FLETCHER – The 2017 N.C. Mountain State Fair opens Friday at 9 a.m. at the WNC Agricultural Center. The opening weekend includes special promotions, competitions and entertainment for the whole family. The fair also will offer a large variety of foods, games and rides.

Friday at noon, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, fair manager Matt Buchanan and other dignitaries will cut the ribbon to officially open the 2017 fair. Visitors are welcome to attend the public ceremony outside the Davis Event Center.

Special Promotions

Visitors can take advantage of two promotions on opening day. Students in grades K-12 will receive free gate admission from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. That night, the fair will host its popular Friday Night Frenzy. Guests can purchase a combined unlimited ride ticket and gate admission for $25 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The two-part ticket will include an admission ticket that can be used all day and a ride ticket that can be exchanged for an unlimited-ride hand stamp after 9 p.m. at designated areas on the midway.

Competitions

On opening weekend, competitors of all ages will be showing beef cattle, dairy goats, alpacas, llamas, rabbits and meat-breed sheep. Poultry and other livestock also will be on display. Shows are open to the public throughout the day in the McGough Arena, Livestock Sales Arena and various barns on the fairgrounds.

In the Expo Building, visitors can view the first of two flower shows held during the fair. In addition, they can see arts exhibits, quilts, preserved foods, woodcarving and horticultural exhibits.

Chefs will compete in tomato, trout and beef cooking contests opening weekend. Fair-goers can see the entries and watch the ribbon presentations in the Davis Event Center.

The annual Clogging Championship begins Friday at 7 p.m. and continues Saturday at 9 a.m. Individuals, duets and teams will compete in traditional and contemporary dances. The fair also will host its Gospel Singing Competition on Saturday at 9 a.m. on the Heritage Stage.

Entertainment

Six new acts join the fair’s daily entertainment lineup: Dakota and Friends, Jay Mattioli Family Magic, The Great Atlanta Puppet Show, Little Roy and Lizzie, The One Man Band and Son, and High Dive Fireman Show. The new additions join a lineup of popular returning acts such as Sea Lion Splash, Kenya Safari Acrobats, Dixie Starlight Express and the racing pigs at Hogway Speedway. All the entertainment acts are included with fair admission.

The 2017 N.C. Mountain State Fair runs Sept. 8-17 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. More information is available at www.mountainfair.org.