Siloam Springs to show lo­cal best

■ The Home­grown Fes­ti­val will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Satur­day.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Burch­fiel Staff Writer mburch­fiel@nwadg.com ■

The best of Siloam Springs will be on full dis­play this week­end, as the Home­grown Fes­ti­val fills parts of the his­toric down­town dis­trict with fla­vors, mu­sic and rows of booths run by lo­cal ven­dors. The Home­grown Fes­ti­val will take place along Broad­way Street and part of East Main Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Satur­day, Oct. 7.

Around 100 booths by lo­cal mak­ers and ven­dors will line Broad­way Street and East Main Street, in ad­di­tion to the area’s brick-and-mor­tar shops. Main Street Siloam Springs Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Kelsey Howard said she wanted the event to show­case the char­ac­ter of down­town Siloam Springs.

“We re­ally have the most amazing down­town mer­chants,” Howard said. “Ev­ery­body down­town is a com­mu­nity, and that is re­ally some­thing we want ev­ery­body to ex­pe­ri­ence when they come to the fes­ti­val.”

“Even if peo­ple are used to down­town, most likely there’s a place they haven’t been to before,” Howard said.

This year’s it­er­a­tion of the fes­ti­val will also fea­ture an ar­ray of free kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties. Abil­ity Tree will host a Kids’ Art Show at their lo­ca­tion at 300 E. Main Street, and will fa­cil­i­tate tis­sue pa­per wa­ter­col­ors. Whole Foods will host Hal­loween-themed food sculpt­ing, the Ben­ton County Mas­ter Gar­den­ers will have pump­kin dec­o­rat­ing and the North­west Arkansas Mas­ter Nat­u­ral­ists will host pa­per an­i­mal ac­tiv­i­ties. There will also be a photo booth hosted by the Dog­wood Lit­er­acy Coun­cil, seed plant­ing hosted by The Gar­den and an­cient chalk draw­ings with the Siloam Springs Mu­seum.

The va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties for kids are all free of charge, thanks to the groups that are host­ing them, said Main Street Siloam Springs Events and Mar­ket­ing Co­or­di­na­tor Abby Trinidad.

One of the event’s spon­sors, DaySpring, will also have a booth at the event where the card com­pany will of­fer free let­ter-send­ing ser­vices, in­clud­ing hand-let­ter­ing the en­velopes, Trinidad said.

“As a spon­sor it is great that they are go­ing out of their way to

find ex­tra things they can do to re­ally add to the fes­ti­val,” Trinidad said.

Satur­day’s event also co­in­cides with a Kids’ Day at the Farm­ers Mar­ket, so the usual fea­tures of the Farm­ers Mar­ket, in­clud­ing a bounce cas­tle for kids, will also be part of the cel­e­bra­tion. The mar­ket will open at its usual time at 8 a.m. and stay open for the du­ra­tion of the event.

“Hope­fully it’ll get peo­ple ex­cited to come to Kids’ Days in the fu­ture,” said Trinidad.

Like last year, the event’s en­ter­tain­ment will also in­clude per­for­mances by sev­eral lo­cal bands. The Sons of Otis Malone are sched­uled to play from 10 a.m. to noon, Melody Pond is slated for a per­for­mance from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Route 358 will take the stage from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Howard de­scribed the bands as en­er­getic and displaying a lo­cal charm.

“These are the pil­lars of the Home­grown fes­ti­val,” said Howard. “Every sin­gle as­pect of this fes­ti­val, not just the mu­sic, is go­ing to carry that com­mon thread.”

“You know what you’re go­ing to get when you come to the Home­grown Fes­ti­val, but we can still sur­prise you,” Howard said. “And ev­ery­one down­town is so darn nice. It is al­ways a unique and spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence to come to down­town Siloam Springs, and we are so lucky to have such a his­toric place to en­joy in our down­town.”

Peo­ple at­tend­ing the fes­ti­val will also get a chance to get a new per­spec­tive on down­town Siloam Springs with a kayak or pad­dle­boat rental. Rock House Out­fit­ters will be of­fer­ing time on Sager Creek in a one-per­son kayak for $10 or a twop­er­son pad­dle­boat rental for $15.

The fes­ti­val will mark the fi­nal farm­ers mar­ket of the sea­son. How­ever, shop­pers can still get lo­cal pro­duce by pur­chas­ing on­line at www.siloamsprings. lo­cal­ly­grown.net

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