• 73°

The Fourth is for families: Faith Fourth of July celebration kicks off

Faith Fourth

Wednesday night was the celebration’s official kick-off and saw performances by the Entertainers and the start of the “Faith Idol” competition with performances by those 12 and under.

Festivities for the rest of the week include:

TONIGHT: One dollar night for all rides. Food booths and rides open at 6 p.m. A performance by Too Much Sylvia begins at 7 p.m., and “Faith Idol” for ages 13-18 begins at 8 p.m.

Friday: F&M Bank customer appreciation night. Food booths and rides open at 6 p.m. A performance by the Fantastic Shakers begins at 7 p.m. “Faith Idol” for adults begins at 8 p.m.

Saturday: Rides open at 1 p.m., food booths open at 6 p.m. A performance by the Boat Rockers begins at 7 p.m.

Sunday: The Rowan Big Band will play at 3:30 p.m. at Faith Baptist Church. A patriotic program sponsored by Novant Health will begin at 5 p.m. Rides and food booths will open at 5 p.m. A performance by the Holiday Band begins at 7 p.m.

Monday, July 4: The Faith Fourth of July Parade begins at 10 a.m., followed by a flag raising ceremony and the national anthem. Rides open at noon, with all day armbands available for $25. “Faith Idol” finals will be held at 7 p.m. Also at 7 p.m. are races, games, watermelon eating contest and an egg toss. The Lakeside Drive Band will perform at 8 p.m. There will be a hotdog-eating contest at 9:30 p.m. and fireworks begin at 10:30 p.m.

By Rebecca Rider


FAITH — The rain came in an hour before the opening of the Faith Fourth of July celebration. The brief, heavy shower left puddles in the gravel walkway and made the air hang with humidity.

But by 6 p.m., when the rides opened their gates and fair workers began calling out from game booths, the town turned out.

Charlie Bulla held the hand of his grandson, Bentlee Shoaf, and steered him around puddles. Bentlee turned 1 just a few weeks ago, but he walks through the Faith fair like he was born there – and in a way, it’s in his blood.

Bulla has been coming to the Faith fair for 40 years. He said it doesn’t change much.

“Same people, just about,” he said, “They just get a little older.”

His kids grew up coming every summer, and now it’s time to bring his grandkids – Bulla said he’s got eight of them. He looked down to where Bentlee clung to his hand, and said he hoped his family will be going to the fair for years to come.

“It’s just a tradition,” he said.

The Faith Fourth of July Celebration started in 1946 as a picnic at the local ballpark and is run by the dedicated collaboration between the Faith branches of the Civitans, Jaycees, American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. This is its 70th year, and the fair has grown, sprawling over the grounds of Faith Elementary School and a local park.

Randall Barger, one of the Civitans who serves on the Faith Fourth committee, said the nearly week-long celebration builds up the excitement until it bursts at the holiday parade.

But the fair was cut shorter than usual this year. In previous years, the rides and festivities have spun out for a full nine days, but Barger said that this year it was cut down to six to accommodate the ride company, Wade Shows, Inc., which drove in from Tennessee just a few days ago.

But the short schedule hasn’t dimmed spirits. Barger has been working with the celebration since 1975, and he and others of the town have woven the fair into the fabric of their lives. The fair committee meets year round, and when it comes to favorites, most people at the celebration’s opening night had difficulty picking out a single thing.

“It’s everything,” Barger said. “ . . . It’s not just one thing – it’s the atmosphere.”

And slowly, it’s becoming a tradition for new families, as well. It’s the third year at the fair for Katie Caswell and son Daylen, 4. Caswell fell in love with the fair after she moved to Rockwell.

“It was fun,” she said, “It was always fun.”

Now, Caswell lives in Archdale, but she said even though the town has its own fair, she’ll keep coming to Faith’s.

“This is one of the best fairs I’ve been to,” she said.

Excited families – old and new – queued up for rides or threw darts at balloons. Grandparents pushed strollers past rides playing plucky music and stalls selling blooming onions, elephant ears and chicken wings.

Patty Bost staggered off a spinning ride known as the “Sizzler,” clutching the hand of 9-year-old Zoe Bull.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve done that!” She said.

Zoe is the granddaughter of Bost’s best friend, who had to work Wednesday evening.

“So I stepped in,” Bost said.

Bost has been coming for years, but it’s Zoe’s first time at the celebration – and Bost said she knew Zoe would love it. But it’s something she enjoys, as well.

“You’re never too old to come out and enjoy this,” she said.

It’s a statement that proved true for Corrine and Bobby Trexler. Corrine is a Salisbury resident, said she’s been coming to the fair longer than she can remember.

“You know I’ve been coming a long time when I’m 80 years old,” she said.

When she was younger, she loved to hop on the rides and go for a spin, but now she likes to listen to the band. But before the festivities started, she and Bobby wander the fair, hand-in-hand. For the next six days, they’ll be here, watching the night’s entertainment and taking in the sights.

“We never miss it,” she said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.


East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day


In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising


From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community


In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help


Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system


School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures


Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice


Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch


Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand


UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors


Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat


Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19


Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods


NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes


Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting


Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court


County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%


Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event


Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns


Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates


Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft


Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan


Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project