Living Local featuring festival-style events will begin Thursday in historic downtown Van Buren.

From 5 to 8 p.m., Living Local will include shopping, entertainment, food and music each Thursday evening through Dec. 15.

Participating merchants will be Creative Furnishings by Jean, Boomerang Diner, Natural Treasures, Firefly Boutique and Gifts, Metro Gallery, High Society Upscale Resale, Western Arkansas Legacy of Fine Arts, Main Street Ice Cream Parlour, Marcia Cooksey Interiors, Oliver’s Kitchen, Cinders and Smoke, Willy Nilly Various Sundrys, MozArt Studios, Chapters On Main, The Soap Factory, Renee Barrow Farmers Insurance and Polish Pottery Depot.

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

September’s theme is Fall Market.

Debbie Foliart, a member of VBO and owner of Chapters on Main, said at least six vendors will offer handmade products and/or locally-grown fresh produce under tents in front of the depot during the extended hours.

Vendors will offer jewelry, crochet, handmade wood crafts and paint and sugar scrubs, as well as other items, Foliart said.

She also said members of the GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren will sponsor a “Rocks in the Park” project by decorating and painting rocks.

Entertainment will include Dan Abshere playing guitar and singing country and gospel music and Margaux Burleson on the banjo.

A PassPort will be available from any one of the 17 participating merchants beginning Thursday.

“Get ‘stickered’ by each of them as you shop Main Street,” Foliart said. “At the end of September, October, November and December, enter to win a $50 gift card that can be used on Main Street at these merchants.”

Events to run concurrently with Living Local include the annual Fall Festival on Oct. 7-9, the second annual Cruisin’ on Main on Oct. 22 and Halloween on Main Oct. 29.

Nov. 10 will bring the inaugural Art Walk on Main. Center for Art and Education will spearhead the effort to feature local artists and their works for all four Thursdays in November.

Living Local will host its first Holiday Market during the three scheduled Thursdays in December.

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