Despite repeated adaptations, organizers of this weekend’s Twain on Main Festival in Hannibal remain upbeat.
“We’re expecting a really good crowd. The weather is going to be on the cool side so that will help us with attendance. It’s just going to be too cold to go swimming,” laughed Erik Spence, Twain on Main Festival coordinator.
Gain Bryant, director of the Hannibal Convention & Visitors Bureau, agrees.
“We are looking forward to welcoming a crowd,” said Bryant, who has been working to get word out that despite this week’s severe weather, the festival is still on. “We have also been using social media outlets like our Facebook page to let people know that we are looking forward to the festival downtown.”
The event, now in its second year of “rebirth,” has faced its share of challenges this year. Initially plans had to be made to work around the Main Street improvement project. Those plans had to be redone after Monday night’s storm damaged two buildings on North Main in whose shadow vendors were slated to be.
“We originally planned on going all the way from Broadway up to the 400 block, but then we had to switch around because of construction and then because of the storm damage,” said Spence.
Because of that damage, a portion of the sidewalk in the 300 block of North Main will be blocked off.
“We don’t want anybody walking in front of the (damaged) building,” said Brian Chaplin, city project manager.
The public parking lot on the northeast corner of Bird and Main streets, into which bricks fell from a damaged building, will also be closed.
“Parking will be limited. It’s going to be a matter of being diligent,” said Spence. “The flood walls are out, so there will be parking on the other side of the levee. There will be parking on the main streets, too.”
Since the festival can not extend down Main Street as far as had been hoped, it will instead go wider.
“We’re going to be on the 100 block, 200 block (of Main) and on Center and Bird streets, east and west up to the alleyways,” said Spence.
Despite the change of plans, the festival will still be able to accommodate 85 vendors.
“We do have enough space. I was able to allow the vendors extra space this year so everything will be nice, spread out and casual, and not everybody on top of one another,” said Spence, noting that last year’s festival featured 59 vendors.
Vendors will begin showing up Friday and will remain downtown until 4 p.m. Sunday.
Page 2 of 2 - “We’re pretty excited,” said Spence.
“The Memorial Day Weekend is often considered a start to the ‘summer’ tourism season, but we have been enjoying visitors since January,” said Bryant. “All of the special events and festivals held in Hannibal help draw visitors to our area and they are all important parts of our total visitor experience.”