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25th Cumming Country Fair & Festival just around the corner
Fair

The sky buckets hung in the air at the Cumming Fairgrounds on Friday, and that can mean only one thing.

“Everybody gets excited once the sky buckets are up, and the sky buckets are up, so now it’s officially fair time,” said Cumming Fairgrounds Administrator Tracy Helms.

Now in its 25th year, the Cumming Country Fair & Festival is kicking off on Thursday, Oct. 3 and continuing through Sunday, Oct. 13.

Helms said it was exciting to see the fair turn 25 years old.

“I feel like it’s an accomplishment. I mean, a lot of fairs don’t make it this long,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have the support from the city of Cumming for all these years to be able to continue and to be able to grow not only in the size of the fair, but we’ve also been able to grow with improvements to the fairgrounds itself, like this year with the new bridge and the ticket booth at Gate C.”

The new ticket booth and bridge are planned to see their first uses during the fair, and crews are currently getting them ready.

Of course, this time of year, there is a lot of work to be tackled by fairgrounds staff, such as figuring out roles for employees, coordinating when acts are coming in and where they will go and making preparations for the fair’s two nationally-known musical acts, Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye with the Roots and Boots Tour, and Colt Ford, on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Thursday, Oct. 10, respectively.

Helms said there is plenty of other work to be done, “whether it be for getting the arena ready for the concerts or making sure we’ve got deliveries coming in for the Coke product, ice products, golf carts, getting all those checked in and working on the layout of where the vendors will be, where the ground acts will be, coordinating with Drew Exposition [the company that operates the fair’s midway] about how their layout is going to fit so we can place our layout and make it all flow,” Helms said.

Along with the annual concerts, there are certain mainstays that will be returning this year, including the American BullRiders Tour, exhibitions of the fairgrounds cotton gin and sawmill and the Indian Village with Native American performances and demonstrations.

For some of the smaller attractions, Helms said fair officials try to shake things up every year.

“The attractions change for the most part from year to year, you have turnover in vendors, but for the most part, it’s the same family fun we’ve always had,” Helms said. “We try to freshen it up from year to year. You don’t want the same thing over and over, so you do try to mix up the entertainment, whether it be ground acts, entertainment, any of the free daily attractions people want to do. We try to change those up as much as we can.”

In another first for the fair, tickets can be purchased online at BigTickets.com/events/city-of-cumming/cumming-country-fair-and-festival. Tickets will be sold online at a discounted rate of $5 through Wednesday, Oct. 2 and for $7, the cost for a ticket at the gate, from Thursday, Oct. 3-13.