I grew up in southern Utah and pretty much figured I knew how State Fairs worked. So when I moved to North Carolina in 2003, I was in for a surprise! That fall, my new Southern friends introduced me to something quite spectacular. They took me to the North Carolina State Fair where good Southern folks put something on a stick, deep fry it, and call it food!
I've never had it so good!! In fact... now I dream about the State Fair!
That first year I ate a fried twinkie, roasted corn on the cob (dipped in butter of course), and an ostrich pita. Oh... if I only knew how those few small tastes would grow into unspeakable thirst for fantastically fried fare.
Since that time I have returned to the State Fair each October and have eaten my way to belly-busting bliss. I've consumed: turkey legs, fried Ho-Hos, fried Milky Ways, lemonade, fried dough, grilled alligator tail, pecan pie (fried and not), cheescake (fried and frozen), fried okra, Cary Methodist ham biscuits (I don't know what they do to those biscuits... but man are they good!), more corn on the cob, NC State ice cream, corndogs, candied apples, french fries, honey sticks, Cheerwine!, salt water taffy, chocolate covered bacon, fried oreos, fried macaroni and cheese, chocolate dipped bananas, gyros, candied nuts, apple cider (warm and cold), fried green tomatoes, bbq sandwiches, fudge, hush puppies, lamb kabobs, honey cotton candy, slushies, fried Coke, ribs, slaw, and my personal favorite... fried pickles!
Contrary to what the above may portray,
I don't go to the NC State Fair just for the food!
I love the State Fair for a lot of reasons!
I love the look of shock (and a little bit of fear) as I explain to my city friends why that prize winning steer will not be procreating anytime soon. I love the sound of competing food vendors and the "hurry, hurry, hurry" that is said in such a slow Southern drawl as to make you think of taking a nap. I love looking at the giant pumpkins and rows upon rows of beautifully displayed apples.
I love watching the street performers whether they be jugglers, stilt walkers, or percussionists. I love to see what the high schoolers come up with in the way of recycled farm animals. I love the giant shopping cart. I love sitting in the giant adirondack chair. I love finding exotic animals... like a camel.
I love ringing the bell. I love watching the beehive in action. I love looking at the cakes and mason jars of preserved vegetables. I love looking at the quilts and cross stitching and thinking...maybe this year I'll actually finish that piece I'm working on and enter it. I love watching the Lumberjack show (though it hasn't been there the last few years).
I love looking at the chickens in the petting zoo and pondering how I could fit a coop in my little backyard. I love going to the Village of Yesteryear and watching the amazing women who tat (it's just tying knots they say) and looking for the perfect nativity painted egg for my mom. (Don't worry, Lady... I'm still looking). I love going to the tractor pull, because it's so fun to be at something so loud and country!
I love listening to the musical groups outside the school house (their noise level is a little more traditional). I love going into the grist mill to get my fried food appetizer of free hush puppies. I love learning about how tobacco is cured. I love watching the heifer shows and wondering how on Earth they got them so shiny!!
I love touring through the commercial buildings to see what everyone is selling (pots and pans anyone??). I love going to the races to see little pigs, ducks, and goats race for cheese doodles. I love that on election years I get to see representative from pretty much all the candidates. I love that my little niece sent me her "Flat Stanley" character one year and asked me to take it to the NC State Fair.
I love the photographs and the art work created by student. Speaking of student, I love seeing mine as they help at the petting zoo as part of their FFA duties. I love to look at the Christmas Trees as it's the closest thing I've seen to Christmas Tree lane back home. I love the fact that only in 2008 did one of my friends actually get me to ride the rides. I love that I didn't die.
I love the fact that I get to go with friends and share my excitement of the fair. I love that they challenge me to showcase my own talents. I love that my scrapbook pages got a green ribbon (that's not high up, but it's still a ribbon). I love that the NC State Fair was the venue of my dancing comeback. I love that Lisa got it on video.
And I love to finish the nights at the State Fair with a warm cup of apple cider and the fireworks. It's a perfect end to a perfect day at the state fair!
But my newest love?? The fact that Deep Fried @ the NC State Fair (the official blog of the NC State Fair) is looking for another Deep Fried Ambassador!
Oh, how I'd love that!!
I'd love to share my love of the State Fair with the whole world!!
At that State Fair there's just so much love for everyone...
mine just happens to come (more often than not)
on a stick and deep-fried!
I'll see you there!