PHOTOS: Opening Night At The NC State Fair

Oct 14, 2016

From the midway and horticulture exhibits, to new rides and food, the North Carolina State Fair kicked off this week with usual fanfare.

The 11-day celebration includes old favorites, as well as the premiere of its first permanent ride this year: the State Fair Flyer, a ski lift-like ride that transports fairgoers across the midway and offers an aerial view of the grounds.

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The fair will also hold a Hunger Relief Day on Thursday, October 20, one of the largest canned-food drives in the state to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Fair-goers who bring five cans of Food Lion brand food get free admission to the fair.

Last year, more than 1 million people attended the fair.

Note: This photo gallery is part of an occasional installment in collaboration with students and faculty at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Patrons soar above the fair lights as they ride the brand new State Fair Flyer on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC

Keller De Almeida, 19, from Florida, serves customers freshly made queso at the NC State Fair opening night on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC
Eric (left) and Veronica Mobley (right) from Durham, NC wait as they have their caricature drawn at the NC State Fair on Thursday, October 14, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill student, Nicho Stevens, 19, shoots a basket with the hopes of winning a big prize at the NC State Fair opening night Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC
Patrons wait in line to get on “Hit N 2000”, a fast-paced spinning ride at the NC State Fair on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC

Jayce Johnson, 3, from Virginia blows bubbles at the NC State Fair opening night on October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC

Sydney Cozart, 12, from Durham, NC bumps into her siblings on the NC State Fair’s Bumper Cars on Thursday, October 14, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC
Patrons compete for a prize by squirting water into a target at the NC State Fair opening night on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC

Rebecca Pierce, 16, and Regan Smith, 16, both from Wilson, NC proudly display their winning prizes at the NC State Fair opening night on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Credit Brianna Ladd / WUNC