The year-long wait is finally over as Prairie Days returns this Saturday, September 22 to downtown Vandalia.
The “Travis Gibson Band,” featuring Vandalia native Travis Gibson, will be headlining this year’s event on the Main Stage. The Missouri-born and raised singer/songwriter and his band have opened for many big names like Colt Ford, Tracy Lawrence, and Clay Walker. His country music is influenced by Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, among others.
Before the band performs at 8 p.m. on Main Stage, Becky Denton will open at 6 p.m.
Denton is from Paris, Mo. and has performed in the area for many years. She’s also recorded music in Nashville, Tenn.
This year’s event is also featuring a special presentation from the Vandalia Area Historical Society as Harbison-Walker celebrates 100 years. A recognition event will take place at noon on the Small Stage.
The nearly 12-hour schedule of events begins at 7:30 p.m. with the Eastern Missouri Family YMCA 5K race.
Registration begins at 7 p.m.
The Baby Show and Little Mr. and Little Miss Contest starts at 9 a.m. with Chairperson Destiny Willis on the Small Stage.
Categories for the Baby Show include 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-24 months, and 25-36 months. There is no residency restriction for the contest.
Props or anything handheld are not allowed. Children should wear something appropriate for school and/or church. As for the Little Mr. and Little Miss Contest, the winners of the event will also ride in the parade.
Judges will make their decision based on personality, courtesy, ability to communicate, general appearance, attitude, and the judges’ overall impression. There is no residency restriction and no props or handheld items are permitted. Contestants should wear what is appropriate for school and/or church.
Craft vendors will open their booths at 10 a.m. on Main and State Streets. Leila Cole and Ramsey Dickerman are the chairpersons.
The parade line-up is at 10:15 a.m. at South School Park in time for the 11 a.m. parade.
“The Heritage Farmer of the Year” award will be presented in time for the parade.
The Antique Tractor Showcase begins at noon on State St. Also at noon, the Volleyball Tournament will start. Benny Burnett is the chairperson. The Kids Carnival opens at 12:30 p.m. and runs through 4:30 p.m. at Railroad Park.
Jayson Orr will entertain on the Small Stage at 1 p.m.
A Washer Tournament, with chairperson Leon Shaw, starts at 1 p.m., also at Railroad Park. Following that event, a Cornhole Tournament starts around 3 p.m. with chairperson Mike Klug.
Joel Montgomery will provide some clowning around fun at 5 p.m. on the Main Stage.
Kuda’s Auto Repair is sponsoring the Car Cruise, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on State St.