LUMBERTON — Heavy rain and the warning of a tornado put a damper on Monday’s fair festivities and has forced the cancellation of all the cheerleading contests, but organizers for the 66th annual Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair expect a better forecast for the event’s remaining six days.
Allen Faircloth, president of the fair, said the cheerleading contests had been rescheduled initially but would have to be cancelled because of the amount of rain. He said the mats would not dry out in time for the contests to be held.
The high school contest was scheduled for Monday, and middle school contest they for today, but they would not be held.
Special Needs Childrens’ Day, which was to be today, has been moved to 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday.
Holding umbrellas or jackets spread over their heads, visitors to the fairgrounds ran for shelter on Monday when rain started to pour and a tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Bladen and Robeson counties at 6:47 p.m. A funnel cloud was spotted 13 miles southeast of Lumberton, but no damage or injuries were reported as a result.
“There was no damage to the fairground, and the grounds are in good shape,” said Coble Wilson, the fair’s organizer.
According to the National Weather Service, a 30 percent chance for shattered showers remains in Lumberton through Wednesday night. Thursday through Saturday calls for sunny skies, clear nights and highs in the low 80s.
“We’re still anticipating record crowds,” Wilson said.
Monday’s events that went on as scheduled included Alan Sands, Comedy Hypnotist, the “Bobby Hill” live stage show, the Pupptone Rockers, a youth rabbit show, photo opportunities with Barney and Gomer and the Caboodle Stoppers.