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Countdown begins
Plans firmed for 'bigger and better fair'
The Fair Well 1 es
Caroline Draughon, left, and Sydney Kuester watch people on the fairway below during the 2008 Cumming Country Fair & Festival. In the car behind them are Sam, Drew and Mark Kuester. - photo by File photo
At a glance

The Cumming Country Fair & Festival runs Oct. 8-18. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 12:30 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for students ages 5-18 and free for children 4 and under. Parking is $3. Advance tickets are available from Sept. 1-30 at $5 for adults and $2 for students.

Daily lineups:

Oct. 8
Opening day. Admission is free, compliments of  Northside Hospital-Forsyth. Unlimited rides available for $18.

Oct. 9
Lorrie Morgan concert at 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 10
Kids day; admission free for children 12 and under from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rides are two for the price of one for all ages between the same times. The 2009 Little Miss Forsyth County Pageant begins at 10:30 a.m.

Oct. 11
Senior citizens day; admission free for adults 55 and older. Rides are two for the price of one between 12:30 and 3 p.m.

Oct. 12
Student night; admission free for students 18 and under. $15 for unlimited rides.  

Oct. 13
Special concert at 8 p.m. Unlimited rides for $18.

Oct. 14
The Fish family fun day. Downhere concert at 8 p.m.

Oct. 15
The Charlie Daniels Band concert at 8 p.m.

Ray Price concert at 8:30 p.m. Prior to the concert, there will be a Georgia Lottery autographed guitar giveaway.

Oct. 17
Free admission and rides from 10 to 11 a.m. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., rides are two for the price of one. Between 11 a.m. and midnight, get $1 off adult admission with a non-winning lottery ticket.

Oct. 18
Fair concludes.
Plans have been finalized for the annual Cumming Country Fair & Festival.

The fair returns Oct. 8, though Cumming Fairgrounds Administrator Dave Horton has already secured vendors and booked all the acts for the city’s largest annual event.

Featured entertainers include country singer Lorrie Morgan, Christian contemporary band Downhere and fair regular, Charlie Daniels.

“Charlie is always a good draw,” Horton said. “We kind of feel like he’s Cumming’s adopted son. He’s one of us. He was the first act that was here at the first fair in 1995.”

Ray Price also will perform. Horton said the musician may be 83 years old, “but he’s still got a great voice. He’s a country legend.”

In addition to various musical performances, the 11-day event features familiar ground acts, including a high dive show, friendly radio-controlled robot, chainsaw artist and a petting zoo.

New this year, said Horton, is a comedy circus act that includes trick-performing dogs, juggling, magic and low wire walking. There is also an elephant and tiger show.

“That will be new to a lot of people,” he said. “We’ve had them before, but it’s probably been about five or six years. It’s not a circus where they’re jumping through hoops and fire. It’s an educational show.

“But people will come out and sit on the bleachers when the show’s not going on and they’ll just watch the tigers sleeping for hours. They’re a magnet.”

The fair boasts 40 midway rides and attractions, which have traditionally been the main draw for the tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Horton said funnel cakes and corndogs are among the most popular fair foods, but “there are a lot of unusual things out there too.”

“I know a lot of the people here in the office make a stop to get a fried Oreo. It sounds terrible, but it’s really good. They also have fried Snickers and fried Twinkies.”

Horton said he’s anticipating about 125,000 guests, weather permitting.

Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt also expects a strong turnout.

“We know that attendance will be very good ... we have a couple of days during the fair that we have free rides and free admission,” Gravitt said.

“Always, the opening day of the fair is free admission and for the first two hours, the rides are free ... so we’re going to have a lot of things extra for people to do that don’t cost anything.”

The event is still a few months out, but Horton said the sky lift will be installed the first week of September.

“We start getting calls as soon as those buckets go up, asking ‘is the fair here,’” he said. “People get excited and they start calling to find out when things are going to happen.”

“We’re going to do what we try to do every year — to have a bigger and better fair.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at