Thursday, February 29, 2024

Episode #39: 2022 GUIDE to the NC State Fair for Special Needs Families – Access ABILITY Day!

BONUS NC State Fair Access ABILITY Day Info!
BONUS Access ABILITY Day Info!
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NC State Fair Tips for Special Needs Families!

Show Notes:

The state fair is always a fun time no matter what state you live in, but for families with children with disabilities, it isn’t always an option. The NC State Fair has created a special day where they have created a more sensory-friendly environment for fairgoers called their Access ABILITY Day where they’ve modified some of the noise and lights as well as provided space for quieter activities.

This episode of the podcast is devoted to bringing you a guide to the NC State Fair for special needs families. We interviewed Heather Overton, the Assistant Director of Public Affairs at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Heather shares some inside tips on how to make the most of your visit to the NC State Fair including dates, times, parking, handicap parking, senior citizens discounts, food, activities, tickets, and much more!

We focused the second half of the interview on the NC Fair’s Access ABILITY Day for families with special needs children. Heather gives us all the details of what to expect, what time to arrive, and where you can go if you need to find a quiet spot for your child to calm down if they get too excited with all the activity. The modifications they are making in the sounds and lights will be appreciated by those who are able to attend during the Access ABILITY Day, and Heather told us about some of the special competitions that they have planned.

If you attend this year’s Access ABILITY Day, we’d love to hear about your visit! Let us know in the comments below or on our Instagram account @water.prairie, and share your photos too! If you’re in another state, let us know if your state is offering more sensory-friendly options at the state fair this year, and we’ll see if we can feature more like this from around the US.

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Music Used: “LazyDay” by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Artist:

“NC State Fair Stroller Rentals”
“NC State Fair Food – How to Handle Special Diets at the NC State Fair”
“NC State Fair Access ABILITY Day 2022”
“Parking at the NC State Fair (Handicap, General, and Shuttles)”
“Info for the NC State Fair Senior Day 2022”
Tonya Wollum


Tonya Wollum is a disability advocate and host of the Water Prairie Chronicles podcast which connects special needs parents with resources to help them navigate parenting a child with a disability. She is the mother of 2 college-age children who have each grown up with a disability. That experience, along with a background in education, led her to create the Water Prairie Chronicles to help share what she has learned with parents of younger children to help them know how to advocate for their children.

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