RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. State Fair freshens up its 2019 entertainment lineup with the addition of eight new grounds entertainers, five new rides, and a total of 117 concerts by established and emerging musical acts with North Carolina ties.
Among the new rides is the State Fair SkyGazer, a 155-foot-tall Ferris wheel with 15-mile sight lines, the tallest ride ever brought to the N.C. State Fair.
“We know fairgoers love the classics like racing pigs and lumberjack shows, but we also want to bring in a mix of new acts to continue to wow fair visitors,” said fair manager Kent Yelverton. “The SkyGazer literally raises the expectation level and we can’t wait to see the wheel go up on the grounds. It’s the tallest traveling Ferris wheel in the United States and when assembled, it will tower 62 and half feet above Dorton Arena.”
The ride will hold 216 people in 36 closed gondolas and will last about 10 minutes. It features over half a million individual LED lights and six miles of electrical wiring.
A separate ticket will be required to ride the SkyGazer. They are $6 in advance or $7 at the fair. Other new rides coming include a new Alien Abduction ride, SkyHawk, Sizzler and Dream Wheel.
The Our State Public House will add North Carolina made craft sodas to its offerings. Prior to the fair, you can purchase a Kegs, Corks and Pop pass for $12 to $17, which includes admission, plus a beer, wine or craft soda sample.
A one-man band, aerialist and acrobats, lumberjacks, stiltwalkers, a parrot-riding pirate, a giraffe and her zookeeper, a musical carillon and a street drum corps are among the new free grounds acts.
- Bandaloni is a one-man band that will engage and amaze fairgoers. Canadian Paul David’s act includes a custom-made guitar and drum rig, bass and rhythm guitars, harmonica, a kick drum, two high-hats, snare drum, cow bell, tambourine and singing. Roaming daily near the Holshouser Building.
- The Flippin’ Aerial & Acrobatic Spectacular is a high-flying show that includes acrobats, comedians and aerialists performing on flying mechanisms, a trapeze and a rotating dual wheel. It will be located near Gate 10.
- Depending on the temperature, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show’s boom runs will prove to be either refreshing or exhilarating for the lumberjacks as they race across spinning logs in four feet of water. One misstep and their run is over and it will be time for a swim. Performing daily near Gate 11.
- A Parrot-Riding Pirate is sure to turn heads as he strolls around Kiddieland near Dorton Arena. Be sure to greet him with a hearty, ahoy!
- Fairgoers may very well hear the Street Drum Corps before they see them. This dynamic and high-energy percussion group will get you moving to the beats they create using buckets, trash cans, trash lids and large empty metal barrels for drum kits. Check them out on the North Dorton Arena patio.
- Fairgoers cannot forget to look up while they are on the grounds because some of the entertainers, including the Stilt Circus will be head and shoulders above even the tallest visitor. The Stilt Circus duo will be making their way around Kiddieland dressed in an array of costumes.
- Also easy to spot above the crowd is Giraffe and her Zookeeper, which will stroll around the Flower Show and Heritage Circle area daily.
- Cast in Bronze features a carillon, which is a musical instrument with 35 bells that weighs four tons. It is played by a silent and masked “Spirit of the Bells,” who creates harmonizing melodies with the bells. This unique musical act can be seen daily in the Flower and Garden Show area.
Fairgoers will still find the giant pumpkins and watermelons, decorated cakes, livestock show and exhibits, heritage crafts, art and plenty of N.C. grown musical acts on three stages. The 2019 N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 17-27, and advance tickets are on sale through Oct. 17. For more information, visit www.ncstatefair.org.
–N.C. State Fair