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    {mosimage}Down on the Cape Fear River, the staff at Campbellton Landing is gearing up to make its first big event the first of many memorable events at the historic landmark. The landing, which was created by the late Sol Rose, was purchased earlier this year by Kevin Summers, a Raleigh restauranteur. Summers has big plans for the property and he plans to unveil them this month.
    Campbellton Landing includes a restaurant, outdoor store, grill and amphitheater. Summers will put all of those assets to use when he unveils Truman’s Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, Oct. 4, and the restaurant mid-month.
Truman’s Pumpkin Patch is a collaborative effort between Summers, the corporate offices of Kidsville News! — whose mascot Truman lends his name to the event — Cumberland County Communicare and Docks at the Capitol.
The event, which is open every weekend throughout the month of October, is designed specifically for families, according to Summers.
    “It is a family-friendly event,” said Summers. He added that there are going to be multiple activities going on throughout the day — pony rides, inflatable bounce houses and slides and a hay ride. Each child who purchases a ticket will also receive a free pumpkin. In addition to the children’s events, there will be a farmer’s market offering the obvious pumpkins, other fall produce and mums.
    If you spend the day at the river and find yourself hungry, there will also be food on hand. “We will be serving burgers and hot dogs, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn throughout the day,” he explained.
Burgers and dogs are also on the menu at The Riverside Grill, which is a new addition to the property. The grill, which is located inside The Riverside Outdoor Store, will be opening within the next week. The grill will serve breakfast and lunch and an early dinner. Summers said the fare will be fresh and simple.
    While you’re taking a break from the activities, you can sit a spell in the amphitheater and listen to the entertainment that will be on stage daily. Music ranging from country to blues to folk will be an integral part of the pumpkin patch, and every day at 3 p.m. there will be a Pumpkin Carving Contest. The winner of the contest will receive a gift certificate to Dock’s at the Capitol.
    Summers said the hay ride will give folks a pretty good view of the development. The ride, about 15 minutes in length, will parallel the river down to Lock’s Creek, where it will wind around the creek before ending at the amphitheater.
“We’re doing a lot to beautify what’s already here,” said Summers. “We are building a nature trail and clearing some areas. Our goal is to get people outside to enjoy the river with entertainment and family-friendly events. We believe this project is going to be a really great addition to the community.”
    Summers said he and his supporters see the project, which is only in its initial development, becoming a centerpiece for Fayetteville. “We think it will help grow the east side of downtown and give the community something to be very proud of,” he added.
    The word community comes quickly to Summers’ lips. That’s why he sought out community partners for this event. Cumberland County Communicare is the event’s nonprofit partner. The agency is selling tickets and is keeping a percentage of ticket sales to help fund its work in the community. “What they do in our community — for children who are in need of guidance and support — made a lot of sense to us, and we wanted them to be a part of this event,” said Summers.
    The partnership with Docks made a lot of sense as well. The two companies share a common audience, families, and a common mission, entertainment. “Docks wanted to get involved and they were willing to donate a $5 game card for every ticket purchased,” said Summers. “We see that as a great value, because families are really getting their tickets for $3 with the game card for use at a later date.”
    Valerie Jackson, of Docks, is excited about the event and the partnership. “This event is really exciting because it is for children. It’s for families and we are a family entertainment center,” said Jackson. “This is a way for us to reach out to our community. And we are glad to support the efforts at Campbellton Landing and happy to see them join our community.”
    Summers said this is only the first of many events at the landing. There will also be a Christmas-themed festival later this year. Next year, when the site is up and running, local residents can expect to see a full calendar of events at the landing with everything from concerts to plays to festivals. In all, organizers are expecting to put on 30 to 35 events.
    The event runs Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October. On Saturdays, Truman’s Pumpkin Patch is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased in advance at the Riverside Outdoor Store, Docks or through Communicare.
    For more information, call Docks at 423-6257.

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