Organizers are looking forward to the 5th Annual Benton Arts and Heritage Day, scheduled this year for Saturday, October 31st. For this 5th annual celebration, planners hope to expand the offerings during the festival and are looking for new vendors and demonstrators. Benton Arts and Heritage Day will feature live music, food, crafts, bouncy houses, a petting zoo, birds of prey from State Parks, a quilt show inside the courthouse, blacksmith, tractor show and scarecrow contest at Benton IGA, and a country-themed beauty contest on the courthouse square. This year’s festival will be from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“The reason we wanted to start this festival in the first year was that there really isn’t anything in Polk County geared toward showing off the arts done in Polk County,” organizer Cheryl Buehler said. “Quilt Court was created as a way to show that there things many folks around here consider no big deal, but are truly an art form.”
Organizers would like to add more heritage and art demonstrations to the festival. “Soap-making, beekeeping, woodcarving, quilting, painting… we have people all over the area with these talents, and want them to join us,” Buehler said, adding “we’d love some cloggers or old-time entertainers, too.” Vendor entry forms are available at the Benton Municipal Building, Polk County News, and inside the Polk County Courthouse. Booths used to sell merchandise remain $10. Those who are providing a demonstration are not required to pay to participate. Anyone who utilizes a heritage-related art is encouraged to join the fun.
Application forms for the First Annual Boots and Hearts contest are available at the Benton Municipal Building. Categories will be available for boys and ages birth – 6 years, and girls ages birth – 19 years. Contestants will wear a country-western themed outfit of their choice. Entry is $15 with proceeds covering the cost of the contest. Any money remaining will be donated to West Polk Empty Stocking Fund. Each contestant will receive a participation trophy. Contact Sanna German at 423-716-0785 for info.
If you would like to do a demonstration, have some quilts for the quilt show, or have a vendor booth to sell your hand-crafted wares, please contact Cheryl Buehler at the Polk County News at 423-338-2818. Food vendors should contact John Pippenger at 423-338-0187.