on Aug 28, 2013 08:44 AM • Views 3389

A "freshwater pond" where kids can test their casting and catching skills is just one of several fun and interactive stations as the Commission's Mountain State Fair exhibit this year.

Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen

FLETCHER, N.C. (Aug. 28, 2013) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission highlights North America’s smallest and perhaps most colorful falcon, the American kestrel, at its Mountain State Fair exhibit this year.

The fair, which will be open Sept. 6-15, is located in Fletcher in Henderson County, just west of Asheville. The Commission’s exhibit will open from 3-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The kestrel exhibit will include a nest box with real eggs, as well as mounts of a male and female kestrel.Visitors also can find out more about the latest kestrel research and banding efforts being conducted by Commission staff on the Sandy Mush Game Land, which is located in Buncombe and Madison counties.

To complement the kestrel exhibit,the Wildlife Commission’s perennially popular button features a beautiful rendition of an American kestrel in flight. The button — a traditional state fair keepsake — is free, as are other wildlife-related items, such as kids’ fishing coloring books, fish identification guides, fish stickers and tattoos, and back issues of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine.

In addition to kestrels, the Commission’s exhibit will feature several hands-on activities, such as a “Nerf”archery game, a “pond” where kids can test their fishing skills, and the mobile aquarium — a trailer featuring twin 300-gallon aquaria that showcase some of the popular freshwater fishes found in North Carolina.

New for this year is an exhibit designed to encourage visitors of all ages to get outside and experience the diverse wildlife-watching opportunities the Tar Heel state offers. The “Find the Wildlife” game consists of more than 20 animal mounts and models commonly found in western North Carolina. Exhibit visitors can spot the animals using binoculars and read fun facts about each species.

Find out more about the Mountain State Fair, including daily schedules, opening and closing hours, pricing and directions, by visiting www.mountainfair.org, or calling 828-687-1414.

Download a high-resolution version of the photo above.