With temperatures in the 60s this weekend, organizers of the first-ever Cottonwood Market Days hope there's a good turnout downtown for the two-day event that will offer a variety of entertainment for all ages.
"We really want to give it that fun atmosphere for everyone to come out and enjoy," said Donna Hastings, executive director of the Cottonwood committee.
Cottonwood Market Days is a reincarnation of the old Cottonwood Festival that was previously held in June in Brickyard Park.
This weekend's event is in the city lot at Third Street and Hastings Avenue.
Scot Dewitt, a member of the committee, said the idea for Cottonwood Market Days is modeled off the market days events in other cities where there's almost a fair-like atmosphere with booths, vendors and music.
Setting up tables Friday afternoon, Dewitt and Hastings said they were amazed with how well things were going even before the event kicked off.
"Things have really fallen into place," Dewitt said. "When it's easy to do, it's meant to be."
"It has been a lot of people working together quite cooperatively," Hastings said.
Today's events start at 8 a.m. with vendors opening their booths as Jill Liske-Clark of Hastings gives a bird tour through the community.
A bus that is meeting at Cottonwood Court, the corner of Fourth Street and Denver Avenue, has a limited number of spaces and people are encouraged to get there early, Hastings said.
Following the bird tour, Liske-Clark will be hosting a program in the Hastings Public Library, 517 W. Fourth St., to give people tips about feeding yard birds through the winter months.
The Cottonwood's Got Talent competition kicks off with preliminary rounds starting on the Stage on the Green at 10 a.m.
The Stage on the Green, a throwback to the Cottonwood Festival, will be on the grass to the east of the Hastings City Auditorium.
The finals for the Cottonwood's Got Talent are set for noon Sunday.
Streetside, a musical group with longtime connections to Cottonwood Festival, will be performing twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.
Hastings said the group started as a capella only but has moved into added some instruments and also performs 1950s and 1960s duwop music.
Soca Jukebox, a band with more of a Caribbean feel, will also place on the Stage on the Green Saturday.
Throughout the weekend, more than 50 vendors are scheduled to have booths open in the Marketplace. Vendors include businesses, private crafters and artists, some games and activities for kids, including cookie decorating courtesy of Eileen's Cookies.
8 a.m.: Vendors open in Marketplace
8 a.m.: Pre-tour bird talk in Cottonwood Court
8:30 a.m.: Bus leaves for bird tour
10 a.m. to noon: Cottonwood's Got Talent on Stage on the Green
10:30 a.m.: Birding workshop in Hastings Public Library
1-2:30 p.m.: Streetside performs on Stage on the Green
1-2 p.m.: Sharpies and Scarves Workshop in City Auditorium
1:30-3 p.m.: Kids' Cookie Decorating in Marketplace
2 p.m.: Historic Home Tour, bus leaves from Cottonwood Court
3-4:30 p.m.: Soca Jukebox performs on Stage on the Green
5-6 p.m. Streetside performs on Stage on the Green
11 a.m.: Vendors open in Marketplace
Noon to 1 p.m.: Cottonwood's Got Talent finals on Stage on the Green
1:30-3 p.m.: Streetside on Stage on the Green
4 p.m.: Vendors close