Surviving the N.C. State Fair Without Breaking the Bank!
The N.C. State Fair is one of the most popular state fairs in the country! It’s no surprise that thousands of people from across the state come to ride the rides, eat lots of food, play games, or just people watch. However, with so many exciting rides and events, it can be easy to forget how expensive the fair can be!
So, put your wallets away because we've compiled a list of helpful tips that allows you partake in all of the state-fair fun without breaking the bank.
Tickets, Deals & Promotions
Senior Discount: all senior citizens 65 and older get in for FREE every day!
Military Discount: $8 at the gate every day for active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsmen and their dependents (ages 13-64). Veterans are also offered the $8 discount for themselves and one discounted ticket for a guest or dependent. Proper ID required. See the fair website for a list of acceptable identification.
Friday Frenzy: on Friday, October 18, students with a valid school identification can receive $8 admission.
Senior Citizens Day: while seniors age 65 and over get in free every day of the Fair, on Tuesday, October 22, they can enjoy a free Bojangles breakfast and entertainment at the Senior Citizen Fun Festival. The event will take place in Dorton Arena from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Food Lion Hunger Relief Day: on Thursday, October 24, fairgoers can bring 6 cans of Food Lion brand food to the N.C. State Fair to exchange for one free admission ticket.
Day of Hope & Happiness: not a discounted day, but a special day for families fighting childhood diseases. Monday, October 21, Ronald McDonald Charities of NC will be hosting affected families with an all-expensed paid day at the fair.
Additional Tips for Saving:
Bring Your Own Food: food and drinks (with the exception of glass bottles and alcohol) are allowed on the fairgrounds as long as they are contained in small bags. If you want to save an arm and a leg on bottled water or soda, bring your own! Pro tip: consider bringing a large empty cup with you—most vendors will refill any cup for $1! Looking to save on a few calories too? In that case, pack some healthy snacks and drinks prior to the event.
Free Exhibits and Events: enjoy the many free exhibits and events this year at the fair: Antique Farm Machinery, Flower and Garden Show, Village of Yesteryear, Fireworks (nightly at 9:45 pm), Folk Festival, Flippin’ Aerial and Acrobatic Spectacular’s artists, Fire Safety Show, U.S. Marines Pull-Up Challenge, Pig Races, multiple music stages and more! See the full schedule of free entertainment and exhibits to check out!
Free Rides for the Parents of Young Kids: there are several rides that parents can enjoy free of cost when accompanying a paying child. From their website: “Parents can ride on all slides and Merry-Go-Rounds for free when accompanying a paying child who is 40-inches tall or less.”
Do you have any ideas for spending less at the fair? Let us know, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below!