- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina State Fair is offering a break from the damage across the central and eastern parts of the state from Hurricane Matthew

The fair opens Thursday and runs through Oct. 23.

The State Fair Flyer makes its debut. The permanent ride carries people 1,400 from one end of the midway to the other. The ride takes about seven minutes.

There are new exhibits, as well.

A new laser show is also planned nightly.

Chickens, ducks, geese and baby chicks will return this year, after a one-year hiatus. State agriculture officials banned public bird shows and sales last year to try to prevent the spread of avian flu.

The State Fair also offers music ranging from gospel choirs to jazz and bluegrass to hardcore punk and heavy metal.

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