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Preview Day Added for North Carolina State Fair
First wristband day added

5/18/2008

By MCW Editor

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RALEIGH - For the first time in 22 years, officials have added days to the North Carolina State Fair. On Thurssday, October 16th, the fair will open one day earlier than usual for a Preview Day.

Gates will open at 3 p.m., and the Midway and exhibit halls will open at 4. The Midway will close at midnight. Admission on Thursday will be $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 and adults 65 and over will get in free. Gate admission for the other State Fair dates will be $7 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-12.

An extra day will also mean an extra show in Dorton Arena. Country singer Josh Turner will kick off the State Fair entertainment Thursday night, performing hits such as "Firecracker" and "Long Black Train."

Perhaps the biggest change however is the addition of an unlimited ride wristband night on Thursday. Officials said the wristband would be offered for $25 on Thursday only. This is the first wristband day offered at the North Carolina State Fair. Until now, the fair had a tickets only policy. Results of the Thursday night wristband and its effect on the other days will be closely watched by the industry.

With over 100 rides on the midway and a rigorous "100%" law in the State, there is some concern that all the rides will not be ready one day earlier. Fair officials anticipate the NC Department of Labor will have inspected and certified 85% of the rides for operation by opening on Thursday. Concession stands, exhibit halls and grounds entertainment will be open during the Preview Night.

Asked about the need for a Preview Night, Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler pointed out that the fair had record crowds last year and the extra day will give Carolinians an extra day to enjoy the fair. "Last year, the State Fair set records for daily and total attendance, with more than 858,000 people coming out to have fun," Troxler said. "Adding a day gives visitors even more time to have a great time learning about agriculture and experiencing the exhibits, rides, games and food."

The State Fair will run Oct. 16-26 at the State Fairgrounds. Information is available at www.ncstatefair.org.

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