HAMLET — The boy stood in front of the goat pen.
His dusty black sneakers, blue jeans and matching short-sleeve shirt handled the conditions just fine. His nose, however, seemed offended by something in the atmosphere. His mouth let go of some words that conveyed his sense of wonder.
“How can you stand the smell,” he asked his parents.
The boy thought of the right solution by plugging his nose with his fingers. This caused a few people passing by to giggle in agreement with the boy.
At the 56th annual Richmond County Agricultural Fair, though, the scene is more about the sights and sounds then the smell — except when it comes to the regular fair cuisine.
Speaking of the sounds. The choir of Ashley Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, of Rockingham, put on quite the performance. Members’ voices filled the air as they performed a select number of songs. The audience gave their full attention to them while they were on stage.The harmonization of the whole group was something to hear.
Rena Shedrick-Marshall, assistant fair manager, praised how well they sounded together.
“There is so much talent in this one group,” Shedrick-Marshall said. “I could listen to them for hours.”
There was a great turnout Thursday at the Richmond County Fairgrounds. Many came for the rides and funnel cake, but some came for the music and animals.
A number of people found their attention being drawn to the animal barn. This barn housed various types animals such as goats, chickens, roosters, turkeys, horses, and rabbits. Children were fascinated by each different kind of animal and wanted nothing more than to reach out and pet them.
Adthea Collins, of Rockingham, was very pleased with what she saw in the fair. Collins is currently in school and has been traveling for a number of years. It had been sometime since she last laid eyes on the Hamlet fair.
“Last time I went to the fair, there really was not much to it,” Collins said. “There wasn’t even a ferriswheel.”
The fair had a great deal more to offer this go around, Collins said. The smells and sounds that filled the air were a reminder of home and of her childhood.
“It is a great thing to come back to,” Collins said. “Especially since you always see so many familiar faces when the fair is in town.”
The fair is sponsored by the Hamlet Lions Club. Thursday was only the second day of the fair. Tuesday’s scheduled opening was postponed a day due to heavy rains.