The North Carolina Mountain State Fair will be held Sept. 9-18 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, and organizers say there’s a lot to look forward to this year.
“This year we’re looking to ‘make the fair great again’ and by that I mean, you know, we had COVID and then we opened last year, but I think people were still a little shy at the idea of going public in large numbers,” said the fair’s new general manager, Sean McKeon. “This year is going to be great again, and I think we’re going to set some big records.”
Here’s a look at some of the new activities, events and changes coming to the show this year.
“Even though you’ve been here many times before, I think you’re going to find some exciting new things to do,” McKeon said.
This year’s Mountain State Fair features many brand-new rides, including the 2021-built Jekyll and Hyde, built by KMG Rides, which rolls eight riders more than 130 feet in the air at 3.5G.
Scales, Tales and Teeth is a brand new show featuring alligators in Entertainment Alley.
High Flying Pages is a thrilling new show featuring the flying trapeze and the globe of death, where performers ride motorcycles inside a spherical mesh ball, looping vertically and horizontally.
The semifinals of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture singing competition, Ag Star, will take place on September 16. The singers compete for a shot at the final, where the winner will receive a prize including a professional songwriting session, a song recorded and produced by one of Nashville’s top studio producers and trained by industry professionals. ‘industry.
The new Otter Adventure Show will take place in Entertainment Alley and will feature live otters.
A new guinea pig show for young people will take place along with the rabbit show for young people, featuring many small rodents.
Cole’s Southern BBQ is a new food vendor located in Entertainment Alley featuring pork, burnt ends, chicken, and brisket.
Carolina Tea and Soda is another new supplier. They’ll have dill pickle lemonade and ButterBeer, of Harry Potter fame.
Due to the high number of expected visitors, safety is a top priority at this year’s show.
“People can rest assured that they’re going to have fun, family fun…and they’ll be very safe,” McKeon said.
The Agricultural Center held numerous safety and security meetings with sheriff’s offices and local county emergency departments, according to McKeon, and a new search bag policy was put in place.
The “clear bag preference policy” states that visitors with clear bags will gain access to the fair much faster than those with less visible bags. Small purses, clutches and backpacks are treated as clear for the purposes of this policy.
New General Manager
This year also sees the debut of a new fair general manager, Sean McKeon, who said he had never had a job like this before.
“I’ve always been in legislative and corporate affairs, so it’s just about applying your skills to a different set of circumstances as a manager,” he said. “It’s different in the sense that you’re dealing with actual facility management. You’re dealing with vendors and things like that, whereas before I was dealing with a lot of politicians.”
McKeon said after reading fair trade reviews from around the country, he expects a record number of attendees to come to the NC Mountain State Fair this year, much like other fairs l ‘have seen.
“We are really excited to see a fully-fledged open event where people can come and have fun, have a good time and feel very safe to bring their families. We are very optimistic that people will have fun this year” , did he declare. .
Free Admission Day Return
Visitors can once again earn free entry on September 14 in exchange for five boxes of Laura Lynn-branded food, found at Ingles Markets, according to a recent press release.
MANNA FoodBank, which has seen an increase in demand, will use the food collected to feed residents of North Carolina’s 16 westernmost counties.
“Free entry makes Ingles Day one of the busiest days at the fair each year,” McKeon said. “We know this is a vital way to help MANNA, which now serves an average of 109,000 people each month. We could not do this without the support of visitors and our partners at Ingles Markets.
This current monthly average reflects a continued increase in the number of people seeking a helping hand in western North Carolina. That’s 68% more than MANNA FoodBank’s pre-pandemic monthly average for people served. MANNA expects to have nearly 40 volunteers on site.
The record for Ingles Day is 22,000 pounds of food collected in 2019.
To learn more about the NC Mountain State Fair, visit: www.wncagcenter.org/p/mountainstatefair