2005 Matt Buchanan took over as manager of the fair from Bill Edmondson, the original manager who retired before the ’05 fair. The fair partnered with Ingles Supermarkets to generate more visibility and increase advance ticket sales, setting a record. On-line advance tickets sales also hit a new record, and advance tickets were marketed at Asheville Tourists games and at the Apple Festival. Special emphasis was placed on hand-washing to prevent the spread of e-coli and other diseases. Strong attendance boosted fair numbers and generated profits for future improvements to the facilities.
2006 The 2006 edition of the NC Mountain State Fair took place September 8-17 with the theme “Go Hog Wild”. Attendance was the third highest ever, totaling 177,813. Great concerts in McGough Arena included a sell-out Josh Turner. Commissioner Troxler drove into opening ceremonies in the Got to be NC Big Cart, which stayed on the grounds for several days. The Mountain Music Festival moved out from the Hospitality Tent to its own outdoor theater on Heritage Boulevard, drawing large crowds for each performance.
2007 This was a new record breaking year in many different ways with “Full Throttle Fun” and Avery the goat as our mascot. There were four record-breaking days (opening Friday, Monday and the last Saturday and Sunday) with an overall record attendance of 187,819. We only had one day of rain, which cleared up, for most of the afternoon. The fair will continue to move “Full Throttle” ahead with the announcement of two new buildings being built on the fair grounds to better accommodate future growth and other non-fair uses.
2008 15th year Anniversary! We finished the fair with two recorded-breaking days (Monday, 2nd Friday) with an overall attendance of 177,869. There was only one bad day of rain but the gas shortage caught us on the 2nd weekend. Our fair theme, “Best of the West”, served us proud as we had a great fair with representation of all the wonderful opportunities we have here in Western North Carolina.
2009 The Virginia C Boone Mountain Heritage Center and the Livestock/Expo Building opened just in time for “How the West Was Fun”. Drew Amusements provided fairgoers the experience of seeing the grounds from the sky in the Chairlift. A record breaking day occurred on Monday with 14,482 folks coming through the gates; however the attendance only reached 160,242 due to rain the last four days. Competitive entries were displayed within the Expo Building and the Heritage Crafters in the Virginia C Boone Mountain Heritage Center.
2010 A great year for “Cultivating Fun!” With only one day of rain, visitors poured in to enjoy all that the fair had to offer. Three days set new attendance records with the overall attendance of 185, 323 being just 2,496 short of the record set in 2007. “Ingles Day” also set a record amount of food collected which was given to MANNA Food Bank. Drew Amusements returned with midway rides as well as the chairlift and the new Bojangles Stage hosted local bands. Two scholarships were awarded by the WNC Beef Commission in memory of Scotty Cochran. Barbara Worley and “Burder” Reeves were inducted into the Fair’s “Livestock Hall of Fame.”
2011 Brought, for the first time ever, consecutive years of 180,531 people in attendance. The opening of the newly remodeled Davis Arena/Event Center offered the Commercial Exhibitors an inside, dry, climate-controlled venue. The Moo-ternity Ward returned, thanks to the help of local dairy cattle farmers; and Livestock Shows moved into the McGough Arena. Previous money used for concerts was used to add more free entertainment for the fairgoers. First edition of the NC Mountain State Fair Cookbook was available for purchase. The weather overall was good except for one rainy day and the last three days being on the chilly side.
2012 Was a great year for “Squeals, Thrills, and Ferris Wheels” with 170,426 visitors coming to enjoy it all. The Mountain Music Stage provided excellent talent as did the Bojangles’ Stage. The astonishing “Tree of Life” was seen near the Davis Event Center surprising lots of folks. Also, the Mooternity Ward, back for its 2nd year, brought forth seven calves being born. The fi rst Sunday set a new record; however, attendance was down slightly due to a rainy first Saturday.
2013 The 20th Anniversary of the NC Mountain State Fair! This year’s theme was “Mountain Fun For Everyone!” Large crowds gathered to see first time performers Sea Lion Splash and Kachunga and the Alligator Show. Ten days of good weather helped set a record attendance of 191,596. There was a cooking contest held each day of the fair, all being sponsored by North Carolina commodities. We hosted a meal and a night at the fair for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Conference on Tuesday night with each of the 50 states being represented as well as some international representation.
2014 “There’s No Time Like Fair Time” was the theme. This year proved our theme with a lot of rain and cool weather. We never know what we will get come fair time. Our total attendance was 166,316. We had one record day on Wednesday of 14,193. This was also “Ingles Day.” There were 3,438 fairgoers that helped break this record by bringing in over 17,000 pounds of food that was donated to MANNA Food Bank.