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Get Outside

North Carolina State Fair

When: Oct. 13-23 2011

It's that time again: The sun is warm with days of Indian summer, the leaves are starting to change color and the air is fragrant with the smell of vaporized grease. Yes, it's the North Carolina State Fair, the proud tradition of rides, games and very, very, very unhealthy foodstuffs. It's a place of tradition, ranging from crafts and farming to those rides that still have airbrushed art of wizards and dragons dating back to the 1980s and possibly earlier (as do a few of the musical acts, including Dionne Warwick and Kansas).

And, of course, there's the food. Each year, it seems a few items are improved upon by being served deep-fried and/or on a stick. Will this be the year fried butter reaches the Triangle? Do consider that we already live in an area where numerous local restaurants have found ways to combine the heaviest ingredients known to man. (The Fair's blog, not coincidentally named Deep Fried, reminded me that Durham's Geer Street Garden has a fried chicken-and-fries-with-gravy dish named "The Pile." I need to eat there sometime).

What new innovations will help keep our state ranking high among national stats for obesity and Type 2 diabetes? That's right, Texas—we're gunning for you. The fair runs through Oct. 23; adult tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the gate. —Zack Smith

Price: $6-$8

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