Just a heads up, but there will be a bank robbery on the Bentonville Square on Sept. 4. And some local officials may be accomplices.
But it will all be in good fun, and part of a celebration that begins Sept. 4 on the Bentonville Square that is designed turn back the pages of time to the return of Sugar Creek Days.
A bank robbery re-enactment is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday on the square, similar to the real bank robbery more than 100 years ago when Henry Starr robbed the People’s Bank. A cast of 15 re-enactors are involved in staging the “bank robbery” to commemorate the real robbery which occurred June 6, 1893.
The music lineup Sept. 4 will feature Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu at 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., and the band, Yarn, at 6:45 p.m. There will also be music featured on Saturday (Sept. 5).
Games, like old-fashioned sack races, corn hole toss and three-legged race and a cooking demonstration from title sponsor Werther’s Original Caramel will be featured on Saturday. Werther’s, the title sponsor, will demonstrate making caramel brownies and caramel apples as well as offering samples of caramel popcorn.
Residents with proof of Bentonville residency will receive a free Arkansas black apple tree during Friday’s events, courtesy of the Tom and Steuart Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation. Organizers expect 200 trees will be given away. Trees will be handed out on a first come, first served basis with a limit of one tree per household. A current city of Bentonville utility bill can be used to prove residency.
Other sponsors, working in collaboration with Downtown Bentonville Inc., include the Walmart Museum, Adair Creative Group, Walton Arts Center, the Visitor’s Bureau and KUAF Radio. Vendormasters is sponsor for The Kid’s Zone.
The first Sugar Creek Days were held in honor of Arkansas Gov. James Henderson, who lived in Bentonville and served as the state’s governor from 1883 to 1885.
A spokesman at the Benton County Historical Society said Sugar Creek Days were an annual celebration of Benton County’s history around the Civil War. He said homes were opened for tours and residents dressed in period costumes.
The modern event features a farmer’s market, crafts, egg and spoon races and square dancing.
“This will be a nostalgic event with fun activities and good music for the whole community,” said Krystle Goodwin, community engagement manager for Downtown Bentonville Inc.
Event organizers expect at least 10,000 people will take part in the two-day event that celebrates local history and heritage.