Trail ride

Since 2012, horseback riders from all over Halifax County and North Carolina have gathered in Cluster Springs for the Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department’s annual trail ride to support the fire department’s expenses.

They’re invited once again to return to 1168 Cluster Springs Road in South Boston this weekend.

The trail ride will be held Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m., but the weekend of fun starts on Friday.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday and will feature music provided by DJ Slim. The deejay will return on Saturday to continue providing tunes.

Saturday also will feature a meal of pulled pork barbecue, baked beans, slaw, dinner roll, dessert and drink.

Cost is $25 to participate in the trail ride, dinner and entertainment and $12 for those 12 and under.

Individuals also can attend the Saturday night dinner and entertainment for $15.

Primitive camping also is available Friday through Sunday.

All proceeds will go towards the volunteer fire department which is a completely volunteer fire and rescue service.

“We are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and ready to lend assistance to you, the members of our community and surrounding areas,” said Mike Harris with the fire department.

“Although we receive a small operational budget from the county, it is not enough to keep our doors open. We thrive through donations and fundraisers.”

Members of the Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department run an average of 200 fire and medical calls per year, and have about 20 active members and a dozen support members.

With the COVID-19 restrictions, they have had to pull the plug on much-needed community fundraisers that provided the revenue to keep things running, according to Harris.

Stews were canceled, which generally bring in $1,300 to $1,400 each.

This annual trail ride generates over $10,000 on average each year, Harris said.

“We use the funds raised for three primary reasons: to help us maintain and upgrade our fire house, to buy new equipment and to fund advance training opportunities for our members,” said Harris.

Last year, they had 207 riders, up from the 188 the year before, and organizers hope to see that number continue to grow. 

“As always, please remain safe and thank you for your support,” said Harris.