Autumn is still a few weeks away, but it’s not too early to make plans to attend fall festivals happening around Fort Leonard Wood and around the state of Missouri.
Here are just a few of the events and activities planned this fall:
— Sept. 1: The Railroad Days festival celebrates the history of the Frisco Railroad in Crocker, located 17 miles north of Fort Leonard Wood on Highway 17. The celebration typically features food and craft vendors, games, contests, shows and a parade. Check the event calendar at www.visitpulaskicounty.org for more information.
— Sept. 5 through 9: The annual St. James Grape and Fall Festival features a carnival, games, rides, a demolition derby, live music and more at Nelson Hart Park, 100 North Jefferson Street in St. James. The annual Fall Festival Parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 9. While some events are free, others require an admission charge. Season passes are available for $20. For details, call 573.265.6649, or see the event listing at https://visitrolla.com.
— Sept. 8: The Dixon Shrimp Festival celebrates the end of the growing season for freshwater prawn shrimp. Located at 15750 Conway Road in Dixon, the event features live music, bounce houses, games, hiking and more. Admission is free. Shrimp and other vendor items are available for purchase, and camping is also available. Check out https://www.visitmo.com/events/shrimpfestival for more details.
— Sept. 8: The Cole County Extension Fall Festival features arts, crafts and more with more than 150 vendors from across the Midwest from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 1445 Fairgrounds Road in Jefferson City, Missouri. Admission is $2. Call 573.634.2824 for more information.
— Sept. 9: The 12th annual Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at 54 Country in Fulton, Missouri. Visitors can enjoy barbecue as well as live music from The Baker Family, Callaway Bluegrass, Good Turn Daily and Dixie Union. Admission is $10 per person. Children ages 16 and younger receive free admission, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, call 573.220.9153 or visit the Fulton State Hospital Foundation Facebook page for details.
— Sept. 14 and 15: The Dixon Cow Days festival takes place in downtown Dixon. First held in the 1930s to attract business to town, the festival remains one of the most unique with its annual giveaways of two cows. Festival events also include a festival queen pageant, live music, a parade, contests and more. Follow the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for updates and information.
— Sept. 29: The Philipsburg Fall Festival is scheduled throughout the day at Phillipsburg Village Park. The event features antique cars and machinery, crafts, holiday decor, antiques, gifts, numerous vendors and more. For more information, call 417.718.0838 or download a schedule at www.lebanonroute66.com.
— Sept. 29: The 33rd annual Eldon Turkey Festival is a celebration of turkey, featuring signature smoked turkey legs, along with arts, crafts and food vendors, live entertainment, a pageant, parade, 5k fun run, flower slow and more. Events are scheduled from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in downtown Eldon. Call 573.392.3751 or visit eldonchamber.com for details.
— Oct. 5 and 6: The Frogtober Fitness Festival in the Park kicks off a month-long celebration of fitness at Waynesville City Park. Events begin with the Leapfrog 5k at 6 p.m. Oct. 5, followed by the fifth annual Frog Hill Half Marathon and 10k, both of which start at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6 at East Elementary School and end at the park. Also happening Oct. 6 is the Nasty Pulaski Gravel Grind, a 65-mile bicycle race over rugged terrain starting at the park at 7 a.m. Registration details, fees and other information about the various events can be found on the “Frogtober Family Fitness Festival” Facebook page or by calling Melissa Martinez, Frog Fitness Group coordinator, at 573.433.6684.
— Oct. 6 is the tentative date for the annual Oktoberfest celebration on Fort Leonard Wood, with authentic German food, music, beer, games, contests and more. For details, contact the Installation Wide Events office at 573.596.6913 or visit FMWR online at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com.
— Oct. 6: The 39th annual Old Tyme Apple Festival takes place in Versailles, Missouri. Activities include a pancake breakfast, parade, a 5k run, car show, a Kids Zone, live entertainment, crafts and more. For details, visit http://versaillesapplefestival.com or call 573.378.4401.
— Oct. 13, 2018: Rolla’s 40th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival is scheduled in downtown Rolla. Artists and crafters from throughout the region will display their works, including jewelry, handmade furniture, clothing, pottery, wooden crafts, paintings and more. Visit the Rolla Downtown Business Association website at www.visitrolla.com for schedules and updates.
— Oct. 20, 2018: The Route 66 Oktoberfest takes place with live music, vendors, games and more in downtown Waynesville. Check the Route 66 Fest Facebook Page for updates.
For more information about the festivals mentioned above, or other attractions and events in the area, visit the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau website at visitpulaskicounty.org or check out the Missouri Division of Tourism homepage at www. VisitMo.com.