SIKESTON -- Hoping residents take advantage of what downtown Sikeston has to offer, the Historic Midtown Development Group will host a new all-day spring event Saturday.
"I think the downtown area is one of the most unique, historic things we have in Sikeston, and being able to preserve that and bring life to downtown is very important to us," said Charlette Vanover, president of Sikeston Area Humane Society which is sponsoring a cake walk and pet talent show.
Sikeston in Bloom will feature carriage rides, plant/flower sales, food and craft vendors, live music and children's activities.
"We've really put a lot of effort into it," said Amanda M. Pratt, executive director of Historic Midtown Development Group Inc.
Residents of Sikeston and the surrounding communities are encouraged to come out and support the downtown area, which is what HMDG is all about, Pratt said.
"If we don't have community support, then we wouldn't exist," Pratt said.
The springtime event is the second new attempt by HMDG to draw more people to downtown Sikeston.
"We're trying to get a lot more events downtown and this is just one of them," Kathy Medley, secretary of Historic Midtown Development Group and promotions committee member.
In October, the HMDG promotions committee conducted for the first time a Halloween Family Fun Day, which proved successful, Medley said.
"We're trying to do an event for each season," Medley said.
The promotions committee is also planning an ice cream social in June, and members are working on a historic homes tour brochure.
Medley pointed out Sikeston in Bloom is a communitywide event -- not just for the downtown merchants.
"It'd be really nice for this to take off and become a huge, annual event," Medley said.
Among Saturday's events are planting activities for children sponsored by the Sikeston Public Library. These will include children potting their own flowers and taking them home. Children will also be able to decorate their own spring-themed cookies.
Gardening tips by the Delta Gardeners Club will be available. Several businesses, nurseries and florists will sell plants and flowers.
The Sikeston Kiwanis Club will sell fish sandwiches with proceeds benefiting the downtown area.
For the pet talent contest, owners can register their pets in advance at the Sikeston Area Humane Society. The contestants can be any animal and have any talent.
"For example, there are some dogs that dance, sit and shake, speak or roll over. Animals are so different and so unique in themselves, and I'm really excited about what we will see," Vanover said.
Vanover, who remembers a time when downtown Sikeston was vital to the community, said she hopes people will take advantage of Sikeston in Bloom.
"This is an opportunity for the whole community to get together, visit and enjoy the weather and beautiful parks we have in this town," Vanover said.
Medley said anyone interested in revitalizing the downtown area can attend the promotions committee's monthly meetings, which are at 5 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at Susie's Bake Shoppe in Sikeston.
What: Sikeston in Bloom
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: American Legion Park in Downtown Sikeston
Events: -- Arts and craft vendors
-- Cake walk at 11 a.m. and pet talent contest at 2 p.m. (sponsored by the Humane Society, entry fee for the talent contest is $5)
-- Children's story time, planting activities and cookie decorating (sponsored by the Sikeston Public Library)
-- Depot's Back Door Bazaar and high school student art show
-- Musical Entertainment by the Bluegrass Revival from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
-- Outdoor Expo (Displays by B&B Boats and Missouri Department of Conservation)
-- Carriage rides from noon to 3 p.m., $1 per person
-- Jump 'N' Space
-- Downtown Sikeston Boston butt fundraiser
-- Sidewalk sales
-- Held in conjunction with Sikeston in Bloom is the Colgate Country Showdown Talent Show at the Albritton-Mayer Cultural Center. For more information, contact Pansy Glenn at 471-6362 or KBXB at 471-2000.