ALTON -- The Alton Chamber of Commerce predicts that this year the annual Walnut Festival on Oct. 4 will be bigger and better than ever.
To kick off the festival, Fun Time Shows Carnival will open Oct 2 at 6 p.m. on Main and Old streets. Rides, fun and food will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The carnival will also be open during the Walnut Festival on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.
Court square will be filled with booths offering crafts, quilts, dolls, Christmas decorations, food, gadgets, furniture, recycled wood crafts, games, raffles, entertainment, organizations providing information and a fund-raising jail.
"Be prepared," said Mike Hopsicker of the chamber. "Someone may pay $1 to have you tossed in jail. It will cost you five bucks to be bailed out."
Along Vine Street and in the senior center parking lot there will be a car show with nearly 300 antique, classic and contemporary automobiles, as well as a car audio show.
In the McGibney Building, on Old Street the chamber is sponsoring a gun show and gun cleaning kit raffle. A horseshoe pitching tournament will be held next to the fire station on Broadway.
Walnut Festival T-shirts, coffee cups, insulated travel mugs, key chains, Frisbees, 20-ounce bags of black walnuts, 4-ounce bags of chocolate-coated black walnuts and a limited supply of black walnut fudge will be sold by the chamber.
"The black walnuts are from Hammonds Pantry in Stockton. That's who Steve Mills of Mills Feed sells his walnuts to. There's a good chance you'll be getting Alton area walnuts," said Joe Crider, chamber vice president and Alton economic development director.
Another feature in this year's festival is a free shuttle service. "We encourage everyone to park in the school parking lot and take advantage of the free shuttle," Crider said. There will be several horse-and-buggies ferrying festival attendees. The chamber recommends taking Market Street, off Highway 19, to Vine and then left at School Street.
|Schedule of Events8 a.m.:||Flag Raising by VFW||Post 10148:10:||Booths open.||Register walnut foods||and walnut woodwork-||ing entries at chamber||booth. Gun show||opens in the McGibney||Building - admission||$2. Alton Elementary||Choir performs on the||stage.9:||Horseshoe pitching||tournament starts at the||city lot by the fire||station; car audio and||car shows open.10:||Ozarks Ballet Theater.10:30:||Kyle Nottingham1 p.m.:||Davis Creek Rounders.||Rides Start.2:15:||Union Creek Band.3:||Judging of walnut||foods and walnut||woodworking entries.4:||Awards ceremony.||Walnut putting, walnut||toss and slingshot||walnut games will be||going on all day.|
There will be a jail and bail going all day. For $1 you can have someone put in jail; it costs $5 to get out.
The first 500 persons to buy a Frisbee ($2) at the chamber booth will be eligible to compete for prizes. In the adult division the winner will receive a trip for two to Branson with lodging and show tickets. Children and teen-agers will be competing for DVD players.
Parking for the day will be available on the Alton School parking lot with free shuttle service by horse and wagon or by bus from the parking lot to the square.