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Opening day brings beautiful weather, smiles to the Cumming Fair
Fair

Parents held the hands of eager children anxiously awaiting the elephant ears and funnel cake they smelled as soon as they stepped from their cars Thursday afternoon, the tots practically pulling their elders across the street.

Poking high above the fairgrounds, the Ferris wheel’s teal, pink, orange and white seats turned slowly, the sun shining bright on the Cumming Country Fair & Festival’s opening day.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, the annual week-and-a-half long event kicked off with smiles, sizzling food and swirling rides.

The fair, which began as a five-day festival in October 1995, brings Forsyth residents young and old to the city fairgrounds, some of whom have been coming since its inception.

“I just love coming to the fair,” said Slate Amos, son of Pete and Catherine Amos, longtime cider press owners and operators. “The whole atmosphere is fun and the energy is great.

“We’ve been here since the start – 20 something years. I think I was in seventh grade when it started and my parents were doing the [cider press] and I’d come and help them and ride rides, and now I’m running it and my kids are riding rides. I think it’s fun seeing people I haven’t seen all year and just talking to people.”

Though the Mashburn/Amos cider press has been a staple in Heritage Village for as long as the fair has been around, Marcus Mashburn Jr., was the man behind the original press, the one who planted the seeds of the orchard behind his house on Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard.

For years, he also ran a stand in Forsyth County that sold apples, cider and fried pies each fall, a tradition Amos still offers once a year at the fair – something fairgoers know to look for.

Jody Garcia, a longtime county resident, said he, too, has attended the fair from its beginning.

Fair stand
- photo by Isabel Hughes
“I come to see the people and there are a few exhibitions that [feature] some of the top-notch people in the country,” he said. “We’ve been here every year since [1995]; we’ve probably missed a few since then and we used to always come with the children but they’re all grown up and married now.

“Still, I like the food vendors and I like to see all the different trailers set up and all the different stuff. I never buy anything to eat, but I just like to see what they are and I always take pictures of them.”

Garcia isn’t the only one who likes looking at the fair food, though.

As 7-year-old Collin Turnbow waited for his turn to climb aboard a ride, he day dreamed of cotton candy.

“It feels like forever we’ve been coming,” he said. “My favorite part is the cotton candy and the funnel cake because it’s [fried.]”

His mother, Cathy Turnbow, said it’s Collin’s smile that makes the fair worth it.

“I love seeing the kids’ smiles,” she said, “and just how much fun they have riding the rides.”