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Preparations begin for annual fair
Festival runs Oct. 6-16 in Cumming
Fair WEB 1
P.J. Pelaez, left, and Kirsten Von Wahl ride the sky lift during last year’s Cumming Country Fair & Festival. This year’s event runs Oct. 6-16. - photo by File photo

At a glance

The Cumming Country Fair & Festival runs Oct. 6-16 at the Cumming Fairgrounds. For complete fair information, visit

Cooler temperatures and shorter days are heralding the arrival of fall, and with the new season comes the Cumming Country Fair & Festival.

Dave Horton, fairgrounds administrator, said he’s always ready for the annual event, which this year runs Oct. 6-16.

“I love all the lights and walking the grounds and visiting with all the exhibitors,” he said. “It’s fun to see all the smiles and laughter on the kids’ faces, and the cotton candy smeared from ear to ear.

“I just love all the sights and sounds of the fair.”

Horton said the next several days will be busy for him and his staff as they ready the grounds for the festival.

“We go through and check all of our buildings and clean up all the dust from the winter,” he said. “We check all the lights and there’s a lot of other little things like weeding, putting all our signage out, ordering stuff and finalizing all the paperwork with all of our vendors.”

Horton said visitors to this year’s fair are likely to notice a few changes to the facilities, including an iron archway at the entrance and shifts in Heritage Village, the fairgrounds’ depiction of an early 1900s town.

“The general store will be moving into a larger site with a big front porch, and we physically turned around the buildings from the doctor’s office to the post office, so they’ll facing the midway now instead of the restrooms,” Horton said.

This year’s fair will also feature several new attractions and shows.

Thanks to a partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which opened a Forsyth County facility this summer, a Marvel Heroes show will grace the concert stage on Oct. 12.

Horton said the production will feature Spiderman, Captain America, Thor and the Green Goblin.

The fair’s final weekend will offer an American BullRiders Tour competition.

Added daily attractions include an alligator wrestler, a living statue and a petting zoo with pony rides.

This year’s concert lineup includes Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives on Oct. 7; Joe Nichols on Oct. 11; and the return of the legendary Charlie Daniels, who Horton called “Cumming’s adopted son,” and his band Oct. 13.

Horton said this year’s festival will provide more discounts on admission and ride tickets than in years past.

“There’s more free or special days than not,” he said. “If someone wants to come for a bargain, they can easily find a day to do that.”

Northside Hospital-Forsyth will sponsor free admission on opening day, while free entrance on Oct. 12 will be courtesy of Children’s Healthcare.

Both Saturdays also feature free admission and rides from 10 to 11 a.m.

Also new this year will be Football Friday Night on Oct. 14.

Horton said guests can enter for free after 9 p.m. if they present a ticket stub from any of that night’s Forsyth County high school games.

Oct. 9 is Senior Day, in which anyone 55 and older can enter for free, while Oct. 10 is Student Night, offering free admission to all students 18 and younger.

Students can also enter for free from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Oct. 16 with a coupon found in the fair brochure.

Ride ticket discounts will be available every day except Oct. 7, 13 and 14.

Patrons will also find many of their old favorites, including the grounds’ Heritage and Cherokee Indian villages, a talking robot who roves the grounds, a chainsaw carver, canine performances, and the James H. Drew Exposition carnival midway and rides.

Horton said he’s always excited for another fair to begin.

“I look forward to it every year and think it’ll be a lot of fun this year with some of the new acts and events,” he said.