Vendors and activities will overtake the downtown square as part of the 26th annual Court Square Street Fair and 19th annual Barbecue Cook-Off, but there is much more fun to be had further down Lisbon Street — that includes a colorful car show, as well as crafts and old-time demonstrations galore.
The Sampson County History Museum Craft Demonstration Day, sponsored in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, will provide fair-goers with a variety of free demonstrations and exhibits from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the museum.
Vendors will offer baked goods, homemade ice cream, handmade jewelry, photography, wood burning, candle making and traditional bead work, while displays will include a Confederate re-enactment complete with the firing of muskets and flag presentation. A 1917 Hercules engine, mini-steam engine and Hydra-Ram water pump; hit and miss engines; and model objects built in bottles will also be on display.
Exhibits will include crochet, knitting and weaving; Victorian lace tatting; corn shelling and grinding; basket weaving; live goat milking; and lye soap making. Jeannie King, director of the History Museum, said the popular horse-drawn carriage rides will be back, as will llama rides, in which the owner guides the animal as the child rides along.
If the museum can get enough volunteers, there may be additional hands-on demonstrations that will showcase old telephones and typewriters.
King said the entire slate of activities at the History Museum gets tremendous feedback, but more attendance is always the goal.
“We do pretty well, but there’s still a lot of people who don’t know it’s there,” she said. “I’m hoping with the advertising Mary Rose and everybody else have been doing, (people who come to the fair) won’t forget about us. There are a lot of activities going on and a lot of fun. We’ll have something for everyone.”
She said that is a feeling very much present throughout the entire day of the fair, no matter where you go in the downtown Clinton and surrounding area.
“Everywhere you go, there is something for everyone,” she said.
Her husband, David King, serves as president of the History Museum and the Ol Lightnin’ Rods Antique Car Club, which will again host its car show at the Clinton City Market on Lisbon Street, with cars on display in the surrounding area.
The Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods Antique Car Show has seen participation figures steadily rise through the years, and King said if the phone calls and email he has already received asking about it are any indication, this year will prove no different.
“It’s better this year than we’ve had as far as pre-registration,” he said. “I’m probably getting as many inquiries as I’ve had.”
Cars can be pre-registered for $15 through Oct. 9. After then, including on the day of the event, the fee is $20. Participants may register their cars from 10 a.m. until noon that Saturday at the City Market.
There is a $100 cash award for Best of Show and cars are recognized with prizes in about 20 other categories. All the proceeds from the car show will be donated to Relay for Life.
There were 205 participants last year. “We’re hoping to have that many or more this year,” said Jeannie King.
All told, David King said $7,000 was raised last year from the car show, hot dog sales, 50-50 drawing and various donations. Some, King noted, would give extra knowing the money was going to a worthy effort.
“They all know it goes for a good cause,” said King. “(Relay for Life in Clinton) is good to us and we’re good to them. It’s such a worthwhile cause, because so many of us have been touched by cancer. We’ve even lost a couple of our club members to cancer.”
He said, whether it is Craft Demonstration Day, the Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods Car Show or any number of other activities in the downtown area, the street fair has always proven beneficial to the community, its local citizens and those who choose to visit Sampson.
“It’s a wonderful day for the city and the county,” said King. “It really is.”
Rose, Clinton-Sampson planning director, briefed City Council on the event this week, requesting various street closures extending from Oct. 12-13.
“We are boasting 18 pigs that will be barbecued on Friday,” said Rose. “We already have 62 booth spaces for nonprofits, food vendors and crafts. We had 67 last year and a lot of folks tend to come in at the last minute, so I’m expecting more than last year.”
The Clinton Main Street Program is coordinating the event in partnership with Sampson Regional Medical Center, the Sampson Arts Council, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP), the Sampson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sampson County History Museum, the Downtown Dash 5k Committee, the Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods Car Club and the city of Clinton.
For the first year, live music will be held on Main Street Friday night and activities will begin bright and early the next morning with the first-ever Downtown Dash 5k & Fun Run starting from the downtown and the second annual Care Fair at the Center for Health and Wellness. The Saturday fair will kick off at 10 a.m., with everything from barbecue, baked goods, arts and crafts, antique cars, old-timey demonstrations and children’s games and rides among the event’s activities.
“In order to do all these activities in our wonderful downtown,” said Rose, “it necessitates street and parking lot closures.”
The Council approved closing Vance Street, from Sampson to Wall streets, from 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; and Main Street, from Wall to Lisbon streets, from 3 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday to accommodate barbecue cooks and the new “Music on Main.”
Other closings, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, will include: Main Street, from Connesstee to College streets; Main Street, from College to Wall; Lisbon Street, from John to Elizabeth street; a short section of Lisbon Street adjoining Main and Graham streets; and parking lots on College, Lisbon and Vance streets.
For a full slate of activities and more information on the 26th annual Court Square Street Fair, the event can be visited online at www.courtsquarestreetfair.com.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.