By Kimberly Stiers—
MUNCIE, IN—The Old Washington Street Festival returns for its 46th year this Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 2023. The Festival combines the long, storied history of the Emily Kimbrough Historic District with modern-day fun and is free and open to all.
The Festival features a wide array of free entertainment options. Music will include rock, country, blues, and jazz musicians, and there will be several hours of open mic. Other entertainment includes fan-favorite Olde Wrestling, an old-time radio show, the Festival’s second annual pin-up competition, a beard contest, and more. In addition, there are food vendors featuring a variety of wares—fish and chips, barbeque, gyros, elephant ears, chicken on a stick, slushies, homemade ice cream, Thai food, African food, and of course Festival-favorite ham and beans.
There will be a record number of vendors this year, with over 80 artists, artisans, and craft-makers. Many vendors have been coming to the Festival for years, and others will be joining the Festival for the first time. Vendors will be selling ceramics, plants, jewelry, stained glass, clothing, crocheted/knitted goods, custom-made mugs, homemade pens, artistic prints, and so much more. This year will be the Festival’s first year featuring a kids’ vendor and entertainer street – come see the amazing things our kids are up to! There will also be many other kid-friendly activities, such as face painting and balloon art. The Festival is particularly excited to announce that Batman will be there both days. And In addition, some of the vendors will be putting on demonstrations to show how they create their wares.
The annual historic home tour will once again take place during the Festival, both Saturday and Sunday from noon to five. A variety of beautiful homes and properties will be available to tour, including the historic Emily Kimbrough house. Tickets will be available at the Festival information booth for the low price of $10. A very special additional tour will be occurring this year at Russell Irving’s historic home. Russell will be leading tours detailing the process of restoring his home on the hour from 12-5. That tour will also cost $10 and will be limited to 15 people per hour.
The Festival organizers have worked hard to make this an exciting, safe event, with something for everyone to enjoy. Festival chair Kim Miller said, “The Old Washington Street Festival Committee is beyond excited to have a record number of vendors, new and exciting food vendors, booths run by kids, Batman, a very special home tour, and a large variety of entertainers on our stages. Every year we strive to create a welcoming environment for every member of the community and to celebrate the history and future of East Central neighborhood.”
Please be a part of the Old Washington Street Festival this weekend on East Washington Street between Madison and Hackley in Muncie. On street parking is available in and around the area. The Festival will be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday.
Look for the Old Washington Street Festival on Facebook for the most up to date information about the event and information about volunteering: www.facebook.com/Oldwashingtonstreetfestival or at http://www.oldwashingtonstreetfestival.org.