RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Day one of the North Carolina State Fair kicked off on Thursday.

And thousands of people will make their way through the fairgrounds over the next week and a half, with a lot to do and a lot to learn.

“We had a crowd come in the gates right at noon, and we have a great fair planned, 96 rides, hundreds of food booths, including 40 new food booths,” Heather Overton, the Assistant Director of the fair, said.

A big part of the fair are the games, food and rides, but there’s also a big focus on agriculture and its history.

“When fairs first started way back in 1853, they were a place where farmers could come and learn new agriculture techniques, see the new equipment,” Overton explained.

Not only can you see pigs, goats and cows, but you can also learn more about livestock during cow and goat shows and competitions.

“I’ve been doing it since I was about in 5th grade, my parents did it so it’s kind of a tradition for me, all my friends show cows as well, so it’s kind of a traditional thing for me, this is where my life is, this is 80 percent of what I do,” Hannah Van Hoy, who was showing her own cattle, said.

It’s an industry that keeps the state running, and keeps thousands of people coming back to the state fair to learn more.

“This is an industry that’s existed for a long time, and it will for a long time, so that’s the future of what all of us are doing and it’s really important,” Van Hoy said.