Thanks to the folks with the 2018 NC Mountain State Fair for collaborating on this post. While I received admission to the fair, opinions and photos are my own.
We somehow missed the NC Mountain State Fair last year. I don’t remember if it was because of weather or overall scheduling, but the last time we were at the fair was two years ago and my kids were much smaller. This year, we wanted to go early (as in opening weekend and first thing in our day) and we just wanted to see where the day took us. The North Carolina Mountain State Fair is going on NOW through Sunday, September 16!
My son was really looking forward to a mirror house he did two years ago. We did the one he remembered and he had a great time.
He also wanted to go through the fun house, but unfortunately we did not realize you couldn’t wear sandals – and my son and husband ended up in sandals when we left the house. Our mistake, but frustrating. (So, note to fair-goers – WEAR CLOSED TOE SHOES!)
At the top of the rides area, there is a place you can measure your kids. I wish I’d seen it sooner because we would have avoided a couple of rides for our daughter. Poor girl. She missed a few rides by an inch. However, she was amused by the airplanes taking off from the nearby Asheville Regional Airport. Oh, and there was an airplane and helicopter on display. She and my husband got into the helicopter at one point. Her day ended up going well.
I highly recommend checking out any dance competitions. We saw some of the cloggers and I’m a huge fan of clogging. (I did not get to see our beloved Bailey Mountain Cloggers. I couldn’t figure out the scheduling, though I knew they were competing.)
And the animals! Oh the animals. My son really wanted to see bulls. He remembers seeing the horns on some of the animals two years ago and that was all he could talk about! We saw llamas when we entered, and made sure to check out the cows as we were leaving. Two calves were born just this week! They were so cute, but mama cow was not pleased with people checking out her babies. (I don’t blame her.)
We normally go all out with the food, but this time we kept it simple with hot dogs and a corndog. Funnel cake is my go-to and there were so many fun fair options, but the kids weren’t feeling as adventurous with the food.
My tips for attending:
Wear sunscreen. It was almost 85 degrees when we were there at 11am. There is very little shade. Unless you can go at night. Nighttime would be nice because it will be cooler, and the atmosphere would be great with everything all lit up. But sometimes those of us with kids just can’t get swing the night hours.
Check out the various exhibits in the Expo center. It gets you out of the sun, into the air conditioning and you can see some interesting local businesses.
Take in one of the competitions! They’re happening at different times, but you can get schedules on the Mountain State Fair’s website.
The food is closer towards the lower end (gate A, I believe?) Furthest away from the animal exhibits. The fair is basically on a slope. The lowest point of the hill is where most of the food is, the middle is where the rides are and the animals are at the top.
If you go:
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the gates open at 9am and rides start at 10am. Monday-Thursday, the gates open at 3pm and rides begin at 4pm. Check the site for discounts/specials (like unlimited rides for a set price, or how you can get free admission.)