Officials cut the ribbon Friday morning to signal the start to the next 10 days of jammed packed fun.
The state fair unofficially started Thursday at 3 p.m. In all, 42,763 people attended the fair Thursday. That number is slightly down from last year's 42,854 and down from the record Thursday attendance of 47,677 in 2010.
Fair officials say entries for a lot of the contests are up by 40 or 50 percent. That shows them the popularity of the fair, and they say they want people to come for the usual attractions here but not to forget the industry that brings North Carolina millions and millions of dollars.
"We're here to enjoy the rides, the music, the food, everything that the fair should be," said N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "But don't forget agriculture's role and this year we're going to showcase modern agriculture and how we operate today."
Get the full schedule of events and tickets at: www.ncstatefair.org.
The fair runs through Oct. 27 at the State Fairgrounds.