FLETCHER, N.C. — The 2021 N.C. Mountain State Fair is gearing up for its most anticipated run ever, and fairgoers will find new grounds entertainment mixed in with all the favorites that they have waited to see.
“After a year to forget, we are planning a Mountain State Fair to remember,” said fair manager Matt Buchanan. “I can hear the excitement and anticipation building when I talk with fair vendors, staff, the midway operator, competitors and fairgoers. Everyone is eager to make this the best fair ever. That means guests will find loads of music, thrilling rides, engaging livestock shows, energetic clogging, mountain crafts, fun entertainment and delicious fair food to enjoy every day.”
New and returning entertainment
New to the grounds will be the Wild Wheels Wall of Death, a retro motorcycle thrill show that keeps alive the traveling motorcycle show tradition; Birds n Beasts, which showcases stunning birds of prey and shares a wildlife conservation message; and the Great Lakes Timber Show, featuring lumberjack competitions of skill and brawn.
These new acts will round out about a dozen daily entertainment opportunities across the fairgrounds. Returning favorites include the Circle C pig races, where piglets race to the finish line for a cheese puff grand prize; Kenya Safari Acrobats, an energetic troupe that showcases their strength, flexibility and balance; Brad Matchett’s Agricadabra Magic Show and Comedy Hypnotist Show; Extreme Illusions & Escapes, featuring Las Vegas-style illusions; and the friendly dinosaurs of Dakota and Friends.
Fairgoers can gain insight into North Carolina’s $95.9 billion agriculture and agribusiness industry through the popular Mooternity Ward, featuring a live calf birth daily, along with the Mobile Dairy Classroom, Farmer’s Bill Ag-Venture, and The Barnyard, with its display of livestock and information on production numbers in the state. In addition, livestock shows throughout the fair highlight junior and adult competitors and top area animals.
Music, Clogging and Special Competitions
Local bluegrass bands, gospel singers and groups, and cloggers will light up Heritage Stage with their performances.
The Clogging Competition, which is sanctioned by The United Clogging Association, kicks things off Sept. 10 & 11. A total of $6,600 in premiums are being offered.
The N.C. Mountain State Fair Pageant will be held Sept. 11 at 11 a.m.
On Sept. 14, the fair will host an Ice Cream Eating Contest that you sign up for that day. Competitions are divided by age groups, with five categories: 5-7 years old; 8-12 years old; 13-17 years old; adults 18 and up.
The Gospel Singing Contest, featuring individuals, duos and groups, will be held Sept. 18 at 9 a.m.
Rides and Entertainment
Midway provider Drew Exposition plans to bring two new rides to the fair including a high-speed thrill ride from England called the “Fighter” and a classic American Eagle Ferris Wheel made in Jacksonville, Ill.
The N.C. Mountain State Fair runs Sept. 10-19 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for seniors 65 and up and children ages six to 12. Children five and under are free. Check the website for special promotions and discount days. Advance tickets are on sale now at participating Ingles stores, the WNC Ag Center and the WNC Farmers Market. Fairgoers can save $2 on gate admission and 40 percent off on ride tickets by purchasing them in advance. More information is available at www.mountainfair.org.
–Matt Buchanan, N.C. Mountain State Fair