Food, games, rides and a bacon trail! Everything you need to know about 2022 NC State Fair

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Thursday, October 13, 2022
Food, games, rides and a bacon trail! Everything you need to know about 2022 NC State Fair
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The North Carolina State Fair opens Thursday at noon!

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina State Fair ends Sunday, October 23.

Check out the full forecast before heading to the fair.

NC State Fair 2022: Tickets, policies and special event days

After opening day, gates open at 9 a.m. and rides open at 10 a.m.

Tickets for the event are available now. Early ticket prices are $10 dollars for ages 13-64. Childrens tickets for ages 6-12 will be sold for $5, and children under 6 will get in free. According to the fair's website, FastTrack Gate Admission skips the ticketing line at all N.C. State Fair gates. FastTrack Gate Admission does not apply to carnival rides, the State Fair Flyer or the State Fair SkyGazer. This promotion is for gate admission only. Buy tickets online for your family, friends, or your co-workers. There are ticket and package options for groups of any size! Cash, Visa, MasterCard and American Express will be accepted at all gate locations for ticket purchases.

Transportation Options

GoTriangle, GoRaleigh and GoDurham will not provide shuttles to take people to and from the NC State Fair in 2022. The public transit companies said they had to get rid of the shuttles this year because there are not enough drivers to staff the routes.

AMTRAK will operate a special train stop right in front of Gate 1 at the fair. Learn more about train times and buy tickets here.

The bus driver shortage is also forcing the fair itself to close some of the park and ride lots in 2022. The Bandwidth Dogwood Lot and Hwy 54 Cardinal Lot are both still operational.

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

If you wish to drive yourself to the fair, you'll be able to access free parking at the fairgrounds, Carter-Finley Football Stadium and PNC Arena.

WATCH: Kim Deaner has the fair traffic outlook

FOOD! There's a bevy of new food items and yes, a 42-stop Bacon Trail

Of course, it's not fair food unless you have a lot of deep fried options.

Piggie tails are deep fried bacon strips with cinnamon and powdered sugar on top and drizzled with syrup. If that sounds too sweet, you can't go wrong with deep fried bacon mac-n-cheese tacos or a jerk BBQ pulled pork bowl.

Food vendors inspected at North Carolina State Fair 2022 before opening day

WATCH: NC State Fair releases menu of new food items


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.


AccessABILITY Day - Oct. 16

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. 18

Seniors can enter free of charge on Oct. 18.

Military Appreciation Day - Oct. 19

There will be a tractor parade at 10 a.m. and music from the 440th Army Band.

Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day - Oct. 20

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

Fair rides safety inspections

Inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Labor inspect close to one hundred rides. Inspectors only certify those rides that meet the manufacturer's specifications 100%.

Consumer Alerts

Beware of fake tickets, know rules before buying from vendors. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern NC reminds fairgoers to shop wisely. While some vendors will be local, many are from out of town and the day-to-day purchasing rules apply.

NC State Fair crowns biggest pumpkin, watermelon for 2022

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