Fletcher, NC – The 2016 N.C. Mountain State Fair kicks off its celebration of Western North Carolina on Friday. The opening weekend includes special promotions, competitions and entertainment for the whole family.
“For me, the N.C. Mountain State Fair signals the start of fall,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We’re excited about this year’s fair and look forward to celebrating the best of Western North Carolina.”
Troxler, fair manager Matt Buchanan and other dignitaries will cut the ribbon to officially open the 2016 N.C. Mountain State Fair at noon Friday. Visitors are welcome to attend the public ceremony outside the Davis Event Center. In addition to a heaping helping of food, rides and games, the fair also will offer several special attractions during opening weekend.
Visitors who did not purchase tickets in advance can take advantage of two promotions on opening day. Students in grades K-12 can get free gate admission from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. That night, the fair will host its popular Friday Night Frenzy. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., guests can purchase a combined unlimited ride ticket and gate admission for $25.
From lambs and llamas to cooks and cloggers, watching competitions at the fair can be worth the price of admission, Troxler said. On opening weekend, competitors of all ages will be showing beef cattle, dairy goats, llamas, rabbits and meat-breed sheep. Poultry and turkey also will be on display. Shows are held throughout the day, and the public is welcome. Livestock shows will take place in the Livestock Show Arena, McGough Arena and barns E and F.
Local chefs will compete in tomato, trout and beef cooking contests opening weekend. While registration has closed, visitors can see the entries up close in the Davis Event Center and watch the ribbon presentations.
The annual clogging competition starts Friday at 7 p.m. on the Got to Be NC Stage. Individuals, duets and teams will compete in traditional and contemporary dances. The competition continues Saturday at 9 a.m. Also on Saturday, the fair will host its Gospel Singing Competition on the Heritage Stage at 9 a.m.
Two new acts join the fair’s entertainment lineup: Moto Maniacs and USA Extreme Breaking Team. The new additions join a lineup of popular returning acts such as Sea Lion Splash, Brad Matchett Comedy Hypnotist, Kenya Safari Acrobats and the Hogway Speedway.
Moto Maniacs is multi-act show that includes a caged motorcycle chase, high-wire motorcycle stunts and acrobatic performances. Shows will be held Friday at 4, 6 and 8 p.m.; Saturday at noon, 3 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 1, 3 and 7 p.m.
USA Extreme Breaking Team is composed of martial arts experts performing high-flying flips, kicks and demonstrations of precision breaking. Their shows will be held Friday at 1:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 1:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 2, 5 and 7 p.m.
The 2016 N.C. Mountain State Fair runs Sept. 9-18 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Advance tickets are on sale through Sept. 8 at area Ingles stores, the WNC Agricultural Center and the WNC Farmers Market. Fairgoers can save $2 on admission tickets and 50 percent on ride tickets by purchasing in advance. More details, including a complete schedule are available at www.mountainfair.org.