LUMBERTON — Whether it’s biking, running or chili-eating, downtown Lumberton will have something for people of all ages this Saturday during the 14th annual Rumba on the Lumber.
“I think it brings the community together,” said Scott Billingsley, president of the Robeson Road Runners, which helps make the happen. “It’s one of the bigger community events held every year and you really get a sense of the good parts of living in a small town … it helps with the psyche of the community.”
Billingsley has been a part of the committee that organizes the Rumba on the Lumber for the past six or seven years.
“This is sort of my community service,” Billingsley said. “I’m not much of a civic club person, so this is my outlet for volunteerism, and they are a fun group to work with.”
The event will have bike rides, a chili cook-off competition and the Southeastern Health 5K run. The event also helps local businesses by attracting out-of-town visitors who spend money locally, said Billingsley.
“There are people that come to the event and have no idea that there is a 5K race,” he said. “They come for chili — they eat chili, drink beer and really enjoy it.”
Billingsley is expecting 500 to 700 people for the festival and about 400 to 450 registered runners for the Southeastern Health 5K run.
“I look forward to seeing the people get out in their community, have fun and be active,” he said. “That’s one of the primary missions of the Robeson Road Runners.”
Participants of the Southeastern Health 5K can pick up their race packets early during the Friday Night Party hosted by Allen Orthopedics that is tonight at the Bill Sapp Recreation Center from 6 to 9. The packets will have T-shirts and bib numbers. It is open to the public, and there will be food, music and dancing for families to enjoy. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Proceeds from the party will go towards the Lumber River Soccer Association.
The events on Saturday will be as follows:
— 10K Bicycle Ride, 9 a.m.: People will have the chance to ride their bicycles around city neighborhoods during the 10K Bicycle Ride. Routes have been designed to provide lesser obstruction from traffic so cyclists can safely enjoy the ride. Helmets are required. To register, visit www.robesonroadrunners.com
— Southeastern Health Family Fun Mile, downtown plaza, 10 a.m.: Families will be able to participate in this free mile-long run. Registration will be from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m at Candy Sue’s in downtown Lumberton. The first 300 K-8 grade participants who register will receive free T-shirts. No dogs are allowed in the race.
— Lumbee River EMC Kidz Zone, downtown plaza, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Children can enjoy a number of events, such as face painting, climbing rock walls and participate in contests to win prizes. The event is free and open to children of all ages.
— Arts and Crafts Show, downtown in courthouse parking lot, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Visitors will have the chance to browse original artwork created by local people during the Arts and Crafts Show. Most of the artwork that will be on display will also be for sale.
— Southeastern Health 5K, Downtown Plaza, 11 a.m.: The Southeastern Health 5Kk is open to the public. Late registration participants will be able to pick up their bib number at Candy Sue’s from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday. Proceeds from the run will benefit the Robeson County History Museum. To register, visit www.robesonroadrunners.com
— Bud Light Chili Cook-Off, Water Street, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Visitors will be able to taste chili from various cooking teams. Proceeds will benefit the Lumberton Football Association. The Carolina Breakers Band will perform.
— Robeson County 4-H Talent Show, Carolina Civic Center, 1 p.m.: Youths from ages 5 to 19 will be participating in the annual Robeson County 4-H Talent Show, where they will be singing, dancing and playing instruments. The event is free and open to the public.