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Rattlesnake Corn Dogs, Dill Pickle Pizza tempt taste buds at N.C. State Fair

Adventurous foods await as annual showcase lights up the midway


Tacos. Mac and cheese. Pizza.

Washed down with a refreshing slushie.

Just a part of your regular high-carb, high-sugar diet?

Well, not so fast.

The North Carolina State Fair lights up its midway with thrill rides, game booths and agricultural exhibits.

But, let’s face it, what you’re really after is all those buttered-and-fried foods the vendors are serving.

The fair opens Thursday and runs through Oct. 23 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

And as with every year, food vendors are cooking up some adventurous treats to tempt your taste buds.

Combine three favorites in one with the Deep Fried Bacon Mac-n-Cheese Tacos from Bubba’s Bacon. They’re deep-fried until crispy and topped with a melted cheese sauce.

And what’s a fair without a corn dog — a Rattlesnake Corn Dog, that is. Rattlesnake sausage —yes, you got that right — is battered and deep-fried, then topped with avocado sauce. Find it at the Pioneer Wagon, along with elk sausage and Snakebite Nachos.

Want to keep it simple? There’s always Dill Pickle Pizza from Rudy’s or Pork Chop on a Stick from Rockin’ Comet Diner, grilled and served with a dip on the side.

Of course, there’s dessert. The Frozen Banana Pudding Tacos from Chick-N-Que is a fried tortilla filled with frozen, house-made banana pudding and cream, topped with a Vanilla Wafer and a drizzle of caramel.

For lighter fare — lighter in color, that is — try a Fall in a Cup Green Apple Loaded Slushie, combining green apple slush, caramel drizzle, apple slices, whipped cream and caramel bits. Find it at Moose Joose Slushie.

Elsewhere at the fair are arts and crafts, gardening and culinary exhibits; the Village of Yesteryear; and the Field of Dreams miniature farm. 

Tractor pulls and monster truck rides are also part of the fun.   

Admission to the fair is $13 for adults ages 13-64; $7 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and younger; and $5 for seniors. Discounts are available for advance purchases. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, seniors ages 65 and older will be admitted free. 

For active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsmen and their dependents (ages 13-64), admission is $8 at the gate. Identification is required. 

Wednesday, Oct. 19, is Military Appreciation Day, featuring a tractor parade at 10 a.m. and performances by the 440th Army Band throughout the day. 

This year, gates open at 9 a.m. except for opening day, which gets started at noon. Gates close for admission at 9:45 p.m.

The fairgrounds is at 4285 Trinity Road in Raleigh. For more information or to buy tickets, go to ncstatefair.org.  

FastTrack Gate Admission lets you skip the ticket line at the gates. Online tickets include package deals for groups.

Fayetteville, N.C. State Fair, fair food, entertainment