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Cumming Country Fair & Festival sets six record revenue days
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Another year, another record-setting Cumming Country Fair & Festival in the books.

Though official numbers were not in as of press time for the Fair, which ran Oct. 4-14, Mayor Troy Brumbalow said the fair was “a huge success" and set several records for revenue but numbers of attendees would not be available like in previous years.

“It was six record days as far as revenue is concerned,” Brumbalow said. “In the past, they would pay employees to stand at each gate with a clicker … to try to get a count of the people. We did the math and that was about $4,300 that you were paying labor to come up with a number that really doesn’t mean anything, so we chose to save the $4,300 expense.”

Though without an official tally, Brumbalow said longtime employees said the night of Oct. 11, which featured a performance by country music headliner Trace Adkins, was the busiest they’d ever seen.

“A lot of people said that was the most people that had ever attended a concert (at the Fair),” he said. “You don’t have numbers to compare, that’s just employees that have been with the city two or three decades.”

Brumbalow pointed out that the local stop was part of Adkins’ current tour. He wants to have similar acts moving forward.

“That’s the kind of acts that we want to be bringing in the future,” he said. “On the flip side, a lot of the acts, you just can’t afford them. When they’re wanting $250,000, you just can’t justify that. But, we are going to be trying to get acts that everybody knows that are pretty current.”

The Fair also featured a performance from Confederate Railroad on Oct. 9.

“I was there every day, either me or me and my wife together,” he said. “We spent a lot of time just walking around, meeting with people all over from one end of the fairground to the other. I don’t know if I got enough exercise to work off all the food that I ate, but I was trying to anyway."

This year’s Fair was the first for Brumbalow as mayor and the first for Fairgrounds Administrator Tracy Helms, who had previously served as events coordinator for the city of Cumming since 1997.

“It was exciting, it really was,” Helms said. “It was good to see the Fair from a different view. Relying on the staff that I have, which made my job much easier, they did a fantastic job. Everybody stepped up, pulled their weight. Everything ran as smooth as we would have hoped it could have.”

Weather also generally held out for the Fair.

Though closing for a day due to bad weather is not uncommon, there were no full closures this year and only one day of reduced time, Oct. 10, when the Fair closed two-and-a-half hours early after heavy rain.

“It went fantastic. The weather was great,” Helms said.

Between the rides, food, games and acts, Helms said it was evident how much attendees enjoyed the fair.

“When you walk through the crowd and you see the looks on people’s faces and you see families together laughing and smiling, it makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “By the attendance and how receptive people are to coming out, it tells us we’re doing something right. The crowds were fantastic every day.”

After days of performances, including the Grizzly Experience, Lady Houdini, “Master of the Chainsaw” Brian Ruth and David Smith—The Human Cannonball, the Fair ended with two days of the American Bullriders Tour, which the mayor did not sound eager to try out.

“After watching all the shows and the acts and all that, I would jump off that high dive before I got on one of those bulls,” he said. “There’s no way I would get on one of those bulls.”