By Michelle Felter
SIKESTON -- The Historic Midtown Development Group is calling for anyone with a special spot in their heart for the 1950s, who likes old cars or just wants some free ice cream to be a part of some special events planned for this weekend.
The group's Ice Cream Social is back for the second year, and will include even more, with a car show and several games and entertainment, in the "Back to the '50s" theme .
"It is a huge event," said Kathy Medley, interim director of the Historic Midtown Development Group. "This is going to make it a lot bigger event and we hope it all will become an annual thing. I think it will be a great event for downtown Sikeston"
The event is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Malone Park. It will include live music by Sikeston groups Flashback and and Double Scoop, a 1950s costume contest, hula hoop contest, dance contest, best Elvis costume/impersonation contest, face painting and concessions. Free ice cream and floats will also be available while supplies last, courtesy of Good Humor-Breyers, said Medley.
She said the theme reflects "a cool time in the city of Sikeston."
It's also something the HMDG had a lot of fun coming up with -- and the activities show that. "It kind of catches everything," said Medley. "And it involves all ages."
Harry Sharp, an HMDG member, said the location for the event is significant.
"Malone Park is the greatest park as far as Sikeston's history," he said, noting that it was previously a hitching post. "In the '50s, downtown Sikeston was the place to be."
Although the area isn't expected to return to what it was, Sharp said he hopes the events this weekend will give a glimmer of what life was like half a century ago.
Sharp is a judge for the dance contest. "I'm looking forward to seeing if anybody can really repeat (what dance was like back then)," he said. It will be interesting, Sharp continued, to see younger people's interpretation of dance and dress styles from the 1950s.
Also included is a car show, which came at the suggestion of several members. Since registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, organizers have no idea how many entries there will be. Located at the corner of North Scott and West North streets, two blocks of Scott Street will be blocked off for the show, to be held rain or shine, said Medley.
There are 14 different classes, with trophies awarded to the top two finishers in each class, as well as dash plaques to the first 50. Medley said even the visitors in town for the TRI International Rally will be able to participate in the show by entering their bikes.
"Hopefully some of the trikers will come down and enter that," said Medley.
Sharp agreed. "Combined with the trike rally that's in town, we're hoping to have a lot of people locally come down and also a lot of people from out of town."
Another addition this year is the incorporation of the Downtown Sikeston Farmer's Market.
"It will just be a great day," said Mike Marsh, Depot director. The market begins at 8 a.m. in the American Legion Park, just a few blocks away from Malone Park.
Marsh said the market has been busy this year, and that quite a bit of produce is now available, including corn and tomatoes. He asked, however, that customers refrain from parking along Legion Square -- some vendors haven't had a place to set up because of vehicles in that area.
And later in the day, the Depot will open for guests as usual from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- and the air conditioned building may provide a needed break.
Marsh said the Cat Ranch Art Show is currently on display. There are also a couple of special displays, including a new circus display from the Ear Allen collection.
In another escape from the temperatures, Medley noted the South Scott Ambulance District will have its mobile trailer set up at the corner of the park. The air conditioned facility will also have water on hand in case anyone gets too hot, she said.
Those involved urged everyone to come out for some of the events -- especially those who complain nothing exciting ever happens in Sikeston, said Sharp.
"Everybody says they miss the old days, but they're here," said Marsh. "We're bringing them back, all you have to do is show up."
For more information about any of the "Back to the '50s" events, contact the Historic Midtown Development Group at 380-3801 or 471-2780.