What are the top favorite NC State Fair food traditions?


News & Observer / Regina Roberts

While putting together a recent survey asking readers about their favorite NC State Fair foods, we came across an adorable archived staff photo of 3-year-old Regina Roberts munching on roasted corn at the fair.

The caption of the photo, which was taken in October 2001, describes the Roberts family of Durham and their tradition of eating roasted corn at the Old Style Foods Roast Corn stand each year at the fair.

That year, Regina was at the fair with her parents, Renee and Randy Roberts, and her 18-month old brother, Reece.

Renee Roberts told our photographer that they “absolutely get corn every time, and always from the same stand.” It was Regina’s third trip to the fair and Reece’s second.

We tracked down Regina on Facebook to see if she remembers being in the newspaper way back then, and if she still goes to the NC State Fair to eat corn on the cob.

“We still go to the stand every year — it is a tradition,” she wrote back. “I still have a copy of the newspaper, and it is one of my favorite stories to tell.”

Roberts, now 23, was at the NC State Fair this week with her boyfriend, Parker Klinck, and got corn from her favorite stand. They recreated the 2001 photo for us.

How was the corn?

“It was honestly better than I remembered,” Roberts told us. “I ended up going back to the stand for seconds later in the evening.

“I’m really happy that my parents started this fun tradition, and will definitely be coming back every year as long as they stay open.”

Your favorite State Fair food traditions

According to our reader survey, corn dogs rule the NC State Fair. Nearly a third of our respondents say they can’t leave the fair without that crispy corn dog goodness.

Second place belonged to the coveted country ham biscuit.

Any semblance of consensus ended there.

But kudos to the reader who used one slot on our survey to list nearly every food served at the fair — it is hard to pick just one!

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and keeps track of changes in the local grocery landscape.

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