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25th N.C. Mountain State Fair

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The 2018 N.C. Mountain State Fair returns for its 25th run at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, Sept. 7-16. Fair organizers have added new attractions and entertainment options to the list of fan favorites for the fair’s silver anniversary.

“This year, we wanted to put a special emphasis on music and agriculture, two of the things that make Western North Carolina such a wonderful place to live,” said fair manager Matt Buchanan. “We’ve expanded our Mountain Music Festival in Heritage Circle, which includes an all-new event on Sunday afternoons. We’ve also added a new interactive exhibit all about North Carolina agriculture in the Davis Event Center.”

Regarding Hurricane Florence, the N.C. Mountain State Fair intends to operate on a normal schedule going into its final weekend. Fair officials made the decision after consulting with state emergency management, local safety personnel and law enforcement. The fair will be open; however, this weekend’s dairy cattle, meat goat and wool-breed sheep shows will not be held. Fair officials will continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Florence. Future updates will be posted to the fair’s website and the fair’s Facebook page.

Music

The expanded Mountain Music Festival features 43 local and regional acts including performances by Mountain Faith, Little Roy & Lizzie, Rhiannon & The Relics, The Waymasters and more. All concerts are included with admission to the fair. The fair also will host the first-ever Mountain State Fair Music Jam both Sundays of the fair from 2-4:30 p.m. The jam sessions feature renowned musicians hand selected by the event’s hosts. Don Lewis emcees on Sept. 9 and The Saylor Brothers will lead the group on Sept. 16.

Exhibits

The N.C. Mountain State Fair focuses on agriculture, and this year is no exception. Inside the Davis Event Center, visitors will find an expanded exhibit all about N.C. agriculture. More than 20 commodity associations will participate in the interactive display, giving fairgoers a chance to take a virtual tour of a hog farm, walk through a fish house, bite into a fresh N.C. apple, sample and purchase a variety of local dairy products and more.

Rides and Entertainment

New rides are planned for the Midway. Drew Exposition will bring three new rides to the fair this year along with fair favorites such as the chairlift, Seattle Wheel and Cyclops. The new rides are: Tornado, a family ride that will leave everyone dizzy; Matterhorn, a thrill ride that goes up and down hills and valleys in a fastmoving circle; and NYC Taxis, a taxi-themed bumper car ride.

There are more than a dozen daily entertainment acts across the fairgrounds. Perennial favorites such as the Hogway Speedway pig races, Kenya Safari Acrobats, Brad Matchett Comedy Hypnotist and Leon Jacobs will be back. In addition, several new acts will make their way to the fair this year including Majestik Spectacular with death-defying motorcycle stunts; Extreme Illusions & Escapes, featuring Las Vegas-style illusions; and the Human Canonball, David “The Bullet” Smith.

Paving and Parking

Fair organizers have been busy making major improvements with paving and parking for the fair as well. New asphalt has been laid across the fairgrounds making the Midway easier to navigate for parents with strollers and those in wheelchairs.

The fair has added nearly 1,000 new parking spaces over the past two years to make it easier and safer to get to the fair. This year, there are 400 additional parking spots at the Asheville Regional Airport overflow lot. A free shuttle will run from that parking lot to the fair entrance throughout the fair.

The 25th N.C. Mountain State Fair runs Sept. 7-16 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for seniors 65 and up and children ages six to 12. Children five and under are free. Check the website for special promotions and discount days. More information is available at www.mountainfair.org.