Downtown Merchants host annual Van Buren Fall Festival

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 131 views 

Cloudy skies didn’t keep the crowds away on Saturday (Oct. 13) as hundreds gathered in downtown Van Buren for the city’s annual Fall Festival.

More than 200 exhibitors took part in the event, offering visitors a wide variety of crafts, antiques and artwork. Downtown merchants extended their storefronts to the streets inviting patrons to look over their selection of handcrafted décor, clothing and toys.

Several businesses served up homemade treats for visitors to sample and enjoy. Many vendors traveled from other states to take part in this year’s festival. Several area non-profit organizations manned booths to help raise awareness for their cause.

A children’s carnival packed with amusement rides, games and a fun house was also set up in the Farmer’s Market lot for kids and their parents to enjoy.

Along with festival staples such as the funnel cake, kettle corn and corndogs, this year’s event also featured delicious BBQ, homemade chili and a variety of Greek-inspired dishes.

Live entertainment was provided throughout the event on the stage near the historic train depot. A number of local acts showcased their talent performing gospel, country and pop songs for the crowd.

Headlining the festival’s entertainment was country music legend, TG Sheppard. Known for classics such as “Do You Want to Go to Heaven?” and “Party Time,” Sheppard enjoyed great success on both the pop and country charts during the late 70s and early 80s. He performed a free concert on Saturday evening.

In addition to the rides and crafts, the Masonic Lodge hosted a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning. The A&M Excursion Train was also open to passengers.

Fall Festival will continue through Sunday (Oct. 14) until 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Old Town Merchants Association.