Diapers, Bog Rule Fair's Final Day Published by the Robesonian
By: Amanda Munger
Harmony Martindell of Fairmont, middle, crawls toward the finish in Saturday's Diaper Derby at the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair. The overall winner was 11-month-old Dezion Leake.
Erica Powell, left, and boyfriend Tony McDougald of Lumberton prepare their chicken bog Saturday during the annual chicken bog contest. The two won last year.
Fairgoers prepare for the drop as they are raised 100 feet in the air on the Mega Drop, one of the many new rides that Wade Shows provided at this year's fair.
Bobbie Oxendine of Pembroke sears chicken as part of preparing her chicken bog. She entered a recipe that has been in her family for 10 years.
LUMBERTON —Twenty feet stood between 11-month-old Christopher McGough and his half-eaten candy apple Saturday, and he knew just what he had to do to close the gap.
“He was halfway across, and the baby on the end was a speed demon and went right past him,” said Christopher’s mother, Austen McGough.
Christopher was one of 21 babies entered in the 35th annual Diaper Derby at the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair. Even though he didn’t win the crawling contest, he still got what he was after, and was happily licking the sticky treat after his race.
The Diaper Derby is the longest running event at the fair, which ended its nine-day run Saturday.
“People have babies every year, and you can’t have all the same contestants,” explained Buddy Britt, derby coordinator.
While some babies immediately took off toward their loved ones on the far side of the finish line, others looked around, sat down, or crawled away to investigate other interests.
“They fool the parents because with all the people around they just get awestruck and don’t crawl,” Britt said.
Harmony Martindell of Fairmont had a fast start in her race and led for a few seconds. That was until another baby distracted her and she turned around to face the starting line.
The rules forbid parents touching the babies until they cross the finish line. So they have to resort to bribes, such as bottles, pacifiers, food — even cell phones.
That’s what Bobbie Andrews used to coax Luke Lowry to come to her, and it worked. Luke went straight for it, winning the first round by hands and feet.
“It’s a positive thing for the kids,” Andrews said of the contest.
The first-place winner was 11-month-old Dezion Leake. Second place went to 8-month-old Micah Cox, and third to 8-month-old Alaysia Chavis.
A race of another sort was under way across the fairgrounds where about 20 people were quickly cooking up their best chicken bog in the annual Chicken Bog contest.
Tony McDougald and Erica Powell of Lumberton, last year’s winners, were chopping onions and pouring a variety of spices into the pot.
“I think we put a lot of heart into it and a lot of love because this is something we do together,” Powell said of their tasty brew.
The two have been dating for five years and often make their chicken bog for family get-togethers. While they wouldn’t divulge the recipe, they said, along with the common ingredients of chicken, rice and onions, they include a bit of chicken fat.
Not far from McDougald and Powell, Bobbie Oxendine of Pembroke was busy searing chicken to put in her bog — a recipe passed down in her family for 10 years.
“I try to keep it more natural, with natural ingredients,” Oxendine said.
Onion, garlic and celery are added for taste, she said.
Once completed the bog entries were tasted by judges. Later, fairgoers were invited to buy plates of the culinary concoctions. Proceeds were donated to the FFA.
After it was all over, Jeff McPherson was declared the winner. First place came with $1,000 and a trophy. Second place went to Anissa Bullard, and Robert and Margrette Gilchrest placed third.
Winning in the Pedal Tractor Drag Racing contest were Kenlex Callahan in the 4- and 5-year-old division, Taylor Bailey in the 6- and 7-year-old division and Kaitlyn Wilkins in the 8- to 9-year-old division.
This year’s fair, with its new carnival and moderate weather, set records every day it opened its gates, said Allen Faircloth, fair president. While attendance figures won’t be calculated until early next week, Faircloth believes it will exceed last year’s 90,000 people.
“What’s pretty remarkable, along with how many people that is, is that this year the fair is only running nine days, whereas last year we had a 10-day fair,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth said Wade Shows’ carnival brought people back for more.
“Word has spread real quick on how superior our rides are,” Faircloth said. ” … People would come and then come back again. I had a guy tell me he had been here three times.”
Thursday’s food drive brought in more than 6,000 cans of food for the Robeson County Church and Community Center, and the Foxy 99 concert featuring Jawan Harris was a big draw as well, Faircloth said.
“We want to thank the community,” he said. “We know you can’t have a fair without the patrons and vendors.”
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