NC Icons: NC State Fair, Pepsi, and Sweet Potatoes

NC IconsSince we’re in the middle of the North Carolina State Fair (October 11-21), we’re featuring it for our NC Icon this week—along with Pepsi and sweet potatoes. The NC State Fair is number 63 on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list. Pepsi and sweet potatoes come in at numbers 21 and 95. The State Fair is held in Raleigh every October, and you can be sure to find North Carolina favorites like Pepsi and sweet Potatoes there. Our State says, “See how it all began with a visit to the Pepsi Store in the heart of New Bern,” and “Try a recipe for sweet potato fries, sweet potato chips, and sweet potato pancakes and you’ll see they aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.” You can learn more about all three, and other North Carolina icons, from the State Library of North Carolina.

You can learn about these and other North Carolina icons in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina. You can also see some entries on the NCpedia website. NCpedia says on Pepsi: “Pepsi-Cola, advertised as the ‘Taste Born in the Carolinas,’ is one of many carbonated soft drinks invented in the South between the Civil War and World War I, when the temperance movement, poverty, and the relatively high prices of coffee and tea conspired with the climate to create a regional market for inexpensive, nonalcoholic social beverages.” As for the sweet potato, it was officially designated the State Vegetable by the General Assembly of 1995. North Carolina sweet potatoes also have their own website. Learn more about the history of the North Carolina State Fair though the State Library of North Carolina.

Encyclopedia of North Carolina, by William S. PowellThe first single-volume reference to the events, institutions, and cultural forces that have defined the state, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is a landmark publication that will serve those who love and live in North Carolina for generations to come. Editor William S. Powell, whom the Raleigh News & Observer described as a “living repository of information on all things North Carolinian,” spent fifteen years developing this volume. With contributions by more than 550 volunteer writers—including scholars, librarians, journalists, and many others—it is a true “people’s encyclopedia” of North Carolina.

The volume includes more than 2,000 entries, presented alphabetically, consisting of longer essays on major subjects, briefer entries, and short summaries and definitions. Most entries include suggestions for further reading. Centered on history and the humanities, topics covered include agriculture; arts and architecture; business and industry; the Civil War; culture and customs; education; geography; geology, mining, and archaeology; government, politics, and law; media; medicine, science, and technology; military history; natural environment; organizations, clubs, and foundations; people, languages, and immigration; places and historic preservation; precolonial and colonial history; recreation and tourism; religion; and transportation.

An informative and engaging compendium, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is abundantly illustrated with 400 photographs and maps. It is both a celebration and a gift—from the citizens of North Carolina, to the citizens of North Carolina.

Remember to keep track of our NC Icons tag while we continue to post weekly updates of things to do and places to visit in North Carolina.