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October 12 marks the official kickoff of the North Carolina State Fair, the largest annual event in the state.

North Carolinians and visitors alike travel from near and far to check out the food, the rides, the special attractions, and simply to have fun.

WRAL has reported on the new things that you can catch this year at the State Fair, which runs through October 22 in Raleigh. Here’s what’s new!


The fair features 54 new food items this year, including Chick-N-Que’s Ostrich Smashburger, Douglas Farms’ candied grapes, Lawrence & Perry BBQ’s Slop Bucket and more.

K975’s resident food expert, Ayeeedubb, stopped by the State Fair’s Media Tasting Day to try out some of the food items, and she spills the tea on what to try and what not to try. Watch the IG post below to see how that went, and if you want to find out Ayeeedubb’s favorites, check out her picks for the Top 10 Foods To Try At NC State Fair This Year!

(CLICK HERE for the full list of new food vendors.)


The NC State Fair is also introducing four new rides this year. They include:

  • Techno: A spinning roller coaster that takes riders on a wild ride through the clouds.
  • Tesla AC: A thrilling roller coaster that takes riders on a journey through the Tesla factory.
  • Venetian Carousel: A classic carousel with beautifully decorated horses and gondolas.
  • Wipeout: Riders sit in two-person cars that face outward around a central orb. The orb then spins and churns in different directions, rocking and rolling like ocean waves.

New Entertainment & Special Event Days

The 2023 fair includes new ground entertainment. Families will be treated to performances and presentations from the following:

  • Birdman World Class Bird Show, a variety of exotic birds performing amazing stunts while also educating viewers about their natural habitats and conservation;
  • Melody Farm Follies, an animatronic theater show with dancing and singing vegetables showing the importance of healthy eating;
  • Rock It the Robot, a popular attraction who interacts with visitors, dances, and plays music; and
  • Dale Jones, a one-handed juggler known for his skills and ability to make people laugh.

There will also be special event days at the fair.

  • NC State Day: Thursday, October 12
  • AccessABILITY Day: Tuesday, October 17
  • Senior Citizen Day: Tuesday, October 17
  • Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day: Thursday, October 19
  • Military Appreciation Day: Friday, October 20
  • First Responders Appreciation Day: Saturday, October 21
  • Teacher Appreciation Day: Sunday, October 22

For more details about the North Carolina State Fair, including bag policy, parking and shuttle information, click HERE.