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Sand Man, best legs, diaper derby, Barney, Andy and Sponge Bob entertain fairgoers

By Abbigail Overfelt
Staff writer

The 61st Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 in Lumberton featured live shows, such as the “Sand Man” hypnotist.

The “Sand Man” successfully hypnotized a group of participants as the crowd laughed at the various antics he made them perform, which ranged from dancing to roaring like a lion.

The show lasted a little over an hour, but most participants said they felt that they were only on stage for 10 to 15 minutes.
Participant Taylor Oxendine did not remember anything after the show.

“I don’t know what you all are talking about,” Oxendine said as her mother bought a tape of the show for proof of her behavior.
The exotic animal shows also offered excitement for fairgoers; performers had elephants blowing their nose and playing with hoops as tigers paced in the neighboring cage.

The animals were a new attraction this year.

The Best Legs Contest took place on the fair’s opening day and featured men and women strutting to music, their upper bodies hidden from the audience by a curtain.

The audience was allowed to vote on the best pair of legs in men’s and women’s category.

The female category was voted on by age group, with winners in the categories of 18-29, 30-49 and the 50 and up category; only one male took home the “best legs” title.

The fair also offered hometown goodness with its agricultural shows and local vendors.

St. Pauls beekeeper J.K. Fisher kept his bees company in a screened enclosure set up next to his table.

“I can sit here without being stung because I’m not a threat to them,” he said as he held up a beehive.

For Jason Bullock, a St. Pauls High School agricultural teacher, the fair was more work than fun this year, but it paid off as the school’s booth won first place for best overall.

“I did enjoy getting to see the magician,” he said.

“I also like beach music, so the live concert is good,” he added.

The fair also hosted celebrity Sponge Bob Square Pants, who entertained children as they posed for pictures. Mayberry’s Barney and Goober from “The Andy Griffith Show” were on patrol after arriving in their black-and white squad car.

The 31st annual Diaper Derby, the Craig Willard Band, gospel singing, carnival rides and food vendors could also be found at the fair.

With all it had to offer, did the fair live up to its slogan of “Nothin’ But Fun?”

“The fair is too expensive,” said one fairgoer as she explained that the rides did not compensate for the high ticket prices.
“Then again there is no price on my child’s happiness,” she said, speaking of her 8-year-old son.

“He loves the general excitement of the fair,” she continued.

Out-of town senior citizens said they enjoyed the fair much more than Cumberland County’s because of the variety of the entertainment.

According to Coble D. Wilson, Jr., president of the Robeson County Fair, the fair was established in 1947 as a one-day festival.

Since then, the fair has grown considerably and was recognized at the state convention of the North Carolina Association of County Fairs for first place for Agriculture, Youth and Media.

The fair also received the 2005 Image Award for No. 1 fair in the state.

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Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007
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