Showcasing local pride at the N.C. State Fair

by | Oct 10, 2022

Nearly fifty vendors will fill up Dorton Arena, also known as the Got To Be N.C. Pavilion, this year at the 2022 N.C. State Fair! As the most popular and well-known building on the grounds, Dorton Arena is the perfect place to showcase local pride, products and talent. Throughout the fair, taking place this year October 13-23, vendors will rotate in and out of the Got To Be N.C. Pavilion, to offer a diverse sampling of what our state has to offer.

Each year, vendors in the Pavilion sign up either for the starting half of the fair, last half of the fair or the entire duration of the fair based on space available, current schedules and product availability. While many of your favorite vendors will be back this year, including Hawaiian Dave’s Island Treats, Mackeys Ferry Peanuts & Gifts and Zulia Bakery, the Pavilion will also feature more than ten new vendors this year! Each of these vendors is a member of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Got To Be N.C. Program, which seeks to promote N.C. farmers, producers and products to help them grow and expand their offerings across the state and beyond. Check out all these new treats that will be available for you to sample and take home this year in the Pavilion!

  • Ashanti Styles LLC (Queen’s Jollof Sauce): A delicious blend of tomatoes, vegetables and herbs that are slow roasted in olive oil to create the first step of an authentic Jollof Rice. It can be added to meats, seafood and vegetables as well as casseroles, side dishes, stir fry and more!
  • Boozie Bakes: Baked goods featuring a little splash of alcohol to keep your party boozy and delicious! They also have non-alcoholic cupcakes and treats that are perfect to keep the kids happy. Flavors include but are not limited too: White Bourbon Bliss, Baileys Cookies and Cream, Better with Tequila, Vanilla Funfetti and Red Sangria.
  • Carolina Pickle Company, Inc.: Don’t think these are just your ordinary, run of the mill, pickles. Carolina Pickle Company offers the classics, like bread & butter pickles and dill pickles, but also jams, jellies and seasonal pickles, like hot pepper vinegar and cowboy candy. According to the company, they are the “most magical pickles on earth!”
  • iLéWA Foods: Blending the cultures of Africa and America, owner and chef Adé shares her passion and heritage from Benin, Africa through her spice rubs and blend products. Whether you prefer your meat rubs to be spicy or sweet, her products are the perfect way to showcase flavors from across the world.
  • Kitoko Bites LLC: Kitoko Bites feature a variety of flavored donut holes that can be made regular, gluten free or vegan. Flavors include but are not limited too: Cinnamon Sugar, Apple Butter, Hot Glaze and White Chocolate.
  • Lizzee’s Apple LLC: Candy apples are a favorite treat for many fairgoers, and Lizzee’s Apples is bringing you many unique and delicious ways to enjoy one! Based in the Raleigh-Durham area, the company specializes in creating custom apples for a variety of events. Check out their inventory at the fair to see what specialty flavors she has available!
  • Made in NC, LLC (Irene’s Peanut Brittle): Made in NC has partnered with Irene’s Peanut Brittle to bring you a sweet and local treat from the heart of NC. Like many Southern desserts, Irene’s Peanut Brittle was born from a craving. It’s been made by hand with love ever since!
  • Miss Frans Cookie Company: Started over nine years ago, Miss Frans Cookie Company is a crowd favorite for their sweet and savory cookies. Not only do they come in a variety of flavors but they are also baked to suit any occasion. Flavors include but are not limited too: peanut butter, snickerdoodle and walnut.
  • Ms. Mickey’s Creole Seasonings: Are you ready to take your cooking skills to the next level? Ms. Mickey’s Creole Seasonings and hot sauce come in a variety of flavors, including Roast me Cajun, Creole and Extreme Fire. Try some to add a little extra spice to you favorite dishes!
  • RJ’s Sauces: Sweet or spicy, take your pick. RJ’s Sauce comes in BBQ or sweet mustard and is a great addition to many dinner entrées, including ribs, potato skins and burgers.
  • Savvy Oak Candle Company: Savvy Oak candles are a local way to brighten up your home. Whether you purchase from their signature collection or one of their candles for a cause, you are sure to love the clean scent and local flare of each candle

While you shop around, talk with all the vendors and stock up on local products, be sure to meet the Got To Be N.C. Ambassador, Paige King Johnson, to learn all about her new song “Homes in the Hometowns,” written especially for the program in honor of our local farmers and producers. She can also answer any questions about the upcoming NC AgStar auditions and tell you how to sign up for your chance to be the next Got To Be N.C. superstar!

Finally, the Got To Be N.C. Chef Stage is a great place to stop, sit for a spell and learn some new recipes to try at home from the hands of a local chef. Each day, chefs from across the state will be taking the stage with Food and Travel Writer Heidi Billotto and NCDA&CS Food Service Marketing Specialist Chad Blackwelder to share some easy, local and delicious recipes. If you’re lucky, you might even be chosen to sample the dish at the end of the demonstration. Check out the full schedule below and mark your calendar to check out the demos during your day at the N.C. State Fair!

As you can see, the Got To Be N.C. Pavilion has a lot to offer at the N.C. State Fair! From local food products and vendors to live chef demonstrations and local artists, it’s a must-see item for your fair list this year. Stop by to show your support for all the amazing products grown, raised, caught and made in this beautiful state we all call home!