RALEIGH, N.C.— The 2023 N.C. State Fair finished its 11-day run with a strong final weekend that totaled attendance to 926,425.
Fair manager Kent Yelverton says the ending of this year’s fair is bittersweet.
“It’s great to have had an easily successful fair, but we do this because we enjoy it so it’s also sad to see it come to an end. It’s sad to see these people that we enjoy working with and come to see us once a year packing up and leaving and we may not see some of them for another year.” Yelverton said.
Yelverton says the food and rides were just some of the big draws that brought people from all over to the fair.
“Our fair is known nationwide for our food choices and our creative vendors and then things that they come up with. 95 amusement rides, 41 that have not been here before. Just a good time for everybody.” Yelverton said.
Another big draw were the competitions. According to fair organizers, this year’s fair had 21,626 entries in general competitions and 2,819 entries into livestock competitions. The Livestock Sale of Champions had a record breaking $217,850 in bids. Even a site record was broken for the largest pumpkin ever weighed in at 2,124 pounds.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says growing such large a large squash required commitment
“To get a pumpkin that weighs over 2000 pounds you basically have got to see it growing, I mean literally see it growing everyday.” said Troxler.
The 10 year attendance average (not including 2020) is 958,497. The 2010 attendance record of 1,091,887 still stands as the highest number of people to visit the fair.