150th State Fair is in the books

Crowds come and go through the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh as people ride the State Fair Flyer during the 150th North Carolina State Fair, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Thousands upon thousands descend on the State Fairgrounds every day of the 10-day affair for rides, food, games, shows, animals and more. (Eamon Queeney / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — The N.C. State Fair finished its 11-day run on Sunday with the fourth highest visitor total in its 150-year history with 1,014,478 through the turnstiles. The fair also saw the highest number of attendees for an opening Thursday at 57,083. The second week of fair events included several cooking awards and livestock milestones. Highlights are below.

Junior Livestock Sale of Champions


Junior winners in the N.C. State Fair livestock shows drew a record $182,500 for the top steers, barrows, lambs, goats and turkeys in the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions.

“We are proud that so many businesses and organizations turned out to support the hard work of all these junior exhibitors,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The money raised will go a long way towards college educations, scholarships and educational outreach.”

The grand champion junior market steer was shown by Jacob Burleson of Weaverville. N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance and Powers Great American Midways placed the winning bid of $25,000 for the grand champion.

The grand champion Got to Be NC steer was shown by Nora Cave of Elkin. That steer was purchased by N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance, Powers Great American Midways, Harward Brothers Livestock Market, Carolina Stockyards and Thompson Cattle Co. for $18,000.

Farm Credit Association of North Carolina purchased the grand champion junior market lamb, which was also the Got to Be NC lamb, for $16,500. The lamb was shown by Audrey Glass of Belhaven.

Griffin Huneycutt of Albemarle showed the grand champion market barrow, which was purchased for $19,500 by the N.C. Pork Council, Smithfield Farmland, Prestage Farms, Hog Slat, Inc., Duplin Marketing and Mt. Olive Livestock.

The grand champion Got to Be NC barrow was shown by Conner Kennedy of Pink Hill. It was purchased for $25,500 by the N.C. Pork Council, Smithfield Farmland, Prestage Farms, Hog Slat Inc., Duplin Marketing and Mt. Olive Livestock.

N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance purchased the grand champion turkey shown by Kaylie Pender of Wake Forest for $10,000. Talley Farms purchased the reserve champion turkey shown by Zya Pegg of Swannanoa for $5,000.

Pecan Recipe Contest

Samantha Leonard of Archdale, Randolph County, won the N.C. Pecan Association’s pecan recipe contest for her Papi’s Pecan Pie Pancakes. Craig Partin of Garner came in second place with his Chocolate Malted Pecan Crunch Snack and Domino Ireland of Raleigh was third with Salty, Sweet and Heat Pecan Peppadews. All recipes had to contain one cup of North Carolina pecans. Judging was based on taste appeal, creative use of pecans, appearance and ease of preparation.

The winning recipe follows:

Papi’s Pecan Pie Pancakes


2 cups flour

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 3/4 cups milk

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar (to be sprinkled on pancakes)

Mix the flour, white sugar, baking powder and pecans until well combined. Add the milk and eggs and mix until the mixture is combined; you will still have lumps. Then add cinnamon and melted butter.

Preheat pan to 350 F and butter lightly. Pour a healthy 1/2 cup of batter to the pan, distributing the pecans. Before flipping the pancake, sprinkle about a tablespoon of brown sugar on pancake. Try to avoid edges, because it will burn. For a crunchier cake, you can add more pecans with the brown sugar as well.