Living Local will return to downtown Van Buren on Thursday, April 6.

Alan Foliart, president of The Old Town Merchants Association, announced 2017 plans for Living Local on Tuesday evening during the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at Main Attraction, 701 Main St.

Living Local is an initiative designed to invite more people to partake in the businesses on Main Street in downtown Van Buren. Featuring festival-style events, Living Local will include shopping, entertainment, food and music.

It is a joint venture of The Old Town Merchants Association, Van Buren Original and Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission.

“Due to the overwhelming success of Living Local last year, we are kicking off Living Local on April 6,” Foliart said. “We will run through Dec. 7. TOTMA is teaming up with VBO to help bring this year-long venture to historic downtown.”

He said Living Local will feature different themes throughout the year.

Foliart pointed out Old Timers Day is scheduled for May 19-21 and will include the second annual Lip Snyc Battle.

“Lip Sync will give local non-profits a chance to win money for their organizations,” he said. “Last year was a big success and we are hoping to help the participating non-profits this year.”

Foliart said the merchants association is very excited about the opening of the new Veterans Park in April and about the calls TOTMA receives nearly every day for people and businesses wanting information on buildings in downtown.

“We have several new businesses for the street this year with several more coming over the new few months,” he said. “We have several new things coming that should be announced over the next two to four weeks.”

During the opening month of Living Local, Easter-themed events will be April 6-8 and April 13-15, a home show celebrating Earth Day on April 20-22 and a spring art walk and artist showcase on Stage 9 on April 27.

The TOTMA membership list for 2017 includes Firefly Gifts and Boutique, Natural Treasures, Chapters on Main, Polish Pottery, Metro Gallery, Cinders and Smoke, Country Junkie Boutique, Creative Furnishings by Jean, Renee Barrow Farmers Insurance, Main Street Interiors, Center for Art and Education, Willy Nilly, High Society, Attic Treasures and Soap Factory.