Why choose the State Fairgrounds?
We can accommodate any size show, conference or exhibit. The North Carolina State Fairgrounds consists of 344 acres of land and more than 400,000 total square feet of building space. Our buildings accommodate party sizes from fewer than 100 to over 10,000. (Compare facilities at a glance.) Wi-Fi access is available throughout the complex at no additional charge. Because of the roomy facilities, great location, excellent FREE event parking and award winning landscape, the fairgrounds is a popular rental spot.
Easy access from all major highways.
The N.C. State Fairgrounds is easily accessible
from the I-440 Beltline, Interstate 40 and 540, as well
as from Blue Ridge
Road, N.C. Highway 54 (Hillsborough Street) and now Edwards
Mill Road (see directions below). Free parking is available
on State Fair and Carter-Finley Football Stadium property
for events scheduled at the Fairgrounds, except for recreational
vehicles that park between the hours of midnight and
Our prices are reasonable. In addition to ample free parking and a great location, building rental prices at the fairgrounds are reasonably priced. At the N.C. State Fairgrounds you can schedule a meeting, conference or exhibit that is easily accessible without having to spend most of your budget on the facility rental. For rental prices, please click on individual facility links located at the top of this page. Additional support services are also available to create a one-stop-shop event..
RV hook-up access available (except during State Fair). Recreational vehicle hook-up access for visits of 14 days or less. Water, sewer and electrical access is available on more than 350 sites (electricity access ranges from 30 –50 amps). Rental cost for a 24-hour period effective August 1, 2015 is $30 per unit EXCEPT during the month of October the rate is $35 per night per unit for any RV space. Primary access is through Gate 11 from Blue Ridge Road. Individual units should check-in with Fairgrounds Public Safety at mobile 919-612-6767. Clubs and groups should contact the Fairgrounds at 919-839-4501 prior to arrival to reserve space. Visit our Calendar of Events at /events/calendar.htm for a listing of other activities scheduled at the Fairgrounds.
Information for disabled visitors.
•Spaces marked for handicap permits are conveniently located adjacent to each facility.
•Cars occupying spaces designated for disabled visitors must display valid handicap permits, stickers or plates at all times.
• Buses and vehicles may unload/load disabled passengers near the building entrance, but must move to allocated parking. The vehicle may only park in a handicap space if the vehicle displays a valid handicap permit and if space is available. The driver of the vehicle should inform a traffic patrol officer of the intention to simply drop off disabled passengers. Larger events may have allocated bus parking - check with the event prior to your arrival to expedite access. Calendar of Events
Getting around the Fairgrounds
• All buildings at the Fairgrounds have been modified to standards set by the American with Disabilities Act and are in compliance with ADA standards.
• Handicap accessible restrooms are located throughout the Fairgrounds.
• Disabled persons do not need to purchase a special ticket to attend a Dorton Arena concert. If you need wheelchair accessible seating, please purchase a regular ticket. When you arrive, go to the side of the building that your ticket says (North or South). When you enter Dorton, you and one guest will be moved to a wheelchair accessible area. There are four wheelchair accessible sections and each section holds 20 people. If the section does not fill up by the time the concert starts, a person may have two more people from his/her party join them in that section. If these four areas fill up, access will be made available on the main floor with transport using the handicap ramps on each side of the building. Handicap parking is located around the perimater of the building. All of our buildings are ADA compliant
Frequently asked questions
• Can I rent a wheelchair, scooter, stroller or child's wagon in advance?
No. Fairgrounds facilities are leased to year-round events which design their individual event site plan. Some larger events may offer wheelchairs as a customer service. Persons requiring a wheelchair for mobility may bring their own equipment or contact the event number posted on the Calendar of Events for information on any special equipment accommodations available at the event. Also check Raleigh Flea Market for related info.
• Can I bring my Seeing Eye Dog?
Yes. Trained service animals are welcome at the Fairgrounds.
• Can I bring my own golf cart?
No, we do not allow personal golf carts on the grounds due to liability and safety reasons.
• Can I bring my own wheelchair, scooter, stroller or child's wagon?
Yes, you can bring your own wheelchair, scooter, stroller, child's wagon, diaper and lunch bags (unless prohibited by the event Calendar of Events), umbrellas and other personal items to the fairgrounds, just be aware that all baggage is subject to search at the entrance for weapons, glass bottles, alcohol, drugs and other prohibited materials.
Information for parents
• Unless probitied by the scheduled event Calendar of Events, parents can bring their own diaper and lunch bags, wagons, strollers, umbrellas and other personal items to the Fairgrounds, just be aware that all baggage is subject to being searched at the entrance for weapons, glass bottles, alcohol, drugs and other prohibited materials.
• Changing tables are available in most restrooms, and family restrooms are available in the Martin and Expo buildings. There are "mothers'" rooms in the Scott, Martin, Expo and Graham buildings.
• If adults plan to take a child to a concert, be aware that everyone age two and older, or any child who will need to occupy a seat, will need a ticket.
The fairgrounds is already home to hundreds of events each year. During the eleven month period of November through September each year, hundreds of events are hosted at a State Fair facility. The month of October is reserved for preparation and production of the annual State Fair. Each weekend, except during the month of October, buildings are transformed into a diverse blend of events that appeal to different members of the same family. On a typical weekend the event may be a conference, trade show, dog show or auction in the Graham Building; a coin/stamp show, cat show, small trade show, or social event in the Holshouser Building; Dorton Arena may host a trade show, concert, conference or sporting event; and a sportscard show, equipment expo or festival could take place in the Kerr Scott Building. The Exposition Center is home to several trade shows, banquets, exams, and special events. A broad range of horse disciplines are hosted each week at the Hunt Horse Complex. The Martin Building is ideal for small busines meetings, training, or social events. Several unique venues on the grounds host company outings, festivals, family reunions and special outdoor events. All events have ample parking available. In addition to these special events, the Flea Market, the largest in the state, is held each weekend November through September. A calendar of events is posted on our Web site.
Claudine Davis, Corporate Relations & Facility Sales Director (e-mail)
( 919) 821-7400 ext. 4501 or 919-839-4501 direct
Jim Graham Building
The Jim Graham Building is the largest of the fairgrounds buildings. During the year it hosts a variety of livestock shows, home and garden shows, sales showcases, farm shows, trade shows and other special events. Exhibit space can be extended with the use of outdoor tents and fencing, or installation of tent connector to adjacent facility. The climate-controlled building includes a full service restaurant operated under a separate State contract and has a total of 100,000 square feet - 95,000 square foot main floor, 3,000 square foot meeting room, a 2,500 square foot meeting room and two office areas (14.5' x 25' each) . More info>>
The Expo Center is ideal for banquets, trade shows, political rallies and large proms with 50,000 square feet of exhibition space. The building includes a spacious lobby, two office areas, ample bathroom facilities, loading dock and drive-through access. It is also connected to the Jim Graham Building by a covered breezeway. More info>>
J.S. Dorton Arena
This building, which was named a National Historic Monument for being the first building with a cable supported roof system, has a strong history of concert and athletic events. It is ideal for conferences, athletic events, concerts, circuses, proms and other large special events.This building is often combined with other facilities for large multi-building events. In 2015, 104 box seats were removed to accommodate handicap ramps connecting the North and South lobby entrances to the main arena floor. Seating includes 4,750 permanent elevated seats, 256 box seats and potentially up to 2,500 portable seats on the main floor. Total seating capacity is 7,500 but may vary based upon event design and structure. Total open main arena floor area is 25,000 square feet. More info>>
Governor W. Kerr Scott Building
The versatile Kerr Scott Building serves as a popular venue for trade shows, banquets, proms, political rallies and other events. The building seats 2,000 in front of a portable stage or 1,500 in a banquet setting. The building has 19,500 square feet of exhibition space and 3,128 square feet of meeting space in an upstairs area that overlooks the show floor. More info>>
Governor James E. Holshouser Building
The circular Holshouser Building allows for a unique venue for many events, including festivals, fundraisers, meetings, social events, small trade shows, and other events. The 13,600 square-foot building holds up to 900 people banquet style or 1,200 people in a conference arrangement. More info>>
Governor James G. Martin Building
The Gov. James G. Martin Building Agriculture Department Auxiliary (ADA) Room is perfect for hosting small business meetings, training, social events, small trade shows, and many other types of events. The ADA Room seats up to 120 classroom style, 150 people in a banquet set-up or 200 for a conference arrangement. The 2,489 square-foot room also has a small kitchen area that includes a refrigerator and sink. Attached to the building is a 2,277 square foot covered porch that can be used in a myriad of ways. The building also includes large bathroom facilities. More info>>
Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. Horse Complex
The nationally acclaimed Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. Horse Complex is one of the best in the country. The Hunt Horse Complex sits on 30 fenced acres of the 344-acre fairgrounds. The cafeteria dining room in the horse complex seats 200 people and it may be reserved on a rental basis when not being used for activities within the main arena. An extensive menu for breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners is offered. The facility has 485 permanent stalls, 100 temporary stalls, an indoor, heated arena, outdoor covered show area, and several more outdoor show rings.The main show arena is 81,000 square feet with a 138' x 248' show ring and 4,748 permanent seats. More info>>
Sam G. Rand Grandstand
The Sam Rand Grandstand is ideal for concerts and outdoor competitive events such as tractor pulls and demolition derbies. The grandstand has 2,800 covered seats, 1,200 uncovered bleacher seats and restroom facilities. More info>>
Pitzer Heritage Circle
This outdoor area located near the Fairgrounds lake features numerous buildings (including a church, school and blacksmith shop) depicting the cultural history of North Carolina. Area also includes a small covered stage and covered shelter. It is ideal for company outings, social events, festivals or combined with the nearby Holshouser Building or the Heritage Pavilion to create a larger venue. More info>>
The most recent addition to venue options is the Heritage Pavilion - an open air covered area 84' x 60' (5,040 square feet) featuring a large stone fireplace overlooking a scenic lakeview. Popular for corporate events and private social gatherings, this location is ideal for weddings, reunions, fundraisers, business gatherings, and group picnics. The Heritage Pavilion is situation on approximately .5 acres located adjacent to the Pitzer Circle on the East and the Harrill Center to the West.
Many open areas within the Fairgrounds have been the site
of various events such as a circus, trade show ride and drive,
festivals, small dealer shows, or as outdoor display areas
associated with an enclosed event. More
The Fairgrounds offers recreational vehicle hook-up access for visits of 14 days or less with water, sewer and electrical access available on more than 350 sites (electricity access ranges from 30 - 50 amps). .A new campground area was added in 2010 with additional phase expansions. Individual units should check in with Fairgrounds Public Safety at 919-612-6767. Clubs and groups should contact the Fairgrounds at 919-839-4501 prior to arrival to reserve space. For more info>>