It’s time to get some spring in your step.
Across the Show-Me State, festivals offer fun, food, and a chance for
visitors of all ages to make lasting memories. As you search for
festivals, be sure to check out VisitMO.com for information on lodging, dining and attractions, as well as the myriad events shaping up around Missouri.
The rollicking combination of food and fun are in full swing in May
and June, when dozens of festivals happen in every corner of Missouri.
There’s no time to list everything, but here are 20 to add to your to-do
list (note all events are listed with their 2014 dates):
- A Lake of the Ozarks tradition continues May 2-4 when the Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals
return to the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark. Vehicles from around the
U.S. travel to the Lake area for this event, which serves as a showcase
for all makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles.
- Enjoy a great lineup of music at Round Barn Blues
May 3 in Kirksville. Regional favorites Jeremiah Johnson, Al Holiday,
Cedric Burnside and Radio Free Kirksville are slated to perform at the
Round Barn, which was constructed in 1913 and is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. Smoked ribs, burgers and the locally famous
“MO” taters are on the menu.
- See great works of art from more than 130 artists during Artsfest on Walnut Street, set for May 3-4 in Springfield. This event, in its 34th
year, focuses on the visual and performing arts; works are displayed
and available for purchase. Five stages host live performances and there
are activities for kids.
- Find the cure for spring fever at Spring Fever Days,
May 9-10, in Ellington. The event includes craft and food booths,
carnival rides, a barbecue competition, live music, a parade and the
Mason’s Saturday morning breakfast.
- Shop at the craft fair and enjoy carnival rides, music and good food at Perryville Mayfest, May 9-10 on the Square in Perryville. Activities include a petting zoo, antique tractor show and a martial arts demonstration.
- Visit charming Hermann, Missouri, May 16-18 for the annual Maifest celebration,
a tribute to the city’s German heritage and culture. Great German food,
the wines for which Hermann is famous, activities for children and lots
of live music are highlights of this three-day event.
- One of Missouri’s largest festivals, St. Louis Bluesweek
hits the Chesterfield Amphitheater and Central Park during Memorial Day
weekend, May 24-25. 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
- 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 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.
- Another Memorial Day weekend extravaganza takes place May 24-25 in
Hannibal, Mark Twain’s hometown. The author and his works are celebrated
during the annual Twain on Main festival. Activities include live music and games, special areas for kids, plus lots of craft and food vendors.
- Route 66 Summerfest,
May 30-June 1, 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.
That’s 10 great events in May, now let’s move on to June:
- Head downtown for Downtown Days … Streets Alive!
in Lee’s Summit, June 6-8. This family friendly event includes live
music, arts and crafts, carnival rides and a Kansas City Barbecue
Society sanctioned barbecue competition, known as Smokin’ on the Summit
(Friday and Saturday only).
- Try to measure the distance between the water and the wakeboards at the 3rd annual Liquidforce BroStock wakeboarding competition
June 6-7 at Captain Ron’s on Lake of the Ozarks in Sunrise Beach. The
event features pro wakeboarders from around the world, all striving to
win the competition.
- A celebration focusing on regional appreciation begins June 7 at Silver Dollar City in Branson. That’s when the first ever Star-Spangled Summer
festival opens; it runs through July 20. This event is part of Silver
Dollar City’s “Celebrate America” activities. Events include special
displays featuring Olympic hopefuls who put on a high-flying exhibition
as part of the Flying Ace All-Stars performance group. Renowned magician
Brad Ross is a featured performer during the month-long celebration.
- See what’s new during the annual Art in the Park
festival June 7-8 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia. In addition to the
art you’d expect to find, shop for everything from scarves to
sculptures, enjoy food and drink, listen to live music and keep the
young ones entertained at Kid’s Art Spot.
- 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Bushwhacker Days
in Nevada. The festival (June 11-14) refers to a nickname given Nevada
during the American Civil War, when federal troops dubbed Nevada the
“Bushwhacker (guerilla fighters) Capital.” The celebration of
Bushwhacker Days is decidedly friendlier than the history from which
it’s derived. Guests find excitement from a street carnival and car and
truck shows to gospel music and a full lineup of activities. Don’t miss
Saturday night’s concert, which features Grammy winner Crystal Gayle
taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.
honoring Emancipation Day (commemorating the end of slavery in the
U.S.) is celebrated from June 13-15 in St. Joseph. The festival includes
a parade, vendors, pony rides, live music and a talent show. The same
weekend in St. Joseph, attend the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival, featuring jazz ensembles from across the Midwest. Performances are in Coleman Hawkins Park.
- French Heritage Festival,
June 14, in Ste. Genevieve. Enjoy a day celebrating 300 years of French
culture and celebrate Ste. Genevieve. The oldest European village west
of the Mississippi contains the greatest concentration of French
Colonial architecture in North America. Music, a dance, French cuisine,
reenactments, a parade and home tours are part of the fun.
- Missouri’s musical heritage is the focus of the Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival,
set for June 20-21 in downtown West Plains. This long-running
celebration of the Ozarks Highlands culture features local performers
and two full days of live “Old Time Music.” The event includes a full
slate of activities, from cooking, blacksmith and weaving demonstrations
to food vendors, jam sessions, dancers and workshops.
- Fiesta Kansas City,
June 20-22, in Kansas City. This event, presented by the Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, is in its 14th year. The
party features a variety of food, beverages and live entertainment on
two stages in Crown Center Pavilion.
- Live music is part of the fun at the Tour de Corn
bicycle ride, slated for June 27-28 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. The Tour de Corn includes
East Prairie’s 40th Annual Sweet Corn Festival, which takes
place in the downtown area and includes dog, car and antique tractor
shows; food vendors; outhouse races (yes, racing outhouses); and a
While this lineup of festivals is sure to keep you busy through June, remember, more events are posted at VisitMO.com. Enjoy the festivities.