What do you think of when you think of fall? For me, it’s football season first and foremost. But after that, I think of things like pumpkins, apple cider, leaves, sweaters, and of course the fair. In North Carolina, fall is the season for the state and county fairs. And there is no shortage of fairs throughout the state. Most counties have some iteration of a county fair at some point in the fall months.

These fairs bring neighbors together. They feature animals, competitions, and entertainment like the always-entertaining pig races. Then there are the rides- Ferris wheels, swings, and rides that will spin you every which way. Though those last ones, while I’m sure they are fun, aren’t for me- unless you want me sick. And at the fair, you have to play a game or two, win that giant teddy bear you won’t know what to do with 48 hours later. Or perhaps a goldfish? I accidentally let a kid I was babysitting win one of those once. Not the best idea when you have to explain to the parents why you brought home a pet.

But perhaps most people’s favorite thing about the fair? The food! Maybe you like to play it safe with classics like kettle corn, funnel cakes. pizza, or candy apples. Or maybe you want anything fried- fried Oreos, fried kool aid, fried candy bars, or something I can’t even imagine. I remember at the NC State Fair the year the Krispy Kreme Burger was the new item. And it was interesting for sure. I actually feel like it may taste better than it sounds- but wasn’t worth the money or calories for me personally to find out!

So back to fairs in North Carolina. Below you’ll find a list of 7 North Carolina County Fairs, close enough to Charlotte to make a drive to! Happy fair season!

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