NORTH CAROLINA – The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. The North Carolina State Fair begins in Raleigh Thursday!

  • In 2018, nearly one million people attended the fair.
  • Expect traffic delays from October 17-27.
  • Officials are urging motorists to be extra cautious for the duration of the fair.

With the arrival of the North Carolina State Fair comes with people visiting from all across the state. In 2018, close to a million people came through the gates.

“The more people you have converging on one event could mean more potential for pedestrian-vehicle collisions, drunk driving incidents, crashes that result in injuries and fatalities unfortunately. Each traveler needs to know that there may be an impaired, unbelted, distracted or inexperienced driver traveling near them at some point and they must stay vigilant,” The Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) director, Mark Ezzell, said.

The event is held at the fairgrounds off Blue Ridge Road, but additional concerts and sporting events during those 11 days will bring even larger crowds.

This year, GHSP staff will be sponsoring the Safety City exhibit which is a virtual highway safety community that educates attendees on safe driving behaviors.

Some of the agencies involved in “Safety City” are Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Safe Kids NC, Watch for Me NC, BeRailSafe NC, Choices for Chase, Alcohol Law Enforcement and Alcohol Beverage Control, and many more.

If you cannot make it to the exhibit, GHSP officials are passing along a few safety guidelines that just might save your life:

  1. Buckle up. Wearing your seatbelt decreases your chances of dying in a crash by almost half.
  2. Drive sober. Use a ride sharing app, take public transportation (bus and or train to and from the fair), call a friend; speak up if someone is under the influence and planning to get behind the wheel!
  3. Slow Down. Pay Attention. Distracted driving and speeding claim lives every day and are preventable behaviors.