More than 100 vendors already have signed up for the April 28-29 Old Timers Day Steampunk Festival in historic downtown Van Buren.
Vendors will be coming from Florida to New Mexico and “everywhere in between” to be part of the newly revamped OTD Steampunk Festival, according to Mindy London, vendor chair.
Last week, members of The Old Town Merchants Association hung a banner high above Main Street announcing the festival, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28, and 9 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29.
Entertainment will be abundant throughout the OTD Steampunk Festival, said Kathy Lumpkins, festival chair.
“A schedule will soon be released with dates, times and locations of all we will be offering during the two-day festival,” Lumpkins said. “All of our entertainment will be family friendly and will be free with the exception of the hot air balloon ride and a tea party with a discussion panel.”
Lumpkins said a few spaces are available for vendors. Applications can be found at www.oldtownvanburen.com under events or by calling (479) 922-6862.
Mark Shaffer, president of TOTMA, said the downtown merchants took a risk moving the OTD from its normal dates in May to April.
“But by adding the Steampunk aspect to it and additional revamping, the vendors have really bought into it,” he said. “Much credit must be given to Mindy and Kathy for all the hard work they have put into this event.”
Shaffer said the dates were changed to accommodate an additional downtown Junk Fest that first debuted last year over Labor Day weekend. The Spring Downtown JunkFest is scheduled for May 26-27 over Memorial Day weekend.
“Food will be plentiful during the festival as we have approximately 18 food trucks offering items such as fine pastries and fresh seafood from Miami, Fla., along with our own main street favorite diners such as Boom A Rang, newly opened Larry B’s Rhythm Room and D&R Trolley Stop BBQ,” London said.
• Professor Jefferson Parker will be riding his Penny Farthing (big wheel) bike, posing for pictures and offering rides to youngsters on his vintage bike.
• Stilt walkers, jugglers and hula hoop artists from Sacred Somatics Entertainment roaming up and down Main Street.
• Rotating performers including Irish dancers, fire dancers and Native American dancers will be on every intersection of historic Main Street.
• The Airship Iron Rose will land on Main Street with her crew telling wild tales and performing feats of “courage.” Their story, “The Airship Iron Rose in Attack on the Festival” is a view into the life of high-wire stunts and includes steampunk special effects.
• Carnival Epsilon will perform on stage at Blanche Moore Park at 2 p.m. This one-hour show will feature sword swallowing, and fire breathing.
• Cedric the Magician will entertain kids of all ages with his interactive magic show on Main Street throughout the day. He and his lovely assistant will offer fabulous balloon creations and limited face painting between the magic shows. The show is free for children.
• Steampunk costume contest at 2 p.m. on the stage in Blanche Moore Memorial Park with prizes for the first, second and third place. Immediately following, A Steampunk Puppy Dog Costume Contest sponsored by Funky Puppy Poochie Parlor will be held. Prizes will be given to the best-costumed canine.
• Tethered hot air balloon rides at 5 p.m. over historic Main Street. Tickets can be purchased and time slots scheduled at the designated booth site (weather permitting).
• Steampunk Tea Room with panel discussions at 5:30 p.m. at Madam’s Main Attraction, 701 Main St. Requires a ticket.
• Chance to Dance dance studio will perform an original Steampunk performance on Main Street, beginning at 1 p.m. at different intersections throughout the day.
• The Ragged Blade Band, a ragtime/steampunk-style band from St. Louis, Mo., will perform at 1 p.m. at the train depot platform.