Street closings for four events were approved by members of the Van Buren City Council on Monday night.

Aldermen voted 5-0 to close historic downtown Main Street on Thursday, Nov. 9, for the 16th annual Veterans Day parade. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Crawford County Courthouse and travel east on Main Street to the First Baptist Church parking lot.

For information or to participate, contact parade director Les Thomas Jr. at (479) 652-3374 or

The council also approved the closing of streets for the 13th annual Run With the Knights 5k run/walk on Saturday, Feb. 24, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at King Elementary School.

Run With the Knights enables King fourth graders to go to fourth grade C.A.M.P. (Children Achieving Maximum Potential). The camp is used to teach outside of the classroom and to provide the students with unique outdoor experiences.

The camp is provided at no cost to all King fourth graders. Run With the Knights has allowed more than 400 King students to experience the educational outdoor camp.

The event begins at King School, 411 N. 20th St. Van Buren police officers will block streets as runners and walkers make their way through historic downtown along Main Street and past the Crawford County Courthouse before returning to the school.

Main Street in downtown also will be closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday and Sunday during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in 2018.

The council agreed to the closings to expand the highly successful Downtown Junk Fest hosted by The Old Town Merchants Association Sept. 2-3.

In 2018, Junk Fests will be May 26-27 and Sept. 1-2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Third to Eighth streets on Main.

This year’s Junk Fest featured 52 vendors offering merchandise of repurposed, vintage, salvage, reclaimed, antiques, boutique items, vintage clothing, farmhouse and more. Food truck vendors participated and there was entertainment on three stages throughout the event.

“The downtown merchants did an awesome job with this year’s Junk Fest,” Mayor Bob Freeman said. “It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise with great crowds, activities in Freedom Park and music in three locations.”

Alderman Jim Petty also pointed out the downtown merchants benefited from the Junk Fest crowd.

Mark Shaffer of Metro Gallery, one of the organizers of Junk Fest, noted the street corners were left open during the festival so that the foot traffic could get to the local shops.

He said 52 vendors from five states participated in this year’s Junk Fest.

“We believe we can fill Main Street next year as well as side streets and maybe even The Old Town Merchants Association parking lot on Webster Street,” Shaffer said. “We want to get the word out … we are ready to grow.”