A 70-year tradition returns to Mokane this Labor Day weekend.
Visit the Mokane Lions Club Park during the annual World’s Fair for a plethora of fall festivities, including bingo, carnival rides, clogging and more. From 6 p.m. Friday until the festival’s close at 11 p.m. Sunday, the festival promises something for everyone.
“We have the wide variety just to draw people in. We’ve had the mutton, bingo and beer for years, but we started bringing the carnival rides in about 20 years ago,” said Terry Howard, president of the Mokane Lions Club.
The excitement begins at 6 p.m. Friday with softball, followed by a demolition derby at 7 p.m. Derby categories feature stock, compact and “gut ‘n go,” and prizes range from $100-$1,000.
Saturday starts off at 9 a.m. with another softball game along with bloody marys being served separately. The morning continues with a parade at 11 a.m., followed by a performance by the South Callaway band and a children’s tractor pull at 1 p.m.
Friday evening and Saturday afternoon’s entertainment will be provided by DJ McGrath from 7-11 p.m. Howard said the DJ will provide music that will include “a little bit of everything” as well as karaoke.
Saturday evening’s highlights include a beer pong tournament and a performance by the Mulekicker Cloggers at 6 p.m., plus an adult tractor pull at 7 p.m. Saturday will be capped off with a performance by the Dave Baker Band from 7-11 p.m.
Sunday will boot back up at 11 a.m. with round two of bloody marys in the beer garden to be followed by a performance by the Flat Footin’ Follies cloggers at 1 p.m. Opportunities for competition abound: a fiddlers contest at 3 p.m.; a washers tournament and bounty tractor pull, both at 4 p.m.; and an antique truck and tractor pull at 7 p.m.
The festival closes out Sunday night with a performance by the Pilot Grove Band from 5-11 p.m. Howard said both bands performing this weekend will have a “country feel” to their music.
Armbands will be required for the carnival rides each evening and can be purchased for $20. Howard explained the festival may charge for armbands Saturday afternoon, depending on the size of the crowd.
“The fair itself is totally free. You can walk in and walk out whenever you please,” Howard said.
The Mokane World’s Fair is the primary fundraiser for the Mokane Lions Club, having raised as much as $45,000 in years past. The Lions Club uses the money raised by the festival for a number of projects, including helping local residents pay for eyeglasses and sending money to families after a house fire.