Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
As we enter what should have been the final homestretch of the annual State Fair, there are still a few things happening at the fairgrounds that people may want to participate in – canned food drive on Thursday, Oct. 22; N.C. Pork Council selling t-shirts to benefit the youth livestock program; and 22 N.C. food vendors set up to help people with satisfy their craving for fair foods.
We should be in the homestretch of the annual N.C. State Fair, but of course COVID-19 derailed those plans this year. I was out at the fairgrounds last week and it looked nothing like we have come to expect for October in North Carolina.
But there are still some activities taking place this week that people may want to participate in.
The fairgrounds is hosting 22 North Carolina food vendors for people who would like to get their fix of fair foods. This is a take-out event only and masks are required for vendors and guests alike. We ask that people social distance while waiting and to not gather in groups.
A few vendors had organized drive-thru events earlier in the year with a lot of success, but with 22 booths spread out, there will be more fair favorites to choose from.
The hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
Visitors will find roasted corn, turkey legs, seafood, gator bites, fruit drinks, candy apples, cotton candy, kettle corn, Jamaican and Cajun foods, pitas, fudge, fried dough and more. You can find a complete list online at www.ncstatefair.org.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, we will be hosting a modified Food Lion Hunger Relief drive-thru canned food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
As this pandemic has continued, the need for food assistance has only increased. I am especially proud that we are keeping the Hunger Relief Day tradition alive this year because the need IS so great. I am grateful to Food Lion and ABC 11 WTVD for being partners in this effort.
I encourage everyone to round up some canned goods to donate and come see us on Oct. 22 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
I want to also mention that the N.C. Pork Council has partnered with the State Fair to offer a 2020 So Un-fair t-shirt for sale. I know many people collect State Fair t-shirts, so this is an opportunity to add another year to the collection. The proceeds from the sale benefit our youth livestock shows.
The sale of these shirts ends on Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m. They are pre-ordered and then shipped to you. The shirts are $20 and they will ship for free.
Lastly, I want to mention how proud I am that we have been able to hold junior livestock shows throughout what would have been the 11 days of the fair. We have had a lot of businesses and individuals sponsor these shows and we would not have been able to hold them without their support.
Although the shows are closed to the public, I know how proud the kids are to have been able to compete with their animals. So much hard work goes into getting an animal ready for the show ring and we wanted to recognize and celebrate that with socially distanced junior shows.
We are already thinking about the 2021 State Fair and we intend to make it the best ever. Go ahead and mark your calendar for Oct. 14-24, 2021.