From Norway to Hamlet: ‘I love it’

Foreign exchange student signs off on Ag Fair

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery
* Oct. 7 — Fair opens with great weather

HAMLET — J.T. Terry had to be “this tall” to ride the Super Shot.

The 5-year-old from Rockingham looked up at his mother, Jennifer Summers, as InnersShows ride worker Will McMahan measured him.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Taylor Buie, left, and Helle Svendsen, a foreign exchange student from Norway, take the plunge on the Super Shot Wednesday night at the Richmond County Agricultural Fair.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Taylor Buie, left, and Helle Svendsen, a foreign exchange student from Norway, take the plunge on the Super Shot Wednesday night at the Richmond County Agricultural Fair.

He came in at least 1 full inch ahead of the required 42 inches. After going up and then plummeting nearly 80 feet — quick and in a hurry like — J.T. might have wished he was 41 inches or less. That wasn’t the case, however. Looking up at his mother, he was clearly ready for more.

“This ride isn’t for everybody,” McMahan said after J.T. and Summers walked off. “It shocked me he wanted to ride.”

Safety, he said, is his No. 1 priority. Even when parents try to make their children look an inch or two taller by wearing boots or footwear with taller heels, McMahan said he fits each rider into the restraint. If it doesn’t fit right, off the rider goes — regardless of whether or not they exceeded the 42-inch minimum height requirement.

Taylor Buie and Helle Svendsen, both 17, had no worries about the height requirement. The sudden drop downward was another matter entirely. Overall, though, Svendsen said she’s enjoyed her first two months in the United States.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s a great place.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com J.T. Terry, 5, has a look of something other than joy on the way down the Super Shot, an 80-foot quick drop from the sky to earth.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
J.T. Terry, 5, has a look of something other than joy on the way down the Super Shot, an 80-foot quick drop from the sky to earth.

The night was young — it was still an hour from sunset — and there was plenty more fun to be had for Taylor, Helle, J.T. and hundreds of others on the first of three consecutive Kids Nights at the 57th annual Richmond County Agricultural Fair.

For some, getting over the fear of a challenging ride was on call for the evening. For at least one other, it was a fear of clowns. Zoie Smith — perhaps the most excited 6-year-old in Hamlet on Wednesday — had a lot of fun visiting Joy the Clown as handed her a squeaky ballon animal.

Having Joy hand one to Zoei’s little brother, Jayson, was less convenient. Jayson, 5, is afraid of clowns. Even nice clowns like Joy. Zoie came to the rescue and intervened on Jayson’s behalf. She played liaison, allowing Jayson to have a balloon animal, too.

All was fine at the fair — including the weather. Fair Manager Bill Bayless was pleased with the first night’s turnout on Tuesday and the early going Wednesday. Proceeds from the fair benefit the Hamlet Lions Club.

“The weather was beautiful,” Bayless said of opening night. The 2013 debut was postponed a day after heavy rains turned the grassy field into a swamp.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Zoie Smith, of Hamlet, was perhaps the most excited 6-year-old at the fair on Wednesday.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Zoie Smith, of Hamlet, was perhaps the most excited 6-year-old at the fair on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Bayless said more than 300 people entered the gates. He said the weather looks clear “at least through Friday.” Gates open at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Wristbands to ride the 18 rides by InnersShows are $18 apiece.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Dancers from the Hamlet Senior Center perform on stage Wednesday at the 57th annual Richmond County Agricultural Fair in Hamlet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Dancers from the Hamlet Senior Center perform on stage Wednesday at the 57th annual Richmond County Agricultural Fair in Hamlet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

 

 

Filed in: Farm & Ag, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors

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