Looking for some fun festivals to attend this summer? Check out these Missouri fests that celebrate everything from barbecue to cigar box guitars.
The Ozark Cigar Box Guitar Music Festival
The Ozark Cigar Box Guitar Music Festival began only two years ago, but it’s already rated as one of Missouri's top five blues festivals, according to the American Blues Scene. Nationally recognized musicians will be featured at this two day family-friendly event that overlooks the Lake of the Ozarks. Artists and musicians will showcase their homemade cigar box guitars made of recycled materials. There will be a beer garden and barbecue competition.
When 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 4 • Where Drake Harbor outdoor amphitheater, Warsaw, Mo. • How Much Free • More Info 1-660-438-2090; visitbentoncomo.com
The Missouri State Fair
Showcasing the Show-Me-State since 1901, the Missouri State Fair attests to Missouri’s agriculture, agribusiness, domestic arts and fine arts. The Missouri State Fairgrounds is one of the oldest fairgrounds in the nation and this year is set to feature agriculture exhibits and competitions, grandstand concerts, carnival rides, kids entertainment and much more.
When Aug. 8-18 • Where 2503 West 16th Street Sedalia, Mo. • How Much Adult: $10; Seniors (age 60 and over): $7; Youth (ages 6-12): $2; Kids (age 5 and under): free. Discounts for buying early are available. • More Info 1-800-422-3247; mostatefair.com
National Tom Sawyer Days
The National Tom Sawyer Days celebrates Mark Twain's most famous creation with a weekend of family fun. A Hannibal tradition for more than 60 years, the celebration offers something for all ages and interests. Festivalgoers can participate in the National Fence Painting Contest, a frog-jump competition and the Tom & Becky Contest. Other attractions include a craft festival, mud volleyball tournament, horseshoe tournament, carnival rides, live music every night in the beer garden and a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi River on the 4th of July. Tickets must be purchased for the evening concerts.
When July 4-6 • Where Main Street, Hannibal, Mo • How Much Free • More Info hannibaljaycees.org
The East Prairie Sweet Corn Festival
Each year, the East Prairie Sweet Corn Festival coincides with the Tour de Corn and has a weeklong lineup of activities. The week kicks off with the Tour de Corn, a fully supported charity bike ride with varying distances for beginning to experienced riders. The night before the event, riders and visitors can enjoy the annual Main Street Party, complete with crayfish and barbecue, arts and crafts, games, entertainment, and the Husker 5K run. The festival ends with a Fourth of July parade. There is an entry fee for the Tour de Corn bike ride and the Huskers 5K at the East Prairie Sweet Corn Festival.
When June 28-July 4 • Where 106 South Washington Street, East Prairie, Mo. • How Much Free • More Info 1-573-649-5243; epsweetcorn.com
Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo
Since 1953, the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo has been a summer staple in Southeast Missouri. Today, it is the premiere Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competition in the region, bringing nearly 40,000 people to Sikeston annually for rodeo events and concerts. This year's lineup includes Morgen Wallen, Midland, Sammy Kershaw and more.
When Aug. 7-10 • Where 1220 North Ingram Road Sikeston, Mo. • How Much $25 to $130 based on event or full day pass • More Info 1-800-455-2855; sikestonrodeo.com
The Second Annual Sliced Bread Day
This year, Chillicothe embraces its history as the birthplace of sliced bread with the Second Annual Sliced Bread Day festivities, marking the first official "Missouri Sliced Bread Day." During the three-day festival, there will be a bread-baking contest, downtown parade, farmers market and fireworks to commemorate the July 7 anniversary of the first time sliced bread was packaged and sold.
When July 5-7 • Where Downtown Chillicothe, Mo. • How Much Free • More Info 1-660-646-4071; homeofslicedbread.com
The 19th Annual BBQ & Fly-In on the River
During the 19th Annual BBQ & Fly-In on the River, 70 barbecue teams will compete in various categories, and attendees can visit the beer garden, listen to live bands, and watch flyovers and fireworks.
When Aug 16-17 • Where 201 East Broadway Excelsior Springs, Mo. • How Much $5 • More Info 1-816-637-2811; bbqontherivercontest.com
The Ozark Empire Fair
Beginning in the early 1900's, the Ozark Empire Fair started as a traveling display of area crafts and handwork in the city of Springfield. Originally organized to promote manufacturing, agriculture and industry through exhibitions, the annual fair today is billed as summer’s biggest party and is one of the largest events in southwest Missouri.
When July 25-Aug. 3 • Where 3001 North Grant Avenue Springfield, Mo. • How Much Early Bird Fair Admission $7 for adults $3 for children • More Info 1-417-833-2660; ozarkempirefair.com
3rd Annual Sunflower Festival
Golden Groves Farms will be transformed into a place of sunflower celebration for the 3rd Annual Sunflower Festival.
Just northeast of Springfield, Mo., an acre of the farm will transform into a sea of about 30,000 sunflowers in 12 varieties thanks to the summer sun and rain. The farm will also become a family playground with a variety of games, ice cream, snacks and soft drinks, artwork for sale and props for photos.
Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or dinner and stay as long as they like. Live music is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 each evening and during the afternoon on Friday through Sunday.
Vases are available for arranging on the spot and guests are encouraged to bring a bucket with water to transport their flowers home.
When 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. July 24 to July 28 • Where Golden Groves Farms, 4950 East State Highway KK, Fair Grove, Mo. • How Much $5 admission • More Info 1-417-881-5300; goldengrovefarms.com