Mayfest with a western twist set for this weekend


Mayfest is going back in time this weekend. The 38th annual version of the event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce with a western twist, as this year’s theme is a spin on a popular TV show.
“It’s a milestone anniversary for us at the Chamber,” Chamber Executive Director Kiley Eiland said. “Yellowstone came out with a spin-off show called 1923 that’s been really popular. We wanted to take that western theme and tie it into our 100th anniversary. The Yellowstone design is popular right now and we hope everyone who comes out enjoys it.”
It has been a busy several weeks for Eiland and the Mayfest Committee in an effort to put on the best event possible. She hopes everything comes together once the event kicks off.
“We are hoping for a good turnout,” she said. “We want families to enjoy the event for the entire weekend. We want people to enjoy everything from the craft fair and then stay to listen to the live music.”
Eiland is hoping that the weather stays as nice as possible, which is always a concern for the annual event, which has seen its fair share of rain in past years.
“This is a rain or shine event as usual,” she said. “We are going to work through whatever weather comes our way. It’s looking to be a warm weekend.”
The regular Mayfest attractions will return, including the carnival, parade, craft fair, food vendors, special events, car show, the cutest baby contest, the 5K run/walk, and much more.
Eiled said that there are a record number of vendors that are ready to sell items at this year’s event. She estimated there are more than 140 vendors at this time.
“It’s always a very popular event and last year there was barely room to walk,” she said. We hope people can find something they like there.”
Among all the events that the people are used to seeing, there will be a few newer attractions.

A mountain biking and a cave exhibit, which began at last year’s Mayfest, will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday on Jackson Street, while the Perryville Dance Company will hold a performance at the same time on the stage.
The caving exhibit will be presented by SEMO Grotto group and be a chance for visitors to learn about the many caves in Perry County and also possibly enter into several cave classes.
The mountain biking exhibit is in place to teach kids and adults the ins and outs of biking. It is also an attempt to create an interest in the sport/hobby as Perry County attempts to expand its reach into the biking world in the near future.
Eiland was also excited about the live entertainment which starts with the Well Hungarians at 7 p.m. on Friday. She said the band is popular with many in Perryville.
“They are out of the St. Louis area and are a more well-known and popular band,” she said. “They have played at some events in Perryville and have a big hit.”
Umbra will play at 2 p.m. on Saturday on the courthouse lawn.
“That’s different than in year’s past,” Eiland said.
The event will close with Crossroads at 7 p.m. on the main stage.
The event officially kicked off on Wednesday and Thursday with the carnival by the American Legion. Armbands are $23 and available on Thursday and Friday only. Tickets will be $3 at the carnival.
With all the festivities and hoopla surrounding the Mayfest, Eiland is excited for the event.
“It should be a great time,” she said.