The scent of barbecue, the sounds of bluegrass, jazz and blues, and the sight of fireworks over the Mississippi and Missouri rivers – these are just a few of the experiences you’ll find this summer in the Show-Me State. Here’s a sampling of some of the upcoming festivals and events in each region of the state:
Meet Mark Twain’s most famous characters during National Tom Sawyer Days June 30-July 4 in Hannibal. Highlights include the National Fence Painting Competition, Tom and Becky contest, frog jump competition, live music and Fourth of July fireworks over the Mississippi River.
Jazz musicians will gather in Missouri’s historic wine country for the Hermann Wine and Jazz Festival Aug. 19. Take in a free concert at the outdoor amphitheater and travel the Hermann Wine Trail to taste award-winning wines.
Immerse yourself in Missouri’s French Colonial culture dating back to the 1700s at the French Heritage Festival, June 10-11, in Ste. Genevieve. Experience traditional music and dance, storytelling, reenactments, promenades, tea with “Marie Antoinette,” and walking tours of the largest concentration of French Colonial architecture in North America.
Go for a ride in a beautiful balloon at the Sikeston Hot Air Balloon Festival June 16-18. The event features a balloon glow, tethered balloon rides, a balloon flight, arts and crafts, children’s activities, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, and live music.
Spend the Fourth of July in Missouri’s capital city at the Salute to America in downtown Jefferson City. The holiday filled with activities – including a parade, kids’ zone and live music – will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display over the Missouri River.
The Missouri State Fair, Aug. 10-23 in Sedalia, has been showcasing the Show-Me State since 1901. The fair includes agriculture exhibits and competitions, grandstand concerts, carnival rides, children’s entertainment and more.
Head to Kansas City June 16-17 for Boulevardia, the city’s biggest urban street festival. The event fills Grand Boulevard with live music, costumed performers, food sampling and craft beer.
Celebrate Excelsior Springs’ famous mineral waters at Waterfest, June 23-24. Learn about the town’s intriguing past on a trolley tour. Other activities include a parade, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, a beer garden, and fireworks.
Carver Day Celebration, July 8 in Diamond, will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond. The park highlights the life of a scientist and educator who helped revolutionize the field of agriculture. The event will include guest speakers, exhibits and musical performances.
The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, Aug. 10-12 in Springfield, honors the place where the famous highway got its name. In the spirit of the Mother Road, a parade will feature a lineup of cars, trucks and motorcycle as well as floats, bicycles and performers. Live music, a 6.6K Run and Route 66 exhibits will round out the event.