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By Kelly Wilson 26 Apr, 2017

The Historic Hannibal Marketing Council is pleased to present the annual Twain on Main Festival in historic downtown Hannibal. Taking place Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28, this fun-filled festival is packed with entertainment, food, spirits, arts, crafts and more. There is something for every age to enjoy at this celebration of Hannibal’s favorite son, Mark Twain.

Festival activities will take place along North Main Street from North Street to Broadway, as well as the side streets along North Main. You will find some of the best festival food with favorites like turkey legs, funnel cake and burgers fresh off the grill. If you are looking for local flavor, you also will find downtown Hannibal’s favorite eateries, each serving its own specialty like ribs, catfish and maid-rites.

If you enjoy sampling local beers and wines, you will want to stop by the Twain on Main Wine Garden at Hill and North Main streets. You can sit in the shade and sample local spirits while listening to live music.

This year’s festival will be the largest Twain on Main to date. Space has been allotted for nearly 200 vendors, and the expectation is that all spaces will be filled. You will find something to fit everyone’s taste and budget — clothing, arts and crafts, produce, leather goods and metal works.

As is the tradition with Twain on Main, there will be   three distinct areas of entertainment, each designed to celebrate a particular Twain novel — “The Prince and the Pauper,” “Roughing It” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”


‘The Prince and   the Pauper’

This book tells the story of a young prince in 16th century England who convinces a pauper boy to trade places with him. In keeping with this theme, you will find a large castle-shaped bouncy-house at the corner of Bird and North Main. You also will find music and dancing from the Renaissance era, sword play and costumed performers.  


‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’

Hannibal’s Tom & Becky Goodwill Ambassadors will be in the garden next to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home to play games from the past and run races with the youngest festival goers. You can test your abilities and find out how skillful you are at shooting marbles and how fast you can run while encased in a gunny sack.


‘Roughing It’  

When you reach the corner of Center Street and North Main, you will find yourself immersed in the Old West as we bring Twain’s Western novel to life. Twain will be there to share tales of his travel by stagecoach to Nevada and his adventures there. Of course, while you are caught up in his stories, you may find yourself dodging bullets as desperados shoot it out in the middle of the street. To complete our Old West theme, the Omeyocan Dance Company will perform native dance in full costume.

The weekend promises fun and entertainment. Besides the array of food, entertainment and vendor merchandise, you will also find museums, stores and specialty shops along Main Street. Many of the downtown pubs will offer live music Friday and Saturday evenings. 

By Kelly Wilson 26 Apr, 2017

New London Park Days is the annual two-day fun-filled and family-friendly festival built on small-town pride. For more than 30 years people have come together at the Ralls County Courthouse square and surrounding streets for Park Days to enjoy food and music and other entertainment and more.

This year’s event will be June 2 and 3.

Entertaining at the event includes the following:

• 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Cory Combs.

• 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Frate.

• 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Part Time Gypsies.

• 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, Steppin’ Back.

• 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Riverside.

• 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Catfish Willie.

Among the weekend’s traditions are the Miss New London Pageant, a full-scale carnival, arts and craft vendors, a parade, a baby contest, a classic car cruise and the annual Mr. Lovely Legs competition.

More information and a schedule of events are available at newlondonparkdays.org.

By Kelly Wilson 26 Apr, 2017

Relay For Life of Marion County will return to Hannibal on Friday, June 2.

The event has come of age, celebrating 21 continuous years of fundraising.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, and its events are community gatherings where teams and individuals set up booths and take turns walking or running a path.  

“I relay because people I care about — my family, my friends, my clients — have been affected by cancer,” said this year’s event leader Andy Straube. “I am a big believer in bringing our communities together to support the American Cancer Society. The ACS is second only to the United States government in funding much-needed cancer research.”

Relay For Life of Marion County works with sponsors such as the Hannibal Regional Hospital System and the James E. Cary Cancer Center, which sponsors a survivor dinner.  

Relay For Life of Marion County, with the theme “Cruising Through The Decades” will take place in Historic Downtown Hannibal. Entertainment, announcements and awards will use the Music Under The Stars stage, and a survivor reception will be at the Y-Men’s Pavilion. The walking track will be along the street, with luminaria bags in the center. During a ceremony at dusk, the bags will be lit in honor or in memory of those diagnosed with cancer, and the names of those people will be read. Registered survivors will receive a shirt, pin and other donated gifts, along with a dinner sponsored by the Cary Cancer Center.

“Honoring our survivors is key to Relay For Life,” said survivor lead Dana Blase. “Survivors that attend Relay often find it to be an empowering, emotional experience. It is a reunion with fellow survivors and a celebration of victory over cancer. Survivors’ attendance at Relay For Life is key because it serves as a testimony to others that there is life beyond a cancer diagnosis. Our survivors inspire us.”

In 2016, the Relay For Life of Marion County was recognized as one of the top 10 per capita fundraisers in the High Plains Division and nationwide.  

The Flower Children, led by Mark and Stephanie Bross, is a Ruby Fundraising Team and was recognized as a national 2016 Team of Excellence for it fundraising efforts. The Flower Children continually raises more than $60,000 annually.

“Our goal this year is $107,500, and we hope to exceed that goal. Only with the dedication and hard work of our teams and participants are we able to reach these goals. The American Cancer Society has pledged to double the amount of funding we put towards research by 2020, and RFL of Marion County is doing all they can to advance that goal,” Kathryn McDaniel, community manager, said.

More information is available by calling 217-740-1496, or visiting relayforlife.org/marioncomo.

By Kelly Wilson 26 Apr, 2017

Mississippi Mind Trap officially opened April 1 and is now booking the Clue Room Experience. This thoughtfully planned escape room is themed after the board game Clue. Owners Eddie and Tracy Lennox gathered a team to create a challenging and fun escape.

Become a pair of detectives for a date night or build an investigative team of up to eight people to gather clues and decipher codes to open boxes, crates, doors and gadgets.

Once the escape room door closes, the heat is on under a ticking clock to answer three questions about a murder:

• Where did it happen?  

• What weapon was used?  

• And, of course, who did it?

“You can request a hint if your team gets stuck,” Tracy Lennox said. “If you’ve never been to an escape room, there is a little more guidance.”

Even with hints offered, the uncertainty of a successful escape is all part of the fun, but participants are not trapped inside the room.  

“The door is locked, but you can get out,” Lennox said. “You can hit a button and leave anytime you want.”

The experience takes approximately 90 minutes, including a short video before entering and pictures at the end to declare you made it out — or not.  

The Lennoxes anticipate opening a two-room experience in June with an Area 51 theme. Participants will be challenged to gain the code from the first room to enter the second room and make their escape from there.

Escape room themes will change every several months, and they are not scary for children. Regular game play is recommended for ages 9 and older, but private bookings allow children of all ages to play.  

Online booking is now available at mississippimindtrap.com. 

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