Main Street Party kicks off festive weekend in East Prairie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. —  A week of traditions kicks off Friday with the Main Street Party in downtown East Prairie.

And that’s just the beginning of the fun with the 17th annual Tour de Corn bike ride taking off early Saturday followed by the Sweet Corn Festival opening at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Set to begin at 5:25 p.m. at the gazebo parking lot at the corner of Washington and Main Streets, those attending Friday night’s street party should bring lawn chairs, family and an appetite for an evening of relaxing entertainment and eating, according to Patricia Helms who helps organize the event hosted by East Prairie’s Downtown Revitalization Committee. The party ends with the fireworks display at 9:20 p.m.

“We will have a large number of bicyclists at the party who are in town for the Tour de Corn ride on Saturday. Please offer them seats at the picnic tables and make them feel welcome,” Helms said.

“The Boomers” will return for an encore performance of live music at the Main Street Party.

“This group was well received at its debut performance,” Helms said. “They will dress in period costumes and perform hits from yesteryear. We will begin our celebration with Miss Kennedy Bennett singing our national anthem.”

Reid Howell will again serve as emcee for the evening, and KYMO radio will do a live broadcast from downtown East Prairie to keep listeners on top of the activities taking place, according to Helms.

The deadline to submit 5x7 photos for the pretty baby contest is 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The contest for 0-4 years old will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Chamber booth tent.

The Huskers 5k Run also starts at 6 p.m. Friday at 106 S. Washington with onsite registration from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Numerous food and craft vendors will be on hand both Friday and Saturday. There will be everything from crawdads to strawberry shortcake.

Children’s activities Friday and Saturday will include Thomas the Train, a petting zoo, pig races and pony rides. The Weiner Mobile will also be on exhibit . Also, Helms noted limited number of T-shirts from 2017 will be for sale for $10 each at the Chamber of Commerce office.

“This entire weekend will be a fun-filled, family-oriented weekend,” Helms said.

Cyclists of all skill levels will convene early Saturday for the 17th annul Tour de Corn riding event, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Family Life Center, 322 N. Washington, in East Prairie.

Registration for the bike rides of 15, 30, 65 or 100 miles will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Main Street Party (corner of Washington & Main) or at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Family Life Center. The terrain is flat for most of the ride, and rural highways are well-marked for cyclists. Portions of the Mississippi River Cycling Trail are included on all routes.

As the bike ride gets underway early Saturday, the East Prairie Chamber of Commerce will host a variety of activities from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the 44th Annual Sweet Corn Festival at the gazebo parking lot at the corner of Washington and Main Streets.

“We have a a different game starting every 15 minutes we have a new game starting for both kids and adults,” said Cyndi Norton, executive director of the East Prairie Chamber of Commerce,

The outhouse race starts at 10 a.m. with a $100 prize; however, participants must register online in advance, Norton said. The skillet toss contest will be at 10:15 a.m.; corn toss contest at 10:45 a.m.; toilet paper toss contest at 11 a.m.; bubble gum blowing contest at 11:15 a.m.; hula sloop contest at 11:30 a.m.; corn trek contest at 11:45 a.m., water balloon toss contest at noon; frisbee fling contest at 12:15 p.m., fishing for marbles contest at 12:30 p.m.; “send the cup downtown” contest at 1 p.m.; sponge launch contest at 1:15 p.m.; and saw dust scramble contest at 1:30 p.m.

“We’re giving first, second and third place ribbons to most all of our winners,” Norton said.

The kiddy parade will start at 10:30 a.m. Children ages 2 and up can ride their motorized cars or bikes and decorate them any way they want to and ride in their parade, Norton said, adding registration is not needed for the is event.

The annual car and bike show will return from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on Lincoln Street.

Later in the evening, one winner of the lip-sync battle, which starts at 8 p.m., will win $500.

“We have very few lip-sync battle contestants right now,” Norton said Tuesday. “And participants have to register ahead of time.”

Registered participants ages 13 and up will be eligible for the $500-prize, she said.

Organizers do not have have an exact number of how many people attend the East Prairie events throughout the weekend, but it is in the thousands, Norton said.

“Our population is 3,500, and we have a quite a few who come out on Friday or Saturday or both,” Norton said.

Of course, corn on the cob will be for sale by the Chamber. Those who want to buy corn by the crate must reserve one in advance by calling the Chamber office, Norton said.

“Just come out and have a good time,” Norton said. “Bring a chair. We block off the street. Listen to the music with old friends and family — and even meet some new people. There’s something for everyone.”

For more information about the events or for registration forms, visit epsweetcorn.com or call the Chamber office at (573) 649-5243.

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