Let’s get ready to Rumba

Brandon Tester - Staff writer
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LUMBERTON — Runners, bicycle riders and chili lovers will have the weather on their side when they head out this weekend to enjoy the Rumba on the Lumber.

Temperatures in the low 60s and clear skies await those attending the festivities, which begin at 5 p.m. on Friday with the Allen Orthopedics Pasta Dinner and Dance at Adelio’s Restaurant, in downtown Lumberton. Betty Fisher will provide entertainment at the dinner with live accordion music. She will be followed by a performance by Goldrush, a Lumberton band that has been entertaining folks with a mix of music for 41 years.

Tickets for the dinner cost $10 and can be purchased at the door.

The event, coordinated by the Robeson Road Runners, hits full strike on Saturday in the downtown plaza area and along Third Street.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with the Southeastern Health 5K and 10K races. The races are certified by RMS Sports, meaning individuals can use the event as a chance to qualify for bigger races around the country.

The noncompetitive Family Fun Mile Walk/Run will take place shortly after at 11 a.m. The first 200 children to register for the Fun Mile will receive a free T-shirt. The Fun Mile begins at Chestnut and Fourth streets.

Children also can visit the free Lumbee River EMC Kids Zone from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bounce houses, giant slides and a bungee trampoline are among the many activities to be found in the Zone.

Business, craft and food vendors will be set up from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Bud Light North of the Border Chili Cook-Off will begin at 11 a.m. More than 30 teams are set to compete for a variety of awards, such as Weirdest Ingredient, Hottest Chili and Best Chili in Town.

For an admission fee of $5, individuals can sample all the chili recipes while hearing live music by the Charlotte-based Cassette Rewind Band. All proceeds from the cook-off will benefit the Lumberton Football Association.

The Carolina Soul Band will provide another option for live music with a concert that starts at 2 p.m.

Parking for Saturday’s events will be available in the old BB&T parking lot between Fourth and Fifth streets. Parking also will be available behind the Robeson County Public Library.

Bikes will flood the streets of Robeson County on Sunday for three events geared toward both casual and dedicated cyclists.

All cycling events will begin and end at Northeast Park.

The Yamaha of Lumberton Metric Century, a 62-mile bike ride, will begin at noon on Sunday. The course will provide riders with a scenic tour of the county that will include rest stops every 10 to 15 miles. The course is flat and circuits through low-traffic areas.

The less lengthy Cruzbike 20-mile Bicycle Adventure starts at 1:30 p.m. The adventure also takes place on a flat course and includes a rest stop at the halfway mark.

The Free Bicycle Rodeo, sponsored by The Bicycle Shop of Fayetteville, will serve as the festival’s final event. The rodeo starts at 3:30 p.m. Children ages 14 and younger can participate in the rodeo. The event includes safety checks, skill competitions, balance tests and helmet fittings.

Registration is still open for Rumba activities.

“People can go to the website and register at any time,” said Owen Thomas, Robeson Road Runners president.

The event began as a road-running race in the 1980s, and in the mid-1990s became the Rumba with the addition of many events meant for the family, including the chili competition.

“It’s been going on for years, and it’s been getting bigger and better, so we’re excited,” Thomas said.

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Brandon Tester

Staff writer

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected]

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected]