If you’re going
* The Cumming Country Fair & Festival continues this week. Hours are 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; 4 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday.
* For complete information about the fair, go to www.cummingfair.net.
Every fall, Amy Edwards looks forward to the Cumming Country Fair & Festival, which began its 11-day run Thursday.
Even though she and husband Benjy live in Dahlonega, the 40-minute drive is worth it for her.
“She was here [opening] night until closing and she’s back tonight with me. She’ll probably be down here every night,” joked Benjy Edwards as he and his wife munched on barbecue and chili dogs.
Despite her husband’s teasing, Amy Edwards doesn’t have any guilt over attending the fair nearly every night.
“I just love it,” she said. “I love the food, I love the rides and just the atmosphere.”
Apparently she’s not alone.
Last year’s festival set a strong attendance record with more than 141,000 people, far surpassing the previous record set in 2006 of about 127,500.
Dave Horton, Cumming Fairgrounds director, is hoping for those sorts of numbers again this year.
“Thursday night was a record breaker,” he said on Friday. “We had about 13,000 people and the old record for opening night was about 12,000.”
Sunny skies and warm temperatures helped contribute to Thursday’s numbers, and Horton’s hoping the nice weather continues this week.
“Last year we had a really rare year of perfect weather every day,” he said. “This year, I think we may have a day or two that’s impacted by weather, but hopefully not too many.”
However the weather turns out, there will be plenty for fair-goers to enjoy, including free concerts, lively ground acts, tasty food and a plethora of rides and games.
Brad and Amanda Schwartz brought their friends’ children, Cecilia and Riley Grome, on Friday night.
Amanda Schwartz said she and her husband make attending the fair an annual tradition.
“We like to come and get the good food and enjoy the rides,” she said. “Also, it’s a great time of year to be outside and you get to see so many people while you’re here.
“We just love the fair.”