The weekend brought a flood of support to the final days of the Richmond County Fair, according to Assistant Manager Rena Shedrick-Marshall, as cars spilled out of the parking lot and onto the highway.
“Despite the weather at the beginning of the week, we made up for lost time,” she said. “We had a very nice crowd of people — Friday and Saturday, especially. I think close to 3,500.”
Shedrick-Marshall said she mostly attributed the crowds to the nice weather seen during the weekend.
“Overall, I think it went very well … We had a nice set up of entertainment and I want to thank the AMVETS for coming, as well as the Rural Health Team from Fayetteville. They were able to assist many disabled veterans while they were here.”
The assistant manager also praised Richmond Community College for its coordination with volunteers that spent the week helping out wherever they were needed.
“The volunteers were really a huge help to us,” she said. “Had it not been for them, I really don’t think we could have accomplished as much as we had because they worked all over. They did whatever we asked them to do, and they did it with a smile.”
Shedrick-Marshall included the help of the Marine Corps League, Lions Club members, food vendors, emergency services, Discovery Place Kids, the Pee Dee Baptist Association and others in making the fair a success.
“I just want to give a huge thank you to Richmond County as a whole, because without them, our fair would be nothing,” she said. “They gave us a huge support. I know a lot of people really don’t understand what the fair is about, but every cent that goes in goes toward assisting individuals in our community who are less fortunate … The more people that attend our county fair each year, the more help we can give to this community, so everyone is participating and helping us to get the job done.”
The Hamlet Lions Club puts on the fair each year.
As the excitement from the fair starts to wind down, several community members are reflecting on their own experiences during the week.
Hattie Ingram Bane, an 82-year-old employee with Rockingham Hardware, entered several items into this year’s fair and now displays her ribbons in the window of the business.
Bane said she has been entering the exhibition contests for six years, and brings home ribbons each year for homemade quilts, plants, birdhouses, dolls and other creative projects.
“I have to credit my mother for the crafts and sewing,” she said on Monday as she showed off a brightly-colored Christmas quilt.
She first became involved with the contest through a friend.
“I gave a friend of mine a quilt in honor of her parents, and she entered it,” Bane said. “That’s what got me started.”
This year, Bane said she entered 54 pieces in the competition, and walked away with 41 ribbons.
“Some of these will be gifts,” she said of the homemade crafts that stretched across a display table in the hardware store. In various aisles of the store hung ribbons collected during past years.
Bane added that she often likes to craft quilts for friends.
“I enjoy doing it,” she said. “It’s just one of those things that my mother taught me to do.”
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.