North Carolina State Fair opens
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Get ready North Carolina State Fair fans, the annual state fair opened its 11-day run Thursday afternoon.
Organizers say 2013 visitors can expect a mix of the old and the new in entertainment and activities at the Raleigh Fair Grounds.
The state labor commissioner says all rides have been thoroughly inspected and are ready for use.
"They look at every nut, bolt, pin, every part of every ride every time it is assembled, disassembled, and reassembled in North Carolina," Cherie Berry said.
Berry and other state officials held a news conference Thursday morning to go over safety measures. They also pointed out that North Carolina has one of the most strict inspections processes in the country.
"Every single thing about that ride has to be to the manufacturers specifications to operate or we won't put our name on it," she said.
"We have the reputation as the safest state in the country as far as amusement rides go," NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. "This is the 160 year anniversary of the State Fair and we want it to be a safe homecoming."
Besides rides, there will be new musical acts, including an elf-like performer who rolls around the grounds on a giant open wheel, high-flying acrobats, and a fire safety show with clowns, amongst dozens of other attractions.
Get the full schedule of events and tickets at: www.ncstatefair.org.
The State Fair also features two stages featuring a variety of musical styles.
Even with all the new entertainment planned, fairgoers will still find plenty of their favorites, including the racing pigs, Kenya Safari Acrobats, a magician, a one-man band and a BMX stunt show.
Fair officials expect a million people to walk through the gates this year.
"We feel like it's where the State of North Carolina comes together one time a year so it really is a homecoming from across the state," said fair official Brian Long.
The N.C. State Fair runs through Oct.27.
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