Siloam Springs to show local best
■ The Homegrown Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
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