Hannibal. For some it is a place you remember reading about in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or for others it is a town you pass through when driving to your summer vacation spot. However, for me Hannibal is home.
This small riverfront town not only flourishes on Mark Twain and all of his accomplishments, but this town also offers community, tradition and adventure.
In the town of Hannibal, neighbors and organizations support each other, creating a warm friendly environment. Community support can be seen through sporting events, local concerts, downtown events, and high school plays.
Along with the overflowing support the community gives, there are important traditions that are specific to the town of Hannibal. For every season there is an anticipated event, such as Folklife Festival, Living Windows, and my favorite, National Tom Sawyer Days.
The Annual Autumn Historic Folklife Festival, the third weekend in October, is filled with food, crafts, friends and more food. During this time, Main Street is packed shoulder to shoulder with people waiting in lines for the catfish, chicken and noodles, and other foods that come only once each year. Along with stuffing your face, it is a great time to spend exploring different art booths, while you prepare yourself for the next round of beer bread, cheese soup, and apple cider.
In the winter, the annual Living Windows downtown is a time to enjoy Christmas and all that it entails. For me it is a time to take a break from gift wrapping and decorating and spend time with my family, as we stroll through all of the different shops and their various Christmas scenes.
My favorite tradition of Hannibal is National Tom Sawyer Days. The weekend is filled with activities that won’t be found anywhere else. It includes the fence painting contest, frog jumping contest, the Tom and Becky ceremony, a parade, arts festival and mud volleyball.
If a year were to go by without gaining ten pounds in one weekend from delicious homemade foods, seeing Main Street light up in Christmas decorations, or covering myself head to toe in mud while playing volleyball, it would seem that a part of me was missing.
But most importantly, channeling your inner Tom Sawyer is a must when you live in the town of Hannibal. Weekends throughout the year can be spent exploring the Mississippi River just as Tom and his buddies did, strolling through Riverview Park searching for hidden trails, or finding yourself wandering through the miles of passages in the famous Mark Twain Cave.
Written by Sydney Bennett, Hannibal High School Senior