Everything you need to know before going to the North Carolina State Fair

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The North Carolina State Fair opens Thursday at noon with tons of rides, food and games waiting for the hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend.

The fair will last through Oct. 27. Gates open at noon Thursday and at 8 a.m. every other day.

The fair always brings on big crowds and serious congestion on surrounding roads. Several concerts at nearby PNC Arena this year will likely complicate things. Post Malone (Thursday), Bon Iver (Saturday) and Mercyme (Sunday) are all scheduled to play at PNC Arena in the coming days. Information on parking and park and ride shuttles is available here.

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Tickets are available at the fairgrounds for $13 per adult. Youth tickets are $7 each. Kids under 5 get in free. More ticket info is available here.

There are several new fair food experiences you've come to expect. Fried olives, Crack-N-Cheese Stuffed Turkey Legs and roasted pumpkin spice corn are just a few of the rides your taste buds can take this year.

Weather-wise, it'll be a cool-first day for the fair as highs will only reach the low 60s with lots of sunshine. The first three days look to be good days to attend as we'll stay dry through Saturday.

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Thursday, Oct. 24 is Food Lion Hunger Relief Day, where fair-goers can bring six Food Lion brand cans of food and get in free. Tuesday is Senior Citizens Day. Wednesday is Military Appreciation Day.

Last year 977,256 people attended the fair. Each year from 2015 to 2017, total fair attendance eclipsed 1,000,000.

The nightly fireworks show is returning to fairground's property, with each show starting at 9:45 p.m.

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