This year, the N.C. State Fair will run from Thursday, October 11th to Sunday, October 21st. While it is an annual tradition for many, it can quickly get expensive. See below for how to save money on tickets, parking, and food. Also check out the State Fair’s list of 100 Free Things To Do during your visit.
Ticket Deals and Promotions at the N.C. State Fair
Includes: 1 Fast Track Gate Admission Ticket and 1 Unlimited Ride Wristband
Dizzy Passes are only available online in advance of the fair, so make sure to buy yours before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. You’ll need to redeem your wristband voucher at a ride redemption tent after entering the fair, and Unlimited Ride Wristbands aren’t valid for the State Fair Flyer.
Casey’s Family 4-Pack
Includes: 4 Fast Track Gate Admission Tickets, 2 Ride Sheets (18 tickets per sheet), and 1 Casey Cardinal Plush Doll
Casey’s Family 4-Packs are only available online in advance of the fair, so make sure to buy yours before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. A voucher will be printed for your Casey Cardinal plush, which you can redeem at the State Fair store. You’ll also need to redeem your ride sheets at a ride redemption tent.
Kegs and Corks Pass
Includes: 1 Fast Track Gate Admission Ticket and 1 Our State Public House Admission Ticket with your choice of two 8 oz. craft beer samples or two 3 oz. wine samples
These passes are only available online in advance of the fair, so make sure to buy yours by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th.
Mega Fan Mini Pass
Includes: Fast Track Gate Admission any 5 days of the fair
These passes are only available online in advance of the fair, so make sure to buy yours by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. The pass is only valid for one scan per day.
State Fair Flyer Package
Includes: 2 Fast Track Gate Admission Tickets and 2 Round-Trip State Fair Flyer Tickets
These passes are only available online in advance of the fair, so make sure to buy yours by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. State Fair Flyer Tickets purchased online can be redeemed at the State Fair Flyer.
Tools For School Program
$3 – $8
Support Wake or Edgecombe County Public Schools by buying tickets in advance of the fair with your school code. For each Adult Fast Track Gate Admission Ticket purchased, the State Fair will donate $2 to the school. For every Child Fast Track Ticket, they will donate $1. Simply enter your school code under “Membership” at check-out.
Daily Military Discount
Active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsman, and their dependents pay only $6 daily at the gate. Veterans are offered the same discount for themselves, plus one discounted ticket for a guest. Proper identification must be presented at the ticket window to receive the discount.
Senior Citizen’s Discount
All seniors age 65 and over receive free admission every day of the fair.
Advance Tickets at Food Lion
Pick up admission tickets, ride tickets, and ride wristbands for a discounted price at Food Lions state-wide until store closing on Thursday, October 11th. Admission tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children. An 18-ticket ride sheet is $10, and unlimited ride wristbands are $25.
Friday Frenzy – Student Discount Day
Friday, October 12th
Students can take advantage of $6 admission by showing their school ID or report card at the ticket booth. Tickets aren’t available online or in advance. One ticket per student.
Senior Citizen’s Day
Tuesday, October 16th
While seniors age 65 and over can get in free every day of the fair, on October 16th they can also enjoy a free Bojangle’s breakfast and entertainment. This event will take place in the Dorton Arena from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Food Lion Hunger Relief Day
Thursday, October 18th
Bring 5 cans of food and receive free admission to the fair. Cans will be exchanged for tickets at each admission gate.
Parking at the N.C. State Fair
New for 2018, the State Fair now has a free parking lot at the corner of Edwards Mill and Reedy Creek. They will also provide a free shuttle from this lot to the fair, with drop off and pick up occurring at Gate B Carter Finley Stadium. Free parking is also available on State Fair, Carter-Finley Football Stadium, and PNC Arena properties.
Park and Ride options are also offered by Triangle-area buses. These buses will drop you off at Gate 1 on Hillsborough Street.
Check the State Fair website for more information and details on parking areas and park and ride options.
Saving on Food and Drink at the N.C. State Fair
For free food samples stop by the Got To Be NC Agriculture exhibit, which features products from Got To Be NC members for fair-goers to taste and purchase. You can also find various free samples in the Commercial, Scott, and Education buildings.
You are also allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. Water bottle filling stations are available throughout the fair. Be aware that all bags are subject to search at the gate, and that no glass bottles or alcohol are permitted.
During the week, take advantage of the Weekday Lunch Pass Program to taste all the food the fair has to offer without having to pay admission. Visit Gate 9 or Gate 1 after 11:30 a.m. on weekdays, and purchase a lunch card for $10 (cash only). Then enter the fair and buy your lunch from whichever vendor you wish. Be aware that most fair food vendors only take cash. Return your lunch card by 1:30 p.m. to whichever gate you purchased it from for a full $10 cash refund. If you leave later than 1:30 p.m., you forfeit your $10. This program is for adult admission only.