JOPLIN, Mo. —
The weather didn’t have very good timing for an upcoming festival celebrating water. A lack of rain has lowered area waterways, including Shoal Creek -- the site of Saturday’s Shoal Creek Water Festival.
Events such as a shoebox race and rubber duck race had to be adjusted because of the lower water levels, said Kerstin Landwer, development and volunteer coordinator for Wildcat Glades Conservation and Nature Center.
“We had to change where we hold the shoebox race,” Landwer said. “It’s farther down Silver Creek, where there’s actually water.”
Participants in a cardboard box race won’t be able to count on a current -- “They’ll have to use a little more manpower to get through,” Landwer said -- and a rubber duck race will get help from water rescue personnel in order to float downcreek.
But nothing has been cancelled, Landwer said. And in a month of drought, it’s even more important to have a festival celebrating the water in Shoal Creek, she said.
“It’s to educate about the importance of water in this area,” Landwer said. “It’s about conservation and general respect for keeping it clean. It’s important to know that 70 percent of our drinking water comes from Shoal Creek.”
In addition to standard events such as the races, this year’s festival will feature the Fishin’ Magicians, comprised of Amy Short and Steve Craig. The duo will present a magic performance that includes information about water conservation. They will perform at 10:30 a.m.
The World Bird Sanctuary will present a program on birds of prey. The group will have hawks and owls available for viewing, Landwer said.
The event will also feature a hike, water quality demonstrations and concessions.
Landwer said Shoal Creek is busy even during drought conditions.
“Shoal Creek is the most biologically diverse creek in Missouri,” Landwer said. “There are many who canoe or kayak. We see a lot of traffic here during the summer.”
Want to go?
The Shoal Creek Water Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Wildcat Park. Details: 417-782-6287.