A love letter to my hometown, part 2

Dear Raleigh,

You host some great parties every year, and one of the biggest arrives tomorrow: the State Fair.

I have fond memories of the fair growing up, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I lost some of the thrill of joining the crowds there year after year. Last year, I couldn’t ignore your invitation to go to the fair for free during lunchtime. I made two trips in two days and had so much fun. I hope to fit in one last visit this year.

First, I’m not sure you as a city can take all the credit, but thanks for making this year’s fair feel a little safer for me (and many others) by continuing to ban guns. I would say to anyone who feels the need to carry a gun at the fair, well, if you feel that unsafe, maybe the fair just isn’t the place for you.

The fair is a place for fun, not fear, a place for games and rides and food and livestock and quilting competitions and giant pumpkins and pig races and walking until your feet hurt. Raleigh, I thank you for providing that all these years.

Best,
One of your native daughters

For those of you who can’t make it to the fair this year, here’s a virtual tour of some of my favorite (mostly quieter) spots at the fair.

StateFair2013_3

You’ll notice I’m on the ground looking up, but I used to love to ride the ferris wheel.

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You can’t have too many kinds of ferris wheels at the fair.

I love looking at the arts and crafts competitions. These quilts make me wish I was crafty. They’re beautiful:

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The Village of Yesteryear is probably my favorite place at the fair. This building is filled with craftsmen and craftswomen demonstrating traditional arts and crafts. Among my favorite stops last year were a wood carver and a candle maker.

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Tucked away in a far corner of the fairgrounds is a flower exhibit. Nurseries and other groups set up floral displays for competition and teaching. There’s always a bonsai display, and last year, gorgeous sunflowers stole the show (for me anyway).

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Bonsai tree

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Towering sunflowers

Ever since that one trip to the fair when I got violently ill afterward, I’ve steered clear of much of the food. But I can’t visit without getting a caramel apple. This one was perfect: granny smith apple coated in caramel and peanuts. Delish! I hope I can find this same vendor this year.

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An annual treat

If you only had two hours at the fair, what would be on your must-see, must-do, must-eat lists?

8 thoughts on “A love letter to my hometown, part 2

  1. oh so many things I miss!
    Al’s Fries, country ham biscuits from the spot next to the peanut guy, CORN, mini doughnuts, fried cheese, pulled pork from the pork folks.
    Yeah — I miss the fair!

  2. I certainly would head right for that nut covered candy apple….made my mouth water. And then I’d want to see the artwork like the quilts, etc. I wouldn’t even mind trying the Ferris Wheel, however I hope they would let me at this age….Ha!! E

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