The streets of downtown Clinton will be filled with activity this weekend, as the 31st annual Court Square Street Fair and 24th annual Barbecue Cook-Off takes place Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13.
Festivities will kick-off Friday night with a concert featuring Spare Change from 6-9 p.m. Street Fair activities will take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Clinton Main Street Program brings the event to the residents of Sampson County in partnership with the Sampson Arts Council, the Sampson County History Museum, Sampson County Cooperative Extension, the Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods Car Club, the Young Professionals of Sampson County and the City of Clinton.
Despite local schools closing Thursday in anticipation of inclement weather brought by Hurricane Michael, Clinton Main Street Program director Mary Rose said the street fair was not in danger of being canceled for the second time in three years. The fair had to be called off amid Hurricane Matthew back in 2016. Rose said Wednesday that the festivities would go on “rain or shine.”
The Friday night concert will take place on the porch on the Vance Street side of the courthouse and, event planners say, should provide a festive atmosphere as the 17 barbecue teams are setting up for the evening.
Activity on the Court Square starts early Saturday, with barbecue judging at 8 a.m., and as always, the street fair will feature free children’s rides as well as a variety of local entertainment, handmade crafts, and other non-profit and business exhibitors. The main stage, which will be located on Main Street, will have a variety of local entertainment from dancers to vocal groups.
Again this year, the Sampson County Cooperative Extension will be participating with an exhibit area downtown, as well as at the Sampson County History Museum in which street fairgoers may find out about youth leadership opportunities, healthy eating and food safety, agricultural appreciation and economic impact for our county, gardening tips, and so much more.
The Sampson Arts Council will be participating with their arts activities at the Milling Around art piece, located just off College Street. The Street Fair will then make its way up Lisbon Street to the Clinton City Market, where the Ol’ Lightnin’ Rods Car Show will be held.
Participants may register their cars until noon at the City Market. The local radio station, Oldies 1170, will be broadcasting live with Bob Stroud and the Boogie Shoes Network.
Gold Sponsors for the Barbecue Cook-Off are Prestage Farms, Hog Slat, Smithfield Clinton Plant and Smithfield Hog Production Division. The Silver Sponsor is Williamson Gas Company.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.