The NC State Fair Starts TODAY!
Ten glorious days of rides, ridiculous fried foods, goats, sheep, cows and entertainment. In the heart of Raleigh is the North Carolina State Fairgrounds where once a year in October thousands of spectators and contestants, entertainers and merchants descend on the place. This years weather looks spectacular with perfect Fall weather on tap, the first two years we went to the fair it rained and was cold and it didn’t dampen the day at all.
Goodbye To The Bluegrass Festival
The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival is a memory until next year and by all accounts the second time in Raleigh was just as good as the first. Crowds filled Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh on Saturday to enjoy the free concerts held on stages up and down the street and side streets. If a stage was not available the wide steps of the historic Century Post Office worked just fine, or an office chair and a Food Lion crate was enough to get the music going and the dancers dancing. Even if you are not a Bluegrass music fan this festival has something for everyone, this year there was an area where kids could rock climb or ride a mechanical bull. One whole section of the street was lined on each side with local craftsmen and clothiers, jewelers and artists.
Food & Music Outside In Downtown Raleigh
Food was abundant, I saw a food truck selling Czech food called ” Czech This Out” I couldn’t this time but I’m going to find them somewhere else! The BBQ was in full swing not only in the sandwich variety but sauces and rubs could be bought from local suppliers from North Carolina. A section was sponsored by the North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture under the “Got To Be NC” banner where you could sample and purchase everything from local cheeses to blueberry jams. Then you could head over to the craft brew tent for a taste of some of the many craft beers brewed in North Carolina along with wines from the state.
The Piedmont Regulators On The Steps Of The Post Office
The weather was again perfect this year with a nice cool breeze keeping the temperatures just right. I stopped to listen to The Piedmont Regulators who set up shop at the Post Office, three young musicians blasting out their version of “Way Down The Old Plank Road” the chorus of which goes something like “I won’t get drunk no more, I won’t get drunk no more, I won’t get drunk no more” no mics or fancy equipment, just a banjo, fiddle and spoons. Further down the street under the seal of the Wake County Courthouse a large group of more seasoned looking musicians had set up a stage and performed to a large crowd, the smart ones had brought their fold up chairs.
High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Kept The Music Humming
The High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association kept the stage full from morning till night with members and their bands. Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Fiddle players jamming away, when I was there I counted fourteen musicians on stage. On various side streets and at the Plaza towards the end of Fayetteville St. larger stages with complete sound systems and lights host a wide array of musicians and it is definitely worth while getting there early with a folding chair and camp for a while to listen to these acts. The youth stage is very popular and worth a listen.
Bluegrass Festival Done… Now It’s On To The NC State Fair
So now we are off to the Fair. The NC State Fair runs from October 16-26th 2014, if you’ve never been it’s a great experience but it can drain your wallet if you’re not careful. You can bring in food and drinks in small bags, no glass or alcohol so snacks and water will help save some coin so you can spend it on the Midway. Of course the State Fair is known for it’s culinary delights and a lot of folks go for the food, wonder what the fried deliciousness will be this year. There are lots of free exhibits, demonstrations, arts and crafts, for me looking at cows and goats wins over the rides any day.
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