2015 Twain On Main Set for Memorial Day Weekend [Interview]
Hannibal's annual Twain On Main Festival will return to America's Hometown on Memorial Day Weekend. Lisa Marks is the chair of the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council's events committee. She took a moment to answer a few questions about the 2015 edition of Twain On Main.
What exactly is Twain on Main?
The Twain On Main Festival is held each Memorial Day weekend in downtown Hannibal. It is a celebration of Hannibal’s own Mark Twain; although we in Hannibal tend to take Twain for granted, he truly is an American icon, one of the most important figures in American literature. The fact that his best-loved novels were based on his childhood in Hannibal is a wonderful gift to his hometown, one that has brought millions of people to Hannibal’s Main Street in the past century. Twain On Main gives people a reason to once again visit the Main Street historic district not only to enjoy the shopping, food and entertainment, but also Twain’s lasting significance as part of our heritage.
We know that an effort has been made to bring some new features to the event in 2015 to really set Twain on Main apart from other festivals. What’s being planned?
I believe it is a misnomer that “all the downtown festivals are the same”. Each festival has a different focus with its own unique attractions, and this year’s Twain On Main will certainly set itself apart with the three entertainment areas being planned. When Twain On Main first started, each year there was a different one of Twain’s books chosen as the theme – this year, we have decided to have three separate areas that will each highlight one of Twain’s books and reflect the era in which the book takes place:
• “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, recalling the Antebellum era of Hannibal (pre-Civil War)
• “The Prince and the Pauper”, featuring 16th century England during the Renaissance
• “Roughing It”, celebrating the Wild West and Twain’s experiences during the second half of the 1800s
Each of these areas will have entertainment, food, music, games, children’s events, selfie booths and other hands-on activities, fun for the whole family. Of course, Twain On Main will also feature more than 100 vendors on Main Street with arts, crafts, food, and other interesting displays, and, also new this year, wine and beer tasting areas.
Probably the most important thing locals will want to know. What about the food?!
It wouldn’t be a festival without lots of food! There will be an amazing array of cuisines, everything from Alligator-On-A-Stick to Fried Oreos to barbeque – and of course all of the wonderful restaurants, pubs, ice creameries, chocolate and candy stores on Main Street will be open for business as well.
Are there any opportunities for non-profit groups or individuals to volunteer? What type of help would Twain on Main need from volunteers?
If you’d like to join in on the fun, volunteers are needed for all the entertainment areas – if you have a cowboy costume or garb from your last trip to a renaissance faire, come down and be a part of the action! Volunteers are needed for a variety of different tasks, so if you’d have a few hours to spare, please contact the Twain On Main committee chair, Linda Studer, at Mississippi Marketplace: 573-603-1063 for more information
Is it too late for vendors to get involved? Are there any specific types of vendors that the festival could use? If it’s not too late to sign up, how do they do so?
As of last week there were only five or six vendor spaces available. If you’d like to become a vendor at Twain On Main, please contact our event coordinator, Erik Spence, at (573) 470-3492.
Twain on Main hours are 10-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.