Old Timers Day in downtown Van Buren will host a pre-festival armband night at the carnival, beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The carnival will set up at two locations - the parking lot on Webster between Seventh and Eighth streets and at the site of the future Veterans Park near the depot on Main Street.
Thursday’s cost will be $20 for unlimited rides.
In addition to the expanded carnival, this year’s festival will include helicopter rides for the first time. Cost will be $25 for a three-minute ride and $48 for a six-minute ride.
Tickets for the helicopter rides will be available for purchase in a booth located at Main and Fifth streets with a shuttle taking individuals to the nearby take-off spot.
Old Timers Day, sponsored by The Old Town Merchants Association, will include arts and crafts vendors, games and food from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Pony rides will be offered as well as a "high-noon" performance Saturday by the Lawbreakers and Peacemakers re-enactment group. The Arkansas-Missouri excursion train will run over the weekend and the Lawbreakers and Peacemakers also will rob the train.
Country and gospel singer Barbara Fairchild will headline the entertainment at this year’s Old Timers Day festival. Fairchild, who is best known for her hit 1973 country song, "The Teddy Bear Song," and her husband, Roy Morris, will perform on the stage at the depot from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Opening for Fairchild will be Billy Flash and the Troublemakers, who will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday.
The musical stage will be busy throughout Old Timers Day.
Crooked and Steep will perform southern gospel and bluegrass music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, there will be local entertainment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by Gold Country from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Southern Drawl will be on the stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, and Lee Altman from 1 to 2 p.m. Doug McCutcheson will perform, beginning at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.vanburen.org and www.barbarafairchild.com.