Don't let the relaxed atmosphere of Heritage Circle fool you, the nook near the Flower Show has some of the most hard-working people at the N.C. State Fair. There is plenty of activity at the circle, from the crew maintaining the tobacco barn during the fair to the craftsmen demonstrating their traditional methods of woodcarving, blacksmithing and chair-building. Visitors can also enjoy the taste of  homemade ice cream, apple cider, seafood, down-home cooking, or a hush puppy from the Old Grist Mill as they listen to the sweet melodies from the Bluegrass Stage.


The exhibit area is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., except on Thursday, Oct. 17, when Heritage Circle will open at 12 p.m.


Church in Heritage Circle


The Campers on Mission host a variety of entertainment daily at 12:30, 1:45, 3 and 4:15 p.m. Church services will be held on Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The organization also provides food and services to carnival workers.

Flue Cured Tobacco Barn


Come to Heritage Circle and see the working tobacco barn as volunteers cure tobacco the old-fashioned way. 


The barn will be filled on Friday, Oct. 18, from noon until about 5 p.m. The leaves will be strung on sticks and hung in the barn the same way it was done across North Carolina for generations. Everyone is welcome to help! 


At 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, a stringing contest sponsored by John Deere Ice Cream, will name the state champion. Grab some friends and join the competition. Entry and practice time will be Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. while the barn is being filled.


After the barn is loaded, the tobacco will be cured by a wood fire for seven days. Fairgoers can take a peek inside the barn to see the process. After it is cured, visitors will be allowed to go inside and see the result of the hard work.

A mock tobacco auction will be held Friday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m. in the Tobacco Pavilion.

Heritage Forge

Blacksmith Shop

At more than a century old, the Heritage Forge was assembled from barns donated in 2016 by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. The demonstration area is constructed of wormy chestnut logs estimated to be more than 200 years old. The logs originally were used as a feed barn. The sales area was constructed from pine that came out of a tobacco pack house dating to the early 20th century. The reclamation project also extended to the flooring on the shop's porch and in the sales area. It's red oak salvaged from Duke Forest and Meredith College.


The demonstration area contains a double forge, which state and local blacksmith guilds will operate during the Fair.

N.C. Forest Service Exhibit


Up the hill from Heritage Circle, be sure to check out the 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear display and learn about trees and how to prevent forest fires from the N.C. Forest Service Exhibit.


Also in this area is a working steam-powered sawmill. Volunteers are on hand to explain how the engine works and show how it was used to transform timber into boards.


You'll also find real-life lumberjacks showcasing their skills in axe throwing, crosscut sawing, chainsaw carving, chainsaw safety and log rolling. These lumberjacks aren't just here for laughs, learn about issues impacting our forests, what the future holds and why we need our forests.

Old Grist Mill


Experience a historic, working grist mill and get a delicious hush puppy sample.


A gristmill (also: grist mill, corn mill or flour mill) grinds grain into flour. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.


Although the terms "gristmill" or "corn mill" can refer to any mill that grinds grain, the terms were used historically for a local mill where farmers brought their own grain and received back ground meal or flour, minus a percentage called the "miller's toll." Early mills were almost always built and supported by farming communities and the miller received the "miller's toll" in lieu of wages. Most towns and villages had their own mill so that local farmers could easily transport their grain there to be milled. These communities were dependent on their local mill as bread was a staple part of the diet.

Our State Public House

NEW for 2019, we're adding craft soda to the Public House menu! Visitors to the N.C. State Fair will be able to purchase flights of beer and wine samples or a refreshing craft soda from the Our State Public House in Hertiage Circle. Sponsored by Our State magazine, the Public House will showscase dozens of breweries, wineries, cideries, and craft soda makers from across North Carolina. Daily offerings will include several different styles of craft beer, wine, cider, and soda, including award-winning examples of each.


Patrons of the Our State Public House will be able to choose from two servings of wine, cider or beer. Wine servings are 3 ounces each, and beer or cider servings are 8 ounces each. Ticket may be purchased in advance, or during the fair at the entrance of the Public House. Beer and wine tickets will be $10 each, tickets for craft soda cost $5 each. There is a limit of one beer/wine ticket per person.


This popular attraction is a partnership with the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild and the N.C. Wine and Grape Council. The Guild will use a portion of the proceeds for research and marketing benefiting North Carolina’s craft beer industry. North Carolina is home to 280 craft breweries and 185 wineries.


Our State Public House offerings

Wine & Cider selections:

  • Sweet Red & Rosé wines featuring juicy palate pleasers.
  • Dry Red & Rosé wines for cool fall days.
  • White wines ranging from dry to sweet.
  • Creative ciders made from North Carolina apples.

Beer selections:

  • Light: Crisp, easy-drinking beers including Pilsners and Oktoberfest.
  • Dark: Full-bodied, sweeter beers ranging from amber to brown.
  • Hoppy: Pale ales and IPAs showcasing hop flavor and aroma.

Bowles House

Dating back to the 1850, the Thomas Bowles House came to us from Alamance County. The house will showcase tobacco farming antiques and our tobacco hand-tie competition.

School House

This historic school house from Lizard Lick serves as the home base of Lyle Wheeler, whose shaker-style chairs are crafted through traditional methods dating back to colonial days.

Tobacco Pavilion


With plenty of picnic tables and a roaring fire, the Tobacco Pavilion is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of the Fair. Make sure you grab an apple dumpling or a warm cup of cider on your way down!