Hannibal hosts 59th annual 'National Tom Sawyer Days'

Around 30 ladies competed Tomboy Sawyer Contest at Cardiff Hill

Saturday was the third day of the 59th annual National Tom Sawyer Days.

Despite the weather, hundreds of people stopped by downtown Hannibal to check it out.

It's a festival that celebrates one of the Mississippi's most famous authors.

"I just think that Tom Sawyer Days has big variety of things to do for families," Sutton said.

The National Tom Sawyer Days offers people a chance to see the city where Mark Twain grew up, however, it's not just an event for tourists.

It's a long standing tradition for locals.

This festival holds a special place in Megan Sutton's heart.

"We use to come every year when I was kid,â?? Sutton said. â??And we've come back here every year since I moved away."

Now she gets to share her love for this festival with her kids.

"My son participated in tricycle races and right now we're down here doing the carnival, eating a funnel cake. And we're hoping to catch the frog jumping contest next," Sutton said.

If you drop by this festival, you're guaranteed to learn a few facts about Mark Twain's literature.

You'll also witness a few competitions that celebrate his unique narrative.

"Just mostly, the whole experience of coming out and being with friends and doing fun contests," Molly Broughton, a Hannibal resident said.

Activities like the frog jump contest showcase the author's love of nature.

"The frogs will get three jumps from the center of the tarp,â?? Chris Doyle, scoutmaster of troop 100 said. â??Those jumps will be measured in their entirety and those with the long jumps will win some prizes."

Another tribute to Mark Twain is the Tomboy Sawyer contest.

"They are going to be doing things tomboys would do, like spitting watermelon seeds, shooting slingshots, catching minnows, doing gunny sack races and blowing bubbles," Jana Suchland, co-president for the Business Woman of Hannibal said.

After two decades of attending, Sutton still feels this festival brings Mark Twain's imagination to life.

She plans to return to downtown Hannibal for this celebration next year.

"We'll come up every year,â?? Sutton said. â??And I think everyone should come. It's a great time."

Sunday is the final day of the Tom Sawyer Days. If you haven't gone yet, you may want to consider taking a trip to downtown Hannibal before it's over.