LUMBERTON — Lumberton’s much-anticipated Rumba on the Lumber returns this weekend, but is now a three-day event, not two days.
The 14th annual event has all the old standbys, including a chili-cooking contest, music and plenty of activities for children. But new this year are three bicycle rides on Sunday. The Ride Robeson Metric Century, a 100K ride around the county, begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Riders will travel through Pembroke, Rowland, Fairmont and several other communities.
The Robeson 20-Mile Bicycle Adventure, a shorter route that sticks to scenic sites in and around Lumberton, also begins at 1 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., riders of all ages can join The Family Fun 5K Bike Ride.
“It gives people in the community something to do that promotes fitness, and has been around so many years,” said Connie Russ, downtown coordinator for the city. “It is a great event for the county. It just gives our citizens something fun to do, gives our kids a way to go have fun while being fit, and it is just a great event for families to come out and have a good time. It is a very festive event, which I guess goes without saying, as it is a festival.”
Before hitting the pavement on Saturday, runners can load up on valuable carbohydrates at the Allen Orthopedics Pasta Party on Friday night at Candy Sue’s. Starting a 5 p.m., this year’s party will include music by Hodges & Friends.
The whole family can join Saturday’s free Southeastern Health Family Fun Mile, which starts at 10 a.m. Afterwards, children can stick around and enjoy The Lumbee River EMC Kidz Zone in the downtown plaza.
Participants can run, walk or cheer on their family and friends during the Southeastern Health 5K at 11 a.m., an event that attracts competitive and recreational runners. The 5K course has been tweaked this year and has two fewer corners, but still runs parallels to the Lumber River and returns runners to the downtown area on Elm Street.
There’s plenty of entertainment for those who choose not to bike or run.
For the big kids, the Bud Light North of the Border Chili Cook-Off will run from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., plenty of time to sample competitors’ chili recipes. Participants will compete for a variety of awards, including such staples as best-tasting and most-interesting ingredient. The Carolina Breakers will entertain those in Chilitown.
There will be plenty of booths featuring arts, crafts, businesses and nonprofits in the parking lot along West Third Street.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. local musicians, poets, dancers, baton twirlers and bands will grace the community stage on the east side of the plaza. The Carolina Civic Center will host the Robeson County 4H Talent Show beginning at 1 p.m.
“A lot of people are very excited about this, so if you’re a runner or a cyclist, you can do both events,” Russ said. “There is something for everyone.”