LUMBERTON — Onlookers put their hands over their heart as up-and-coming country music singer Joanna Smith sang the national anthem Friday during the Robeson Regional Agriculture Fair opening ceremony.
“Doesn’t that song just give you chills?” fair President Allen Faircloth said afterward.
But chills or no chills, everyone in attendance was warmed by the electric anticipation on the fairgrounds at 3788 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Gates open at 11 a.m. today and again at 1 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $6.
Daily events include an antique tractor display, pony rides, horticultural and art exhibits, antiques, carnival rides, and a petting zoo.
With new rides such as the Inverter, which flips 24 riders seated in rows upside down and swings them back and forth, and the Enterprise, where riders sit in gondolas that spin around, there is something for everyone.
North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said the rides measure up.
“We have been out here all week inspecting the rides for you to enjoy,” Berry said. “There will be nothing but fun here.”
Giving people a fair chance to experience that fun, on Sunday rides will be free for the military until 8 p.m., which is when the fair closes, and for the public from 1 to 2 p.m.
Also on Sunday, a wine judging will take place at noon and radio station Rock 103 will broadcast from 2 to 4 p.m. A monster truck show will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and roar to life again at 7:30 p.m., and a goat show will begin at 6 p.m. The Jr. and Little Miss Robeson County Fair pageants will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Bobby Hill will take the stage at 7 p.m.
Both today and Sunday’s forecast is mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and highs in the low 80s.