If you’re from around these parts, you know that the NC State Fair opened last week and is already hitting record number attendance! Looks like we weren’t the only ones excited to try the new fried foods and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having here in Raleigh, NC. My husband, who always refuses to go to the fair (because he claims to have always gotten sick with a cold afterwards from all of the “hacking and coughing people”, haha), actually was the one who brought it up and thought it would be fun to take Charlee!
We attended the fair on “Preview Day” and arrived shortly after the doors opened. We paid $10 to park and didn’t have to walk very far, which was great. We didn’t have to wait in very many lines either and I would highly recommend going on preview day if you can – it was great! Although, do you want to hear something funny? Well, we bought ride tickets ahead of time at a discounted rate and were SO excited to ride all sorts of fun things with Charlee. Well guess what? Kids have to be 36″ tall to ride the rides – even in KiddieLand! We were pretty upset about that since that was the main reason we were even going to the darn fair. Charlee is already showing signs of being an adrenaline junkie but sadly her 31.5″ just wasn’t cutting it.
We still had a great time! Charlee absolutely LOVED the pig races and it was so fun watching her clap and cheer with excitement as those little piggies ran around the track. Once it got dark, she loved watching all of the brightly lit rides; so even if WE couldn’t ride them, she enjoyed watching others do so.
The food – let me tell you about the food. I was both severely disappointed and surprisingly happy with the selection and our food choices.
- Pig in a Jar: I was told by a friend that this is one of her favorite things to get at the fair. Sadly, I ended up throwing mine in the trash (and wasting a big chunk of $$$). It’s supposed to be a layer of baked beans and pulled pork topped off with cole slaw. Sounds good right? Well unfortunately, I don’t think the vendors used a slotted spoon so it was pretty much a soupy, runny bean, pork and cole slaw dressing cup of Y-U-C-K! The texture was just awful.
- Fried S’mores: This is the one thing that I was dying to try. I am a true S’mores fanatic. It’s actually probably my absolute favorite flavor combo! From the minute we stepped foot into the fair, I was on the hunt for the sign that read “Fried S’mores”. I eventually found it and couldn’t get my $5 out of my wallet fast enough. The man called out my order and he placed the fried marshmallows dipped in graham batter and drizzled with chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar treat into my hands and I couldn’t wait to dig in….that’s where the excitement ended. While it tasted okay, it didn’t taste like s’mores. Along with the lacking flavor, the gooey marshmallow turned the fried batter into a soggy, floppy mess that was quite difficult to eat. I’ll give it a 4 out of 10. It brings me back to an old Dashboard Confessional song, “My hopes are so high that this s’mores might kill me..” Umm…or something like that.
- Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger: So while I didn’t actually eat this, I can tell you what my husband thought of this sweet and savory confection: “Just okay.” From the looks of it, the burger patty looked kinda blah and the cheese wasn’t even melted. The donuts looked good because I mean – they’re donuts! He said it was alright but not something he would ever get again. Womp womp.
- Jumbo Corndog: You can’t go wrong with a classic and I was kicking myself for not just grabbing one of these instead of wasting money on crappy, lackluster food. My husband and Charlee shared this and as you would expect, they enjoyed it.
- Lemonade: You can’t go wrong with fair lemonade either and if you get it in the State Fair cup, refills were only $1 or $2 depending on where you refilled. Winning!
- 1/4 lb Bacon on a Stick: Run, don’t walk, to the Bubba’s Bacon stand at the NC State Fair as soon as you step foot inside the gate. We walked past this stand about 3 times before I finally caved in and bought the bacon on a stick and mango iced tea (which was also tasty!). I wish I would have stopped sooner because I would have saved money and calories from all of the other food I tried and didn’t care for. The bacon is dipped in a maple glaze and then grilled – I mean c’mon, doesn’t that just sound delicious? Charlee loved it as well! Bubba’s Bacon had other interesting offerings such as bacon s’mores, bacon balls and chocolate covered bacon. I’m tempted to go back to the fair just so I can get some more of that darn bacon on a stick!
So there you have it, our family trip to the fair! As I said, we had a blast and the weather couldn’t have been any better when we went. I am SO looking forward to Charlee being able to ride the rides next year and really getting the whole fair experience.
What are your favorite foods from the fair? What are you most excited to see, do or eat? Let me know!