Steve Troxler was the first Republican commissioner of agriculture in North Carolina’s history, but the truth is, he understands as many North Carolinians do that partisan politics has little to do with his department. And he understands that while he has much to do with outreach to farmers, science and oversight of all sorts of programs that deal with food safety and a host of consumer issues, something he needs to get right every year is the North Carolina State Fair.
And this year’s successful fair is further evidence that since taking over in 2005, Troxler has gotten it right. It was, as they say, another good one at the Fairgrounds off Hillsborough Street, with music and midway games no one can win. (A tip for next year: Try the games toward the close of the fair on the last day; game operators are needing to unload some of those big animals and they’ll give a grandpa a break on the ball-in-the-basket game.)
But admit it or not, most fairgoers are interested in food, from the deep-fried truck tires (just kidding, pretty much) to those church booth ham biscuits to the ice cream down at what’s known as “the N.C. State place.” People who eat like rabbits at lunch with co-workers have more than once been caught laying into sausage with peppers and onions. (“I’ll have an angioplasty on the side, please.”)
Ah, well, Troxler can rest easy. The Fair was fine, again.