LUMBERTON — The threat of rain forced organizers of the 67th Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair to postpone the cheerleading competition that was scheduled for Monday night, but determined fair-goers didn’t let bad weather get in the way of having a good time.
Allen Faircloth, president of the fair, said the cheerleading contest was the only event that had to be rescheduled.
“We rescheduled to Wednesday night,” Faircloth said. “We made that decision early because there’s a tremendous safety issue involved.”
Faircloth said the safety of the cheerleaders was a main concern.
“If the mats get wet, it increases tremendously the possibility of an accident because the girls need proper footing,” he said.
The fair opened to the public at 4:30 p.m. on Monday despite drizzly weather. The forecast remains bleak for today and Wednesday.
Despite overcast skies, Rick Cox and his wife, Sue, were busy handling chainsaws to carve blocks of cedar into wooden statues, including bear and bald eagle figurines, all to be sold at the fair. They did their work enclosed in a wire cage that is designed to protect spectators from flying wood chips.
“Most of it (the designs) are from my head,” Cox said. “I started 10 years ago carving with a chainsaw.”
Cox, who has been at the county fair for the past six years, said he and his wife travel to fairs in North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania to showcase their work.
“We enjoyed it then and we enjoy it now,” he said.
When he isn’t at fairs, Cox runs R&S Woodcarving, his own business based in Edinburg, Pa.
Just a couple of booths down from Cox, Jehu Gray, of The Light of the World Church, said the food business has been good since opening night on Friday.
“Tacos, tamales, they go quick,” Gray said. “But we’re staying positive for tonight. We think it’ll go well.”
The profits will go towards renovation work at Gray’s church.
Sara Grissom, a 22-year-old graduate student at East Carolina University from Lumberton, said her visit to the fair on Monday was her first in years.
“I’m here because of the food,” said Grissom, who was waiting to buy a corn dog. “I will go home with cotton candy and a candied apple.”
Grissom, with her parents, John and Debbie, said the threat of bad weather wouldn’t stop her from being at the fair.
“She’s back on fall break so we decided to go to the fair,” Debbie said.
Lumberton residents Tammy Beasley and her sons, 8-year-old Dalton and 10-year-old Hunter, were literally there for the ride.
“The boys like the rides,” Beasley said. “That’s the only reason we’re here.”
Monday’s events that went on as scheduled included the Pleasant Valley Pig Race; Alan Sands, Comedy Hypnotist; Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind; and Barn Yard Review.
To purchase tickets or view the full fair schedule, visit www.robesoncountyfair.com.