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Missouri Festivals Are Fun For Everyone
Author: Stephen Foutes
Let’s face it, this was a long winter. But now, there’s a spring in your step. Daylight lasts until well past supper time; you had to air-up the tires on your lawnmower; and, more importantly, you’re ready to explore Missouri’s festival scene. Get ready to be wowed.

One of Missouri’s largest festivals, St. Louis Bluesweek, happens at the Chesterfield Amphitheater in Central Park during Memorial Day weekend, May 24-25, 2014. Activities run from noon until 10:30 p.m. both days. Enjoy the festival atmosphere for free and take in a concert for $10; it’s $25 if you want to sit in the amphitheater’s stadium-style seats. New this year is the Bluesweek BBQ Blast, a competition offering big prizes for winners. Lots of vendors serve the festival foods you love.

If you’re on the western side of Missouri Memorial Day weekend, be sure to check out the Jiggle Jam Family Music Fest, May 24-25, 2014, at the Crown Center Complex in downtown Kansas City. Chock full of live performances and family friendly activities, Jiggle Jam is a great destination for your holiday weekend. More than 25 bands/performers are part of the lineup, and there’s fun for all ages – from face painting and bounce houses for young children to garage band performances and teen tunes for the older set.

Another Memorial Day weekend extravaganza takes place May 24-25, 2014, in Hannibal, Mark Twain’s hometown. The author and his works are celebrated during the annual Twain on Main festival. This festival hosts a variety of activities, from live music to games and special areas for kids, plus lots of craft and food vendors. Downtown shops are open during the event. Visitors are encouraged to visit Twain-focused attractions, such as Mark Twain Cave, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum and the Mark Twain Riverboat.

Beyond Memorial Day weekend, you’ll find Missouri is packed with festival fun during the summer months – festivals celebrating everything from music to history to food. Here’s a quick look at some of the late spring events to whet your whistle for a summer packed with festival fun.

  • Route 66 Summerfest, May 30-June 1, 2014, in and around downtown Rolla is a spectacular celebration of “The Mother Road” featuring live music, loads of activities, great food, car shows, volleyball and tennis tournaments, a street dance and a leisurely auto tour of Phelps County.Vaile Mansion
  • Vaile Mansion celebrates spring with its annual Strawberry Festival on June 7, 2014. Nearly 100 craft and antique dealers set up around the mansion to sell their wares, while members of the Vaile Society sell strawberry-centered treats, such as shortcake, ice cream and floats. Admission to the event is free; you can tour the 1881 Vaile Mansion for $6. The festival runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • One of Central Missouri’s most-popular events, the annual Olean Testicle Festival, celebrates its 21st year in downtown Olean (Oh-lee-ann). Sample fried turkey testicles (yes, other foods are available) during this event, which draws scores of visitors from around the Midwest. Activities run 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on June 7, 2014.
  • The annual Kimmswick Strawberry Festival takes place June 7-8, 2014, in Kimmswick. Take your appetite, because the menu includes treats such as fresh strawberries, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry iced tea and other goodies. Craft and food vendors are plentiful, and live entertainers perform at several venues around town. This event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

To learn more about festivals in Missouri, explore VisitMO.com; you can search the keyword 'festivals, 'or click this link to see what’s happening May 21-Aug. 31, 2014.


 Crown Center Complex
Three-story, indoor shopping complex with more than 60 shops and restaurants; two hotels; two live theaters; ...

 Mark Twain Cave Complex
This is the cave author Mark Twain described in five of his books. The cave was first shown in 1886. ...

 Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
Discover how a young boy growing up in the small village of Hannibal became one of the world's most ...

 Mark Twain Riverboat
See Hannibal, the famous river town, from the boat that bears the name of Hannibal's most famous citizen. ...

 Vaile Mansion
This 30-room mansion, built in 1881 by frontier business tycoon Harvey Vaile, is recognized as one of ...