Festival begins April 19
An annual rite of spring in the Ozarks, the Dogwood Festival in Camdenton, Missouri, will celebrate the beauty of the season April 19 through 21.
Each spring, locals and visitors alike eagerly await the vivid whites of the flowering dogwood, Missouri’s state tree, and the bright magenta of rosebuds that flourish in the Ozark hills.
The longest running springtime event in the Lake of the Ozarks area, this year marks the 68th anniversary of the Dogwood Festival, which takes place during the peak season of the blossoming trees and flowers.
According to Trish Creach, executive director of the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce, the festival brings in between 8,000 to 10,000 people from around the Midwest to enjoy the colorful scenery and participate in the festival’s activities and events.
“The Dogwood Festival is a lake tradition that brings together families and communities to enjoy one of the harbingers of spring — the beautiful blooming dogwood trees,” Creach said.
The festivities begin April 19 with the opening of the carnival area on the grounds of Camdenton Middle School at 5 p.m. The middle school serves as the backdrop to multiple activities throughout the festival.
On April 20, there will be live musical entertainment from 6 to 9 p.m. and carnival rides from 5 to 10 p.m.
On April 21, the carnival rides run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. with dance performances and live music taking place from noon until 7 p.m. Locally made arts and crafts and a variety of food and refreshments will be sold on site at vendor booths throughout the weekend.
During the festival, the Camden County Museum will be open for tours and will host displays of handmade creations by the Lake Area Woodworkers.
The festival will mark the inaugural dinner theater production of the year at the museum, the comedic melodrama, “A Fate Worse Than Death; Or Adrift in Life’s Sea.” Doors open at 5 p.m. A spaghetti dinner buffet will be served at 5:30 p.m. followed by the play at 7 p.m., April 20 and 21. Tickets for the dinner and play are $15 per person. Reservations are suggested, as seats are limited. For more details, or to reserve tickets, call 573.346.7191, ext. 8, or visit www.CamdenCounty Museum.org.
Also April 20, there will be a fish fry at the Knights of Columbus hall from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Other activities taking place April 21 include:
- The Dogwood Festival 5K Fun Run, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. beginning at the Camdenton High School.
- The United Methodist Church will host a pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 10 a.m.
- Indoor garage sales will be held at St. Anthony’s Church from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., and at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church from 8 a.m. until noon.
- The “Fairytales in Bloom”-themed Dogwood Festival parade takes place at 10 a.m. in downtown Camdenton.
- The Camdenton Memorial Lake-Regional Airport will hold Young Eagles Flights from noon until 3:30 p.m. During the event, children ages 8 to 17 can learn about aviation and fly in a small airplane.
- Community Christian Church will host a “Worship Under the Dogwoods” service at 2 p.m.
For more information on the Dogwood Festival, including a schedule of activities, locations of events and complete list of booths and vendors, visit the chamber website at www.camdentonchamber.com. For more information about other activities available around the lake area, visit www.FunLake.com or call 800.386.5253.
(Editor’s note: Information provided by the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau.)