Old Fash Pic

A shopper signs up for a drawing at the Quilters Guild booth during Old-Fashioned Day. This year's Old-Fashioned Day will feature an array of arts and craft vendors starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. 

Sanderson Sisters

Dressed as the Sanderson sisters from "Hocus Pocus" racers push their coffin down Main Street in Benton. The Arkansas Coffin Races will follow Old-Fashioned Day. The Zombie Parade is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. will the races at 5 p.m. 

From arts and crafts to zombies and coffins, Old-Fashioned Day and the Arkansas Coffin Races will offer a full day of activities for the community. 

Starting at 9 a.m. the 45th Annual Old-Fashioned Day will give the community a chance to check out arts, crafts and more around the Saline County Courthouse Saturday. 

"It's a benefit for the senior adult center," said Organizer Cheryl Farmer. "The proceeds go to them."

She said the Benton Senior Activity and Wellness Center provides socialization and meals for seniors. It also delivers meals to homebound seniors. 

"Those things all cost," she said. 

So far Farmer has more than 80 booths scheduled for the annual event from quilts and sewn items to food items to handmade signs. Vendors so far include furniture, home decor, pottery and jewelry. She expects there will be a little something for everyone to enjoy. She believes there are "some really good vendors" this year. 

Farmer said there are many people who enjoy crafting and Old-Fashioned Day is a great chance to show off and sell their work. 

There will also be nonprofits and local businesses with booths sharing information. 

One vendor this year will demonstrate forging knives and nails. Another vendor will offer blade sharpening. There will be axe throwing. 

Instead of putting the booths on the lawn, the vendors will all be on Main and Sevier streets with the stage on the intersection connecting them. Farmer believes this move will make it easier for shoppers to get around. The stage will feature live entertainment, including local dance teams and musicians. 

Children will be able to enjoy inflatables and face painting during the event. 

Along with the food trucks at the event, she believes there will also be food trucks at Main Street Station so visitors will have plenty of options if they are looking for a bite to eat. 

Farmer is looking forward to a nice, cool clear day for the festival. 

"We expect really good weather. Saturday should be beautiful," she said. 

This year the city is teaming up with Old-Fashioned Day for its zombie parade and Arkansas Coffin races. 

To help participants get ready for the parade, make-up artists will be set up starting at 3 p.m. to create zombie looks. 

The zombie parade will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. It will start at the Vote Here Center and make the block around the courthouse. 

After the parade, Dancer's Edge will give a Halloween themed performance. 

The Arkansas Coffin Races begin at 5 p.m.  Assistant to Benton Mayor Tom Farmer and Marketing Director Tina Coston said this year there are 11 entries in the race, Advanced Alarm Technologies, City of Benton, Jones Heating and Air, Nutrition Loft, Brent Houston for Circuit Judge, Benton Police Department, Benton Fire Department, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County, State Apparel and the Undead LDAV Nurses. 

"The Arkansas Coffin Races are a good family fun event to start the Halloween buildup," Coston said. 

Tom Baxley will serve as emcee during the races. 

Each coffin will race in at least two heats. The final races will determine first-, second- and third place winners. 

After the end of the races, the city will announce the winners. First place will get a trophy and an overnight stay at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. 

Second- and third places will take home trophies. 

Before the races, judges will pick "The Coffin I Would Most Like to Be Buried In." That award will be given out after the race. 

The city will also announce the winners of the Zeke the Zombie photo contest. Participants uploaded pictures of a stress toy designed to look like a zombie doing activities. The top three photos will be given prizes. First place gets a $150 Visa Gift Card. Second place gets a $75 Fandango gift card. Third is a $50 gas card. 

After the end of the races and all the awards have been handed out, local band Just Sayin' will perform for the first Street Dance. 

The zombie parade, the coffin races and the street dance are all free to attend. 

Food trucks, including Riverside Grocery, Tacos Godoy, Kona-Ice, Wells Carnival Foods and Bodiddle's Beer Garden, will be set up selling food and refreshments. Main Street Station will also have food trucks. 

The title sponsor for the races is Advanced Alarm Technologies. Additional sponsors are Jones Heating and Air, Smith Family Funeral Home, Congo Road Animal Clinic, Merchants and Farmers Bank, Custom Advertising and The Crescent Hotel and Spa. 

Coston wants the community to know none of the events will be scary. She said everyone is welcome and she hopes everyone has a good time. 

"It is all in good fun," she said. 

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