ride, which is similar to a ski lift, is more than 40 feet high at its peak. It has endpoints at the west end of the Scott Building and at Gate 8.

A one-way trip transports riders 1,400 feet across the fairgrounds and lasts seven minutes. Cost is $5 for a one-way ride or $8 for a round trip.


The fair will introduce its own line of official N.C. State Fair merchandise at The Nest. The Nest will be in the lobby of the Exposition Center and will be open daily during the fair. It will feature T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, coffee mugs, pint glasses, limited edition Christmas ornaments and more.

Get tickets

Advance tickets for the State Fair are on sale at and at Food Lion stores. Advance admission tickets are $8 for ages 13-64 and $3 for ages 6 to 12. Admission at the gate will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Go online to for more information.

 PHOTOS: Greg Coats


SHARE NOW!FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail
Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: