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Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at Faith celebration on Sunday evening

FAITH — The looming clouds in the distance did not keep everyone home as a smaller than usual crowd attended the Faith Fourth despite the rain. Sunday’s rain was a marked difference from Saturday’s sunny skies and 85 degree temperature. Lee Roberts, who was at the event with his daughter, Leila, was quite happy that the rain didn’t stop some of the rides.

“I like that it keeps going after the rain,” Roberts said.

He held onto the toddler along with her cousin, Maddison Ball, 3, as the two girls rode on the merry-go-round.

“Weeee,” the girls squealed from the ride.

Robert said he likes that the event is one where he can take his family and not worry about what might happen.

“The crowd is usually pretty mellow,” he said.

Friend Brandon Ball, who was with wife, Emily, and their daughter Maddison, said it makes him feel safe to know there’s such a strong law enforcement presence at the event, especially since there are a lot of families who attend.

Best friends Madison Fuller, 14, Lydia Isaacs, 14, and Alexis Hamdan, also 14, were excited to ride as many rides as they could.

Fuller said she’s been attending the Faith Fourth since she was younger and invited her friends, both of whom had never attended.

“I love how they put kiddie rides with all the other rides,” Fuller said.

She said in the past, the children’s rides had been separated from the older rides. She loves the setup because she has a younger brother and with all of the rides in the same area, “that way it can still be a family event.”

The girls agreed they were most excited about the ride and planned to eat funnel cakes.

Greg Graham has attended the event for 20 years as a photo booth vendor. His father, Ernest “Butch” Graham, started the business in 1967 and taught his three sons, including Greg. When Ernest Graham died 15 years ago, Greg and his brothers continued the business. Each of his brothers has a photo booth and they travel the region as vendors at various events.

Greg said he has a daytime job, but still continues what his father started years ago.

Greg said he enjoys returning to the Faith Fourth because it gives him a chance to see some of the same people each year, some of whom take pictures each year. He’s seen people grow up and bring their children for photos.

Mike Crawford and wife, Robin, were at the Faith Fourth with their daughter, Janna, granddaughters Carly and Chloe. Mike said what he liked about the event was that it had a “family atmosphere.” The family traveled from Stanly County to attend the event, but left early when it began to rain.

There are events closer to where the family lives, but they say they like attending something a little different.

Mike said his granddaughter, Chloe, 10, has to ride everything, which she almost did before the rain. Robin makes sure she gets corn and a funnel cake while there.

The Faith Fourth continues tonight, which is Dollar Night. All of the rides are $1. The booths and the rides open at 6 p.m. The Craig Woolard Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. and the Faith Idol adult competition will be held at 8:30 p.m.

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