NEOSHO, Mo. — Organizers are hoping to see the town square awash this weekend with visitors from across the Four-State Area for the 51st Neosho Fall Festival, which will feature regional crafters, live music, food trucks, family games and a farmers market.
Festivities will be underway from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Special events will be set up nearby, including a soap box derby, model train exhibit, sidewalk chalk art contest, scarecrow contest, dance performances, a car show, a chili cook-off and pancake feed.
The city of Neosho's public relations director and event coordinator, Paul Richardson, wants attendees to know that there will be enough activities, food and sights to keep them around town for a whole day.
"There's so much to see and do," Richardson said. "And, as always, there's plenty of parking down at Morse Park where they can get in and out real easy. People can catch the free shuttle there and head downtown to the festival."
Shuttle services are provided by Gospel Lighthouse Church.
Richardson said the city is proud to continue the festival's tradition of welcoming neighbors from both far and near to the heart of Neosho.
"We want to give our outside visitors a real Neosho experience so they'll come back to visit later for other things," Richardson said. "So it's a day for locals to celebrate their hometown, but more so, it's a weekend to bring in visitors. You never know who's looking to relocate or start a business, or who's looking for a site to build."
New at this year's festival is an indoor Harvest Shop, complete with vendors and booths for local artisans and craftspeople. Booths will be set up inside the Neosho Event Center, 214 E. Main St. Also new is a cornhole tournament, paying out $500 in cash prizes. Competitors can sign up to play starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lampo Center. Play will start at 11 a.m.
History Alley, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Newton County Historical Park, 121 N. Washington St., will take guests back in time for an immersive pioneer experience. There will be Civil War reenactors, a chuck wagon, living history demonstrations, a marimba band and a petting zoo.
While the main stage downtown will play host to the festival's traditional mix of local folk, rock, pop and country bands, two additional live music venues are also planned. The Clay Cup, located on North Wood Street, has booked jazz bands to accompany fine arts displays. History Alley will feature period-appropriate music from string-heavy performers.
All areas of the festival are open free of charge to the public. Crafts, food, refreshments and more can be purchased from a variety of on-site vendors, as well as downtown restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and pubs. Events will go on as planned, rain or shine.