The State Library of North Carolina is getting in the mood for fried food and prize pumpkins as it launches a new online exhibit about the North Carolina State Fair: Blue Ribbon Memories: Your History of the NC State Fair, found at http://statefair.ncdcr.gov.
The North Carolina State Fair began in 1853 as a way to share agricultural knowledge and innovation. Since that time, the Fair has grown into a venue not only for showcasing agricultural achievements but also for wild rides, races, games and, of course, a fantastic variety of fried foods. Fair dates for 2011 are Oct. 13-23.
Blue Ribbon Memories helps celebrate this North Carolina tradition. The site includes a timeline, through which visitors can browse almost all of the Fair’s premium lists. Issued for each Fair, premium lists describe how much contestants can win for their prize quilt or jam. The stories tell a lot about North Carolina’s history, from the spread of electricity to the decline of tobacco farming. The site also includes historic newspaper articles, photographs, films, memorabilia, and other resources about the Fair, many of which were contributed by generous partners.
Help record your history of the Fair by submitting personal stories or photographs. “Describe the first time you took a child to the Fair, the best (or worst) fried foods you’ve ever eaten there, favorite memory, or just your first memory of the Fair,” said Lisa Gregory, Digital Projects Liaison for the State Library’s Digital Information Management Program. Gregory says the memories don’t have to be “fancy” — just true to get everyone in the mood for sights, sounds and scents that October will bring. “We hope that others will enjoy these memories — and all of the Fair’s history — all year round, now and in the future.”
The State Library of North Carolina is part of the Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available at www.ncculture.com.