Go Event Hopping in Missouri

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Article Tags:

Festival , Festivals , Fairs , State Fair , car show , Carnival or Adventure Ride
Something's Happening Here and There and Everywhere
Author: Stephen Foutes
Missouri’s lineup of festivals and special events is hall-of-fame worthy. You find blow-out-the-budget events at major attractions and unique affairs in small towns – and everything in between. No matter what your interest, Missouri has an event for you.

One of the largest events in Missouri is Fair St. Louis, slated for July 3-5, 2014, in Forest Park. The event moved from its traditional downtown venue because of ongoing construction at the Gateway Arch grounds. The Fair presents its traditional activities, including an air show, along with a family parade through the Saint Louis Zoo and nightly fireworks shows. Don’t forget the live music part of the excitement, with headliners: The Band Perry; Musiq Soulchild; Bonnie Raitt; and The Fray. Look for special surprises, because 2014 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.

Now that you’re thinking about large-scale events with awesome music, it’s time to talk about the Missouri State Fair, set for Aug. 7-17, 2014, in Sedalia. An incredible celebration of Missouri’s agricultural heritage, the Missouri State Fair is an event the entire family enjoys. There are tons of carnival rides and exhibits for kids; vendor and crafts booths for grown-ups; and lots of live entertainment – ranging from trained pets to concerts by some of the biggest names in music.

Speaking of big names, the headline concert at this year’s Missouri State Fair features one of the hottest acts in country music today, the duo Florida Georgia Line, who was the Academy of Country Music’s vocal duo of the year in 2013. You gotta “Cruise” on down to Sedalia for their performance on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.  Missouri native and country favorite Sara Evans takes the stage on Aug. 9. Check the website for a full lineup of entertainment and activities. Pepsi Grandstand tickets go on sale June 16, 2014, through Ticketmaster.

Live music is part of the fun at the Tour de Corn bicycle ride, slated for June 27-28, 2014, in East Prairie. Celebrating its 13th year, this much-loved event continues to grow, last year welcoming more than 1,000 riders representing 23 states. No wonder the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation lauded it as the state’s Bicycle Event of the Year.

The Tour de Corn event kicks off Friday night at a Main Street Party, with food, music, and vendors selling arts, crafts and jewelry from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. During Saturday’s ride – participants can choose from routes of 15, 30, 65 and 100 miles – enjoy frequent rest stops, fresh-cooked sweet corn and rolling support and gear. Also, Saturday marks the 40th Annual Sweet Corn Festival in the downtown area. The event includes dog, car and antique tractor shows; food vendors; outhouse races (yes, racing outhouses); and a lip-sync contest.

For water-focused fun, don’t miss AquaPalooza at Lake of the Ozarks, July 19, 2014. Celebrate summer, sunshine and live music outside at Dog Days Bar and Grill (mile marker 19), just west of the Grand Glaize Bridge. This is an all-day affair, with activities kicking off around 9 a.m. and rolling until after midnight.

Speaking of Lake of the Ozarks, don’t miss your remaining opportunities to visit Bagnell Dam for Hot Summer Nights 2014. These once-monthly gatherings include, among other activities: car shows; live music; lots of great food; shopping; helicopter rides and attractions for kids. There’s no admission charge; dates are June 13, July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 5, 2014.

Central Missouri’s largest city, Columbia, puts its own spin on things with their Hot Summer Nights Festival, this year offering a classical and pops music series from June 5-July 12, 2014. Several venues around Columbia are utilized during this series; performance times vary.

No mention of summer fun would be complete without Springfield, the birthplace of Route 66. During the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival and Car Show, Aug.9, 2014, enjoy classic cars, food and beverage vendors and plenty of live music around Park Central Square. Businesses along Springfield’s stretch of the famed Route 66 highway offer specials and sales during the event.

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


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