When the N.C. State Agricultural Society organized the first State Fair in Raleigh 160 years ago, the goal was to bring farmers to town to show them the latest know-how and techniques.
Agriculture is still a big part of the 11-day fair, which opens Thursday afternoon, though now the aim is to teach the rest of us a little about farming and where our food comes from, says Steve Troxler, North Carolina’s secretary of agriculture.
And while the farmers of 1853 might still recognize the livestock shows and vegetable competitions, they’d surely be amazed, and perhaps a little horrified, by what else they’d find, including for the first time this year a deep-fried Sugar Daddy and a sloppy joe sandwich served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
Here’s our opening day guide to this year’s fair:
• Thursday: Sister Hazel, $5
• Friday: Building 429 and Francesca Battistelli, $10
• Saturday: Joe Nichols, $10
• Sunday: Florida Georgia Line, $10 (SOLD OUT)
• Monday: Scotty McCreery, $25
• Tuesday: Scotty McCreery, $25
• Wednesday: Dailey & Vincent, $5
• Oct. 24: Who’s Bad (Michael Jackson Tribute Band), $5
• Oct. 25: MercyMe, $15
• Oct. 26: Randy Houser, $10
• Oct. 27: Eli Young Band, $15