Fall Festivals Abound in Springfield, Mo.
When it comes to fall festivals, car shows, cultural celebrations, food tastings, a multi-day fitness festival and more are lined up for the 2012 season in the Springfield area.
Here’s a sample of what’s in store in August, September and October.
Aug. 11 – 2nd Annual Birthplace of Route 66 Festival & Car Show. The event will feature a car show, food vendors and a kids’ area. Live entertainment will be Queen City Cats and Blue Plate Special at 10 a.m., The Detectives at 1 p.m. and The Road Crew at 3 p.m. The Road Crew is winner of the first ever “Bobby Troup Artistic Recognition Award” from the International Route 66 Association in 2011 and the band wrote a song especially for this festival. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and admission is free. Car show registration is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event. Location: Park Central Square in downtown Springfield.
Aug 18 – Back to School Bash/Kids ‘n Power of the Ozarks. Free child safety and bully prevention classes, kid’s activities and an inflatable station along with a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Other prizes and drawings are planned. Proceeds benefit “Kids n Power of the Ozarks,” a program dedicated to help kids be safe and free from bullying. Hours are 6-8:30 p.m. and admission is free. Location: 4240 S. Fremont Ave.
Aug. 30-Nov 4 – Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fitness Festival. Several events are scheduled for this multi-day celebration of the outdoors and physical fitness, including Outdoor Days, Tour De Bass Bike Rides, marathons, the Camo Fun Run and Rock4Kids Run. Details are available at http://fitness.basspro.com/.
Sept. 7-9 – Japanese Fall Festival. Experience vendors, events and artists to celebrate Japanese culture and diversity and help support growth and maintenance of the Mizumoto Stroll Garden. Hours are 5:30-10 p.m. Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 8 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 9. Admission is $7 for adults or $3 for kids 12 and younger. A weekend pass is available for $10 for adults and $5 for children. Location: Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathanael Greene Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Sept. 7-9 – 5th Annual Greek Festival. This event features authentic Greek cuisine, pastries and drinks, Greek music and dancing, souvenirs from Greece, a church tour and inflatables for children. Admission is free. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Sept. 7, noon-10 p.m. Sept. 8 and noon-3 p.m. Sept. 9. Location: 4200 S. Holiday Ave.
Sept. 8 – Oktoberfest. Beers from Mother’s Brewing Company will be showcased along with food from Farmer’s Gastropub, Firelight Pizza and Hörrmann Meats. Also enjoy music from The Detectives, The Hillbenders, Speakeasy and some traditional German tunes from The Garbonzos. Admission is $5 at the gate and free for kids 15 and younger. The event is from 2-8 p.m. Location: Mother’s Brewing Company, 215 S. Grant Ave.
Sept. 15-16 – Cider Days. This is an outdoor fall celebration featuring more than 100 juried artists and crafters. Activities include a free hands-on children’s area, scarecrow village, performance stages and food. Admission is $4 for adults and free for ages 10 and younger. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Historic Walnut Street.
Sept. 22 – 13th Annual ANPAC Car Show for Kids. A day of family fun packed with hundreds of cool cars, kids’ games, vendors, live entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit the United Way of the Ozarks. Admission is $5 for adults and free for ages 12 and younger. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Location: 1949 E. Sunshine St.
Sept. 23 – 3rd Annual Mead Fest and Renaissance Fair. This medieval celebration will include recreations and living history by The Society of Creative Anachronism Shire of Oakheart and performances by Gypsy Sol and Project Vagabond. There will be games, a costume contest for all ages and live music by Tripleshot. 7C’s Winery will release new meads for this festival. BBQ and turkey legs will be available from SmokeShack BBQ. Cabot Cheese has provided cheese samples to go with the wine tastings. Admission is free; souvenir mead tasting glasses are $5. Location: 7C’s Winery, 502 E. 560th Road, Walnut Grove.
Sept. 29-30 – O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine Nationals. Beautiful, high-performance street machines, hot rods, and street trucks will be showcased at the 24th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall Street Machine Nationals. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 29 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 30. Admission is $10 in advance or $13 at the gate. Car registration is $35 in advance or $55 on-site. Location: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 3001 N. Grant St.
Oct. 5-7 – 37th Annual Ozarks Fall Farmfest. One of the largest agricultural events in southwest Missouri features choice livestock for purchase, state-of-the-art agricultural implements and vendors providing something for everyone. Admission is free and hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 3001 N. Grant St.
Oct. 6 – Taste of Springfield. Enjoy samples from Springfield’s favorite restaurants, live music and a beer garden. The event also features events for kids, including bounce houses. Hours are noon-4 p.m. and admission is free. Food sample booklets are sold on site. Location: Downtown Springfield.
Oct. 12-14 – Apple Butter Makin’ Days. Crafts, food, games, parade, car show and delicious apple butter made the old-fashioned way in large copper kettles on the Courthouse lawn are part of this annual event. Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 14. Location: Town Square in Mount Vernon.
Oct. 19-31 – Halloween SPOOKTACULAR. Have a frightfully fun time with the Festival of Scarecrows, Halloween decorations and hundreds of jack-o-lanterns, activities, candy treats and more. Hours are 6:30-9 p.m. and admission is $7 per person at the gate with advance tickets available for $6 at area McDonald’s restaurants. Location: Dickerson Park Zoo, 1401 W. Norton Road.
Oct. 20 – Fifth Annual Pets & Pumpkins. The area’s largest costume contest and parade for people and their pets includes a whimsical costume parade and contest for pets and owners, games and Halloween activities, including trick or treating at local shops, marshmallow roasting, inflatables, hay maze, cupcake/pupcake walk and pumpkin bowling. Proceeds benefit local animal shelters, a spay/neuter clinic and animal advocacy group. Hours are noon-5 p.m. and admission is $2 for children and pets. Adults are free. Location: Commercial Street between Robberson and Campbell avenues.
For more information about these and other events in or near Springfield, call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767 or visit www.SpringfieldAdventures.com. The CVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to boosting the local economy by promoting travel and tourism in Springfield.