Bring on fall! It’s time for back to school, cooler weather and the Cumberland County Fair. This 10-day celebration of food, fun and entertainment marks the end of summer and the start of autumn festivities in the community. Running Aug. 31 through Sept. 9, the fair fills the Crown Complex with an amazing midway with games, rides and food. There is also music to look forward to, but the fair is also so much more than entertainment.
The fair celebrates the history and legacy of the agricultural communities in Cumberland County. Local arts and crafts and livestock shows and contests also have a big place in the fair’s footprint. The event is a safe setting for fun, healthy family fun. Its shows and contests provide an inviting environment of friendly competition for all ages.
For the third year in a row, the fair is partnering with Big Rock Amusements. “We’re proud to be working again with Big Rock (Amusements), which is, bar none, the best in fair entertainment there is,”said Cumberland County Fair Manager Hubert Bullard. “We want the latest and the greatest for our fair, and that’s why we continue to work with (them).”
Midway games, rides, food and exhibits are a given every day from open to close, but there are also special activities and events that run throughout the fair. There are two main attractions this year as well – the World of Wonders Show and Great Lakes Timber Show, both with multiple showings throughout the week. There are also themed nights, offering discounts and special events.
Friday, Aug. 31
The gates open at 5 p.m., and admission is free all evening – although it does cost to ride the rides. Ride wristbands are available for $25. Fun repeat events that have multiple times almost every day of the fair include: the petting farm, which is sponsored by Lumbee River EMC; The Great American Timber Show; The World of Wonders Show; Escape Explosion Show; and the Up & Coming Weekly entertainment stage. Reflections II will perform on the entertainment stage from 7-10 p.m. Opening night only, enjoy the Q98 Scavenger Hunt. The Junior Laying Hen Show will be in the Crown Expo Center, section C.
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-2
Gates open at 1 p.m. Admission is $7. Anyone who partcipated in the August Kidsville News coloring contest can bring their artwork for $2 off admission. Ride wristbands are $25. Enjoy musicians Open Road from 2-5:30 p.m. and Joyner, Young & Marie from 6:30-10 p.m. on the entertainment stage on Saturday in addition to all the repeat events on both days. Sunday is Staycation Student Day. Bring your student ID and get $4 off admission. There will be a 10:15 a.m. church service at the fairgrounds Sunday as well. The day’s stage entertainment is Truly Blessed; Glad Trio; Born Again Band; and Accepted Band. Old School 107.7 JAMZ will host a Favorite Food Fair contest Sunday, too.
Monday, Sept. 3
On Labor Day, enjoy the $10 Pay One Price Special from the time the gates open at 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The Pay One Price Special includes free, unlimited carnival rides once you’ve paid for admission, unlike previous days of the fair.
Apply the same deal but for $15 after 5 p.m. In addition to the repeat events, Q98 will be at the fair from 4-7 p.m. Vantage will perform on the Up & Coming Weekly stage from 7-10 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 4
Admission is again Pay One Price, with $15 allowing for unlimited rides. Don’t miss the Junior Market Lamb Show in the Expo Center, section C, in addition to the repeat events. Black Velvet will perform on the entertainment stage from 7-10 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 5
Pay One Price for $15 on one of the fair’s busiest days. In addition to the repeat events, FOXY 99 will be at the fair. Agricultural events include the Little “Ewe” Jump Start Livestock Clinic; Swine, Feeder Calf and Steer Show; and Fayetteville Area Youth Livestock Auction Sale, which is sponsored by Cumberland County Farm Bureau and Cumberland County Livestock Association. The Expressions will perform from 7-10 p.m. on the entertainment stage.
Thursday, Sept. 6
Don’t miss the Senior Expo, which kicks off at 1 p.m. and grants free admission to those 50 and older until 5 p.m. Don Chase from WKML 95.7 radio will be the master of ceremonies. The schedule of events is:
• 1:30 p.m. Warren Coleman
• 2 p.m. Ms. Ortiz’s Line Dancers
• 2:30 p.m. Hope Mills Senior Line Dancers
• 3 p.m. 82nd All-American Airborne Chorus
For guests under 50, the $15 admission fee includes all rides and repeat events. The Junior Meat Goat Show is also scheduled for Sept. 6, as well as Ring Wars Carolina Wrestling. The entertainment stage will feature Dark Horse Duo.
Friday, Sept. 7
Gates open at 5 p.m. Admission costs $7. Unlimited ride wristbands are available for $25. Military members and emergency services personnel, to include law enforcement, firefighters and EMS/rescue, get in free if they are in uniform or with ID. WKML will make an appearance. The Junior Beef Heifer Show, sponsored by Cumberland County Farm Bureau, will be in the Expo, section C. Eastline Band will perform on the entertainment stage.
Saturday, Sept. 8
Gates open at 1 p.m. Admission is $7. Unlimited ride wristbands are $25. Bob 96.5 FM will be at the fair, and Guy Unger Band and Rivermist will perform on the entertainment stage.
Sunday, Sept. 9
Attend church services at 10:15 a.m. at the fair- grounds. After that, it’s Faith and Family Day at the fair. Bring a church bulletin (one per person) and get $2 off admission from 1-3 p.m. Don’t miss your last chance to check out the petting farm, Great Lakes Timber Show, World of Wonders, Escape Explosions, and Up & Coming Weekly Entertainment Stage, featuring Destiny Now Praise Band, CPAC Band and Travelin’ Lite Band.
The Crown Complex is located at 1960 Coliseum Dr. Learn more at www.cumberlandcountyfair.org.