NC State Fair 2023: Tickets, policies and special event days

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Thursday, October 12, 2023
NC State Fair 2023: Tickets, policies and special event days
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The State Fair will run from October 12-22.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's that time of year again when the NC State Fair comes to town.

The fair this year will have something for everyone including two new entertainment acts, four new rides, animals, family activities, and more than 30 new food items.

Tickets for the event are available now.

The State Fair will run from October 12-22.

ALSO SEE: Weekday Lunch Pass Program returns to 2023 North Carolina State Fair

Transportation Options

Free shuttles will be available to the public this year at the Bandwidth Dogwood Lot and Hwy 54 Cardinal Lot. The shuttles will run Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to one hour after gates close, and Oct. 13- 22 from 9 a.m. to one hour after gates close.

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AMTRAK will also operate a special train stop right in front of Gate 2 at the fair. Learn more about train times and buy tickets here.

Full information about parking, park and ride locations, and hours can be found here.


The state fair clear bag policy will continue to be in place this year. Any size or type of clear bag is acceptable. Wristlets, diaper bags, and medical equipment bags will be accepted into the fair, even if they are not clear, but will require additional inspection.


PrimeTime with the Pack- Oct. 12

NC State students can purchase admission for $8 when showing their student ID at the gate. The offer is only available on Oct. 12.

AccessABILITY Day - Oct. 15

AccessABILITY day will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this year. Rides and games will operate with no lights or music beginning at 10 a.m. Music stages will only play acoustic sets and the PA system will only be used for lost visitor announcements. There will be a "Bandwidth Chill Out Zone" where guests and take a break from the busy atmosphere outside. Noise-canceling headphones and guidebooks will also be available.

Senior Citizen Day - Oct. 17

Seniors ages 65 and older can enter free of charge on Oct. 17. Admission will begin at 9 a.m. while supplies last, and Bojangles' biscuits and coffee will be served at the Senior Fun Fest. A program with Commissioner Steve Troxler and music will kick off at 10 a.m.

Military Appreciation Day - Oct. 18

There will be a parade at 10 a.m. It will make its way through Kiddieland, past the Scott Building, and back through the carnival midway.

Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day - Oct. 19

Bring six cans of food and enter the fair for free.

For more information on special event days visit the NC State Fair website.

How safe are the foods and rides?

There are 96 rides at this year's fair and state inspectors check every single one. Inspectors only certify rides that meet the manufacturer's specifications 100%.

There are ninety-six rides here at this year's fair, and inspectors with the state are working their way through each ride here

The 2023 state fair will have 54 new food options that visitors can try.

The fair opens this week on Thursday.