HANNIBAL — A festive autumn tradition returns as the Harvest Hootenanny combines live music, food, vendors, demonstrations, contests and activities for all ages on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Mark Twain Cave Complex.

Last year’s Harvest Hootenanny Festival was canceled due to the pandemic, and this year’s event features more activities and entertainment than ever before for visitors of all ages. Event chair Barb Crane said new additions are slated for the festival including Bubble Bus, which is a “sea of bubbles and music that kids are just going to love.” The Robinson father-daughter artist team will demonstrate their woodcarving skills using chainsaws with shows from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a climbing wall and bounce houses are new this year as well.

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, with Carson Bock taking the stage at 6 p.m., followed by Madd Hoss Jackson at 7:30 p.m. Throughout the weekend, vendors will have food, beverages, arts, crafts and other items on hand, and the Rotary Club will have a beer tent ready to serve patrons 21 years and older.

Saturday is filled with things to do for the whole family, beginning with a gravel bike ride touring Hannibal at 8:30 a.m. The newly-added Cottleville Cornhole Tournament is set to begin at noon with a 100% payout, and interested participants are asked to call 636-399-6516.

Saturday will feature several activities with the young — and young at heart — in mind. A pumpkin pie decorating contest will be from noon to 2 p.m., followed by the HNB Quarter Hunt at 3 p.m. The Thorni Ride Exotic Petting Zoo, pony rides, bounce houses and the climbing wall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors 17 years of age and younger get in free, and a $10 armband allows for unlimited time in the bounce houses and on the climbing wall.

Adults can pay $5 for entry, and visitors 21 years and up can pay $10, which includes a Taste of Golden Eagle sampling. Food and beverage vendors begin serving at 10 a.m. and the beer tent will be open between 10 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

A full slate of performers are set to take the stage Saturday, and there will be an open karaoke session from noon to 2 p.m. Electric Band takes the stage at 2 p.m., Haley Woolbright Band performs at 3 p.m., Anthony Russo Jazz and Tap Band takes the stage at 5 p.m. and Soul Root concludes the weekend’s live entertainment from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Crane said the fundraiser one of the organizations largest fundraisers, supporting the Rotary Club’s efforts to give back to the community, including scholarships and the forthcoming pavilion at the Hannibal riverfront. She expressed her enthusiasm for being able to resume the community events following their cancellation the previous year.

“So to be able to do this, and just to be able to see people from the community come out — families come out, single people come out — it is really just a good event for all,” she said. “There’s something for everyone. We just added a little bit more, and we’re just hoping more people come out and support Rotary, because we help to support our community.”

More information about the festival can be found by visiting the Harvest Hootenanny Facebook page.

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