RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – Gates for the N.C. State Fair open on Thursday and with the return of it will come some changes.

New Bag policy

Click the image to enlarge. Credit: NC State Fair

Before heading to the fairgrounds, you’ll need to ensure your bags abide by the new bag rules.

Small purses are permitted as long as they are no larger than 6.5 inches X 4.5 inches.

All other backpacks, fanny packs, or totes must be clear. Diaper bags are permitted but must be accompanied by a child.

Only one bag is permitted per person.

Camera cases, cinch, mesh bags and tinted plastic bags are prohibited.

Computer bags and large purses are also prohibited.

New Rides

There are two new rides coming to the fair.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Wheel and the Sky Hawk will make their state fair debut this week. Each will cost 5 tickets to ride.

The rides will join the nearly 100 total rides at the fair. Each ride will be inspected at least once daily, according to the Amusement Device Safety Act.

The State Fair Flyer Chair Lift and the State Fair SkyGazer 155′ Ferris Wheel will require separate ticket purchases.

New Foods

The fair will welcome 25 new food vendors. Cool Runnings Jamaican was voted Best New Food for its Jerk BBQ Chicken Sliders with Tropical Slaw. New foods range from alcohol-infused popcorn to shrimp alfredo stuffed turkey legs.

The N.C. State Fair has supplied the map below to help you find your way around the grounds.

New Vendors

In addition to new foods, there are another 23 new vendors. These new vendors include Pet ID tags and Leon Leather Co. See the map of new foods and vendors below.

Safety protocols

Outdoor hand washing stations will be placed throughout the fairgrounds in addition to the restrooms already there, and hand sanitizer will be available at guest services and “at many of the food booths, rides and exhibits.”

To read the N.C. State Fair’s full health and safety guidance, including public safety rules, click here.

Although masks and vaccinations are not required at the fair, because of federal COVID-19 safety protocols, anyone riding public transportation or shuttles to the fair will be required to wear a mask while en route.