Family-fun festival cruises back to Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark

Guests get a chance to ‘build your own Mustang’ at Hot Summer Nights

St. Louis resident Stacy Cole gets an airbrushed facepaint of a whimsical cat from Greg Cheevers, owner of Cool Breeze Airbrushed Temporary Tattoos and Facepainting, during Hot Summer Nights on Friday night.

St. Louis resident Stacy Cole gets an airbrushed facepaint of a whimsical cat from Greg Cheevers, owner of Cool Breeze Airbrushed Temporary Tattoos and Facepainting, during Hot Summer Nights on Friday night. Photo by Samantha Edmondson.

LAKE OZARK, Mo. — St. Louis resident Stacy Cole sat perfectly still as Greg Cheevers, owner of Cool Breeze Airbrushed Temporary Tattoos and Facepainting, made finishing touches to one of his first artistic masterpieces of the night.

Her family and friends gave expressions and sounds of delight while Cheevers transformed Cole’s face into a whole new persona during their visit to Hot Summer Nights Friday at Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark. Once finished, he broke out the mirror to show her new face for the night — a whimsical cat. She smiled, giggled and “wowed” with joy at his work, as did her family and friends.

She thanked Cheevers and smiled her way down Bagnell Dam Strip to enjoy the many other family-friendly entertainers that participate in Hot Summer Nights the second Friday of each month from May through September.

For Cheevers, her creative cat airbrushed facepaint was not just advertisement for his business and his participation on the event. It is also her smiling face that makes his work completely worthwhile.

“I just started this business two months ago, and I have events booked at the air show in Eldon in June, the parade during Fourth of July in Eldon, and Oma and Noma Days next weekend here at the Strip,” he said, noting it is a talent he has been developing and researching for four years. “It is fun to promote my work, but one of the main reasons I do it is to see those smiles on kids’ faces, like hers. Their smiles make everything worthwhile. I really want to make it fun for the kids, and that is what I enjoy most about doing this.”

Cheevers’ sentiment is one of the principles of the annual Hot Summer Nights festival and has been for its past six years of existence. With Friday being its 2013 debut, it invites classic and custom car, truck and motorcycle owners to enjoy a cruise-in from 6-11 p.m. on Bagnell Dam Strip. However, it promotes families enjoying a free, fun evening listening to live music, hearing classic tunes spun by legendary mix-master Leo Case, and visiting with a variety of the Lake’s best artists, clowns and family-related talents.

While guests browse through the numerous classic and customized cars, trucks and motorcycles that cruise-in each month during this time frame, visitors to this Missouri Tourism Innovator Award-winning festival partake in a variety of family activities such as facepainting, caricatures, clowns, live music, contests and many other festivities.

This year, guests will see the return of Sparky da Clown and Merry Mary “clowning around” with a variety of activities including a real clown car down by Luby’s Stage, Mz Loretta showcasing her brilliant facepainting and additional creative activities, and “Charcoal Chuck” doing free charcoal portrait paintings for the kids. Plus, Captain Scalawag will be joining this fun cast of characters. He is known as the Lake Area’s notorious pirate delivering entertaining programs for families.

As part of this exciting summer-long family-friendly festival, guests can get the chance to win a Mustang courtesy of Sakelaris Ford in Camdenton.

With stores also in Versailles and California, Sakelaris Ford is partnering with Hot Summer Nights for festival attendees to win a new Ford Mustang. Along with the Bagnell Dam Strip Association and Tri-County YMCA, this partnership, called the “Build Your Own 2014 Mustang” raffle will benefit both the BDSA and YMCA.

Tickets will be $20 with no more than 2,500 to be sold. The winner picks the Mustang of their choice up to $28,000 MSRP from Sakelaris Ford. Tickets are available at the following locations: Sakelaris Ford in Camdenton, Versailles and California; Tri-County YMCA; 54 Auto and Marine; Papa John’s; Fran’s Glaize 66; Randy’s Frozen Custard; Nautical Landing; Summer USA; Rockwood Motel; Richard’s Relic Shack & Pawn; and We’re Talkin’ T-shirts.

At Hot Summer Nights, legendary Leo Case will spin tunes nightly, with Project Hysteria from Jefferson City returning for a second year during the event to Luby’s Stage. In addition, Beaver’s at the Dam will also have live entertainment.

Special themes for this year’s events include a salute to the 40th anniversary of the hit movie “American Graffiti” in August. In addition, guests will be able to take rides aboard the iconic Bell 47 helicopter through Lake Ozark helicopter. This aircraft is the same chopper that was used and flew in the well-known television series “M.A.S.H.”

In addition, live remotes, giveaways, good, shopping and amazing prize packages will be a part of this exciting monthly summertime festival. The Tri-County YMCA will have a booth set up selling Mustang raffle tickets and additional activities for kids. There will also be registration for two-night stays at Southwood Shores Resort and Condos, Lake Ozark Vacations (PMG) and The Resort at Port Arrowhead.

The remaining summer Hot Summer Nights events are held from 6-11 p.m. June 14, July 12, Aug. 9 and Sept. 6, a special first Friday of the month to provide ample attendance for the festival’s finale. More specific details about upcoming Hot Summer Nights events will be released in the coming weeks.

For more information, call the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at 1800-451-4117 or 573-964-1008, or Bob Schwartz at 573-348-4053, or visit www.cruisehotsummernights.com and the Hot Summer Nights page on Facebook.

Accompanying photo: Face painting

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