Fall Festivals

The season’s fun festivals continue this month, with a little something for everybody—especially if you like apples. We rounded up the top festivals in October, and all the details you need to know to make a day of it.

Pumpkin Daze

When: October 1, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Republic
Information: There is live entertainment all day, along with performances for kids. You can also gather five of your closest friends and enter the pumpkin chuckin’ relay. Admission is free.
Look for: Last year’s event drew more than 15,000 people. And Republic is one of seven official pumpkin weigh-in sites in the country. Two years ago, Republic weighed a 1,244-pound pumpkin.

Apple Days

When: October 1, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Lamar
Information: Lamar’s Apple Days has live music and entertainment, wagon and pony rides for the kids and, of course, apples. Admission is free.
Look for: There are car, baby and dog shows.

Harvest Days

When: October 7, noon–8 p.m.; October 8, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Marshfield Fairgrounds
Information: Vendors, food and craft booths, and plenty of live entertainment at the fairgrounds in Marshfield. Admission is free.
Look for: It’s fall, and you’re going to need a pumpkin. You can pick one up and carve it here. Or, enter the pie-baking contest.

Apple Butter Makin' Days

When: October 7–8, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., October 9, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Mount Vernon
Information: Live entertainment plus 380 vendor, food and craft booths, none of which are commercial. There is a pie-eating contest, a pie-baking contest, a parade and a car show. Admission is free, but bring money for vendors.
Look for: Apple Butter Makin’ Days is such a big deal that there won’t be school in Mount Vernon on Friday. Better check it out!

Maple Leaf Festival

When: October 8–16, Carthage. Visit carthagechamber.com for a full schedule of events.
Information: This eight-day festival includes a high heel race, wine-tasting, a lip-sync competition, the Kelly Miller Circus and lots of food. The festival is free, but tickets for the circus are sold at the door.
Look for: The Maple Leaf Festival started 45 years ago as a marching band contest. Now, the longest parade in Southwest Missouri is taking place during the festival.

Homestead Days

When: October 15–16, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site, Ash Grove
Information: The 27th-annual festival includes a living historical encampment of the Boone family, live traditional music, and craft demonstrations. Admission is free.
Look for: Before it was known as Homestead Days it was the Nathaniel Boone Rendezvous. This festival eventually raised enough awareness that the site is now a state park.

Chili & Salsa Cook-Off

When: October 22, Cassville Square, Cassville
Information: There’s a chili and salsa cook-off of course, but you can also find live music, a pet parade and karate and gymnastic demonstrations. Admission is free.
Look for: See if your chili or salsa is really as good as you think it is. Cash prizes are given to winners. Contact Mindi Artherton at 417-847-2814 for more info.

National Harvest Festival

When: Through October 29, Silver Dollar City, Branson
Information: Watch the Timberworks Lumberjacks perform, or see 50-ton sand sculptures and wood carving demonstrations, among much more. Festival attractions are included with admission to Silver Dollar City.
Look for: The National Harvest Festival is Silver Dollar City’s oldest. But new stuff is added every year. So, if you think you’ve been-there-done-that, you should think again.

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