A new fall festival will make its debut in Hannibal on October 12. The Harvest Hootenanny will take place at Mark Twain Cave, and feature a variety of activities. This event is taking place as a fundraiser for next year's New London Park Days.

Jason Gregory, media representative for New London Park Days, says that the organization is looking forward to partnering with Mark Twain Cave for the Harvest Hootenanny, "The New London Park Days committee had plans for a new and unique fall festival. We had a brief conversation with Linda Coleberd from the Mark Twain Cave and shared a few of the ideas that we had, and she had some of her own ideas that helped us put together a first class event for the public. The Mark Twain Cave and Cave Hollow West were big supporters of New London Park Days and the Ralls County Food & Wine Festival this summer, and the Mark Twain Cave venue offers a picturesque setting for a Harvest Festival."


Harvest Hootenanny will feature activities for both kids and adults. Kids activities include a petting zoo, pony rides and HOOT HOOT Hustle, a "scenic 1K Kids Dash through the campground and around the park at the Mark Twain Cave. " A classic car cruise, farmers market, arts and crafts, and pumpkin carving contest (with a grand-prize BMX Air Bike from Cool Byke) will be among the all-ages activities taking place during Harvest Hootenanny.

Adults will enjoy wine tastings at Cave Hollow West Winery, and at 3 p.m., a beer festival. Gregory says the Harvest Hootenanny Beer Fest will offer "12 American craft brewers and 16 craft brews in an educational craft beer tasting. Attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass and be able to taste each of the featured brews. The tasting is from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. and the after party will be from 7 to 11."

Several area and regional bands will also be playing live throughout the day. Live music will start at 11 a.m. Mike Moore, Kathy Beasley & Silver Wings, The Stone Sugar Shakedown, Elemental Shakedown, and The Flood Brothers are all booked to play. "All bands are family friendly," says Gregory, "and there is no admission charge to come out and enjoy these performances."

There will be plenty to eat during the Harvest Hootenanny, as well. The Sauced Hog will be serving locally-raised whole hog from Woodhurst farms in Perry, Missouri, and the Express Course (the gourmet food truck from The Maine Course) will offer a variety of locally-grown and prepared food items. The "Best Of" Local Restaurant Soup Tasting is from 1 - 2 and will showcase 11 of the top restaurants from the Hannibal and Quincy area. Tasting tickets are $7, $5 for seniors. Gregory says that a prize will be awarded to the top soup, "After each person completes the tasting, they will vote for their favorite soup and a "People's Choice" winner will be announced following the event. Tickets are available now at Mississippi Dry Goods, Java Jive, and the Hannibal Nutrition Center."

According to Gregory, the Harvest Hootenanny will generate funds for next year's New London Park Days, "100% of the proceeds from the Harvest Hootenanny will be used to further develop and bring new attractions to New London Park Days 2014. The scheduled dates for New London Park Days are June 6-7, 2014. We have already received calls and contacts from several entertainment agencies, non-profits, and business owners who want to be included in next years event."