The Depot's 2006 Cowboy Up! Arts Festival will be from 1-6 p.m. Aug. 11 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Sikeston Depot and Legion Park.
"Since I've taken over as director of the Depot, I've spent more time with this festival than anything else," said Mike Marsh. "We are providing a lot of really good entertainment for free, and we are very proud of that fact."
Art booths selling western jewelry and photographs; food stands providing kettle corn, funnel cakes and BBQ; and for the kids, pony rides, Jump-in-
Space, mini-basketball, bottle toss and a duck pond will be set up throughout the weekend.
The Depot has also scheduled live entertainment for the festival's visitors.
Friday will feature cowboy poet and comedian Jake White at 1:30 p.m., Jackson/Cape Girardeau's "Handpicked Bluegrass" band from 2-3 p.m. and cowboy poet/musicians Richard Dunlap and D.J. Frye from 3-4 p.m. "Handpicked Bluegrass" will perform again from 4-5 p.m. and will be followed by country western singer Dr. Joel B. Holland from 5-6 p.m.
Along with the festivities, KBXB 97.9 FM will host a live radio broadcast at the festival from 1-4 p.m.
With a number of events scheduled, Marsh expects Saturday to be the most popular day at the festival.
The action kicks off at 10 a.m. with performances by the cowboy poets.
Lunch with the rodeo clowns will follow at 11 a.m. and last until 1 p.m.
"The lunch was probably the most popular event last year," said Marsh. "We hope to get a lot of people out here for that."
During lunch, from 12-1 p.m., "Carefree Highway," a widely known country-
bluegrass band from Paducah will perform, followed by a set by country western singer Dave Smith from 1-2 p.m.
For those that missed "Carefree Highway" at lunch, they will play a second set from 2-3 p.m.
"Blend," an acappella doo-wop group from Marion/Carbondale will follow from 3-4 p.m., with another hour-long set of Dave Smith following them.
"Blend" will cap off the festivities with a second performance from 5-6 p.m.
Saturday will also feature the farmer's market in the morning and a visit from the Southeast Explorer Traveling Museum, which will display its feature exhibition, "Native Americans: Pre-Contact."
Marsh encourages visitors to the festival to stop by at the Depot museum where three exhibitions are showcased including the Art of Underpinnings bra art, the SEMO Wood turners and Woodworkers and Barbara Tenholder's one-woman art show entitled "Tracks of Time in Pastel."
The downtown merchants will also join in the festivities and offer sidewalk sales all weekend long.
"We just hope that local people and visitors to the rodeo will take advantage of this opportunity for some additional entertainment," said Marsh.
Entrance to the festival and the Depot museum is free.
The Depot is still accepting applications for vendors interested in setting up at the festival. The cost is $25 for one day, $35 for two and $45 for all three days.
"This is a good opportunity for local artists and craftsmen to take advantage of the 40,000 plus rodeo crowd that will be in the Sikeston area," said Marsh.
Financial assistance for this arts festival project is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
For further information on the festival contact Depot Director Mike Marsh at 481-9967.