With food, crafts, artists, music and more, the 27th annual Alma Spinach Festival April 19-20 has fun for the whole family.

New craft vendors will be at the festival this year, selling everything from woodworking items to art work, said Lisa Marie Norris, executive director of the Alma Area Chamber of Commerce.

Vendors featured at the festival this year "will rival any arts and crafts festival in the state," Norris said.

Face painter Racheel Beam will be offering her talents this year, and one new vendor, Build-A-Pal Stuffed Animal Workshop, allows kids to design and create their own stuffed toy.

Build-A-Pal will have a self-contained trailer parked at the event, and the first 50 kids to line up will get their animal for free, Norris said.

Other new activities include a mechanical bull ride and a BB gun range from Daisy that will be manned by the 4H shooting team, she said.

The downtown festival starts early Saturday morning with the annual 5K Dog Run, hosted by the Alma Partners Club.

Registration for the race begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m.

A pancake breakfast also will begin early Saturday morning, hosted by the Masonic Lodge.

Vendor, craft and food booths open at 8 a.m., along with the 4H petting zoo. Barrel Train Rides also will have its trains and inflatables available at 8 a.m.

Alma Public Library will be hosting its book sale from 8 a.m. until 5p.m., located directly in front of the library. A quilt raffle will be held in front of the Crawford County Genealogical Society.

Four Play Offroaders will be at the festival to raise money for Autism Speaks.

The Popeye Stage will open at 8 a.m., with set up and sponsor recognition. New Creation gospel band will be the first musical performance at 9 a.m.

Miller Carnival, with rides and games, will open at 9 a.m.

James Jones will perform classic country on Popeye Stage at 11:30 a.m. He will be followed by the traditional spinach eating contest, being held at noon this year in front of the stage.

Country singer Alex Trusty will take the stage at 1 p.m., with more local music at 1:30 p.m. Crooked and Steep will complete the stage performances at 3 p.m.

Also at 3 p.m., the Alma Rotary Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Alma will host a Spinach Drop. Participants can buy tickets and will be assigned a random number on a grid.Tickets are currently being sold by Rotary Club members.

Spinach will be dropped from a firetruck ladder onto the grid, and the owner of each winning number will take home half the prize money up to the total of $500. This is a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Alma.

Vendor booths will close at 5 p.m., but the carnival will be open until 10 p.m.

Norris has had calls from all over the tri-state area about the festival this year, she said.

"The word is really getting out about what a great event we have here in Alma," Norris said.