SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Cotton Festival of the Arts will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Park in downtown Sikeston.
The annual event is sponsored by the Sikeston Missouri Arts Inc., the Missouri Arts Council along with area businesses, organizations and individuals.
Last year's celebration drew more than 2,000 people.
"My answer to why people should come to the Cotton Festival of the Arts this year would have been different two weeks ago," said Terry Matthews, SMARTS administrator.
Matthews said his heart aches for all those who have lost someone in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
"This tragic event is at the front of our hearts and minds," she said.
Matthews said, "One way is to celebrate the arts, especially through the eyes of children."
Cake walk featured
Matthews said she is especially excited about the cake walk set for 2 p.m. by the flagpole. This event will feature 20 decorated cakes made by local residents.
Those participating will walk around the shape of an artist palate.
Guests will also have a chance to listen to Gladys Coggswell and her storytelling from noon to 5.
A noted storyteller, Coggswell often has been referred to as a one-woman industry and has worn many hats including radio host, educator, lecturer, vocalist, dramatic historian and folklorist.
There will be a photo contest at the Sikeston Depot and a sing-along from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Ms. Cottontale's Story Porch.
Throughout the day entertainment will be provided by the Sikeston High School Jazz Band, Common Thread, Salvation's Well from the First United Methodist Church, Smith Chapel Choir, Logan Toon of Stormy Bugg and the Cornerstone Baptist Choir.
J.R. Reed and the Real Blues Band will give a benefit performance from 7 to 11 p.m. in the parking lot behind Jeremiah's restaurant.
Reed has been listed in the Missouri Arts Council/Missouri Touring Program for the past three years and has been a master for the Missouri Folk Arts Program.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.
The Cotton Festival of the Arts celebrates cotton production and agriculture.