‘Heartbreaking but understandable’: Longtime food vendors react after NC State Fair is canceled

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For the first time since World War II, the state fair has been canceled. The State Agriculture Commissioners said he waited as long as he could, hoping the numbers would improve.

Since they haven’t, Commissioner Steve Troxler said he had no choice.

“Heartbreaking but understandable,” Felicia Turrentine-Daniel said.

Turrentine-Daniel is behind the beloved food truck, Chef’s D’Lites. This would have been their 21st year at the fair.

“Just seeing my customers. I’ve got a lot of repeat customers that I’ve seen for at least 20 years,” she explained.

They don’t travel the state or country, hitting up fairs like other food trucks. Instead, the NC State Fair is their big event each year. She calls the people who work it with her, her fair family.

“Its a big money maker overall and it kind of sets you up for the next year,” she said.

“We can make anywhere, I’d say anywhere from 20 to 30 thousand dollars,” Tommy Highsmith with the Westover United Methodist Church said.

The church has had a booth at the fair since the 1950’s.

Highsmith said its a big part of their fundraising. He’s been in charge of it for 20 plus years.

“It gave the church extra money to do things, mission work, more so do some work at the church itself,” he said.

He loves the fair, but said he agrees with the decision.

“I wondered and was figuring out how in the world can you have something like that and have distancing. There’s no way you can do it,” Highsmith said.

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