Fall is a time to harvest crops, view the leaves colorfully change or warm up by a bonfire. It is also when many communities celebrate these autumn activities, their heritage, their hobbies and much more throughout Mid-Missouri. A slew of fall festivals have become staple events and draw in thousands of visitors from across the Midwest and beyond. Mark your calendars for upcoming Jefferson City and Mid-Missouri fall festivals in September and October, as well as four big fall festivals located in the four corners of Missouri.
JC ROCKFEST 2018: The JC Rocks Group has formed a movement of thousands of individuals who find rocks, paint them and place them throughout the Capital City and surrounding communities for others to find, bringing the community together in a happy, funny, creative and inspiring way. JC Rocks Group will spread that joy to others in an inaugural JC ROCKFEST 2018 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at McClung Park. This free day of rock painting will feature local artists and free food and drinks. Rocks will be provided, and participants can use their own paint supplies or use equipment available. For more information, visit the "JC ROCKFEST 2018" event page or the JC Rocks Group's public group on Facebook.
Madison Walk Through Time: Another new fall event coming to Jefferson City is the Cole County Historical Society's Madison Walk Through Time from 1-4 p.m. Sunday on Madison and State streets. Attendees can stop by at least 18 stations showcasing history spanning from 1800-1900 that was or still is part of that area of Jefferson City. Singers Adrienne Fisher and Bruce Troyke will provide period music in the Victorian-period drawing room at the Cole County Museum. Attendees will have a chance to interact with re-enactors, and the historic Upschulte House will also be open for tours. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for ages 5-12, with younger children admitted for free. Tickets are available in advance at the museum office, Samuel's Tuxedos, Southbank Gift Company, Carrie's Hallmark Shop and colecountyhistoricalmuseum.org, or at the event. For more information, contact the society/museum office at 573-635-1850.
18th annual Oktoberfest in Old Munichburg: A true celebration of German heritage, the Old Munichburg Association will celebrate its 18th annual Oktoberfest from 4:30-9 p.m. Sept. 28 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 29 on West Dunklin, Broadway and Washington streets. The Central United Church of Christ will serve a German meal until 7 p.m. Friday on the church grounds with Loehnig Family German Band, as well as special guests the MOstly Opera singers, performing. On Sept. 29, celebrate Southside's American heritage with festival activities including craft and food vendors, baked goods, the Muenchberg Beer & Wine Garden, a kids corner, Mid-Mo Old Car Club show and the Dachshund Derby and Costume Contest. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, enjoy live entertainment from Low Rent District, Mulekicker Clogers, Burnin' Down the House and, a new event, the Stein-Holding Competition at the Washington Street main stage. For more information, visit www.oldmunichburg.com/oktoberfest.html.
The Missouri Governor's Mansion, Parson Family Palooza: Relish in fall during the Parson Family Palooza from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 6 on the Missouri Governor's Mansion lawn. Festivities including a straw bale maze, music and entertainment, freebies and activities for children, caramel apples, kettle corn, apple cider a photo booth and much more. For more information about this free event, contact the Missouri Governor's Mansion at 573-751-4141.
Fifth annual River City Fall Festival: This free fall festival the whole family can enjoy is presented by the Central Missouri Master Gardeners and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation. Craft and food vendors, entertainment, live animals, wagon rides, pony rides, pumpkins and exploration of the gardens will take place during the River City Fall Festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 20 at River City Gardens at Bill Quigg Commons north of the Missouri River. For more information, visit "Central Missouri Master Gardener Fall Festival" on Facebook.
12th annual Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest: About 90,000 bikers from across the United States travel to Lake of the Ozark each year for one of the largest bike rallies in the Midwest, held today through Sunday. During this time, motorcyclists take a variety of scenic tours, participate in the passport program for a chance to win a motorcycle, enter another motorcycle giveaway, hear multiple concerts, stop by the jerky-making competition at Beavers at the Dam, visit 200-plus Lake Area restaurants and bars, and stop by three vendor villages complete with motorcycle gear and souvenirs. For more information, visit lakebikefest.com.
Laurie Hillbilly Fair: It's a hillbilly hootenanny for the whole family during this popular annual affair from 3-11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday at the Laurie Fairgrounds in Laurie. Activities include a carnival, multiple live music concerts, a corn hole tournament, horseshoe hitching tournament, rat rod show, parade, buck-a-duck races, Pea Picker, Lil' Sprouts, Lil' Mr. and Miss Hillbilly and Hillbilly King and Queen Newlywed competitions, and a karaoke contest. For more information, visit cityoflaurie.com/hillbilly-fair.
Hermann Heritage Days: This city-wide celebration Friday through Sunday pays homage to the historical heritage of Hermann. Activities include Civil War reenactments, living history and lantern tours at the White House Hotel and Grounds; Civil War battle reenactments and tours of the historic Hermann Farm; tours of the Deutschheim State Historic Site and Historic Hermann Museum; and Historic District and East Second Street walking tours. For more information, visit visithermann.com/hermann-heritage-days.
Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival: Centered around the Moniteau County Courthouse in downtown California, the annual festival sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, features two of the town's largest industries in town — Cargill Value Added Meats and Burger's Smokehouse, which serving up turkey drumsticks and ham sandwiches as the festival centerpieces. Activities from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday include a barbecue contest, antique and classic car show, crafts, the world's largest turkey sub sandwich, three stages of live entertainment, a 5K walk/run, a parade, an antique tractor show and food. For more information, visit calmo.com/ham-and-turkey-festival.
41st annual Heritage Festival: History comes alive during this free, two-day festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Nifong Park in Columbia. Festivities include traditional and roots entertainment on three stages, reenactments, artisans and tradesmen demonstrating their "lost" trades and selling wares, food trucks, a handmade craft show and tours of three historic structures in The Village of Boone Junction, as well as the Maplewood House. For more information, visit como.gov.
St. Michael Catholic Church Fall Festival: A slew of fall festivities are in store during the annual Fall Festival from 11 .m.-6 p.m. Sunday at St. Michael Catholic Church in Russellville. Whole hog sausage and roast beef dinners will be served for $10 in advance for adults or $11 at the door, $5 for ages 6-10 and free for ages 5 and younger. Additional activities include a quilt auction, bingo, raffles, batting cage, kid's zone, country store, car show, silent auction, music, sandwiches, craft vendors and beer garden. For more information, call 573-782-4503.
Art on the Bricks and Autumn on the Bricks: The fifth annual Art on the Bricks on Sept. 21-22 in Fulton's Brick District has a focus on visual arts, fine craft and performance art and more. The event begins with an Art House's Autumn Exhibit opening reception 5-7 p.m. Sept. 21, followed by cocktails and music from The Kay Brothers from 7-10 p.m. at The Brick District Playhouse. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22 during Autumn on the Bricks, Court Street between 5th and 6th streets will be full of festivities, including an expanded farmers market, artisan, craft and food vendors, music, a pumpkin patch and children's activities. Admission is free. For more information, visit arthousefultonmo.org/art-on-the-bricks.
Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival: This fall festival celebrates music, food and culture, holding its 12th event from Sept. 28-30 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia. A multitude of music genres are represented including roots, blues, gospel, country, folk, bluegrass, rock and soul. More than 30 local, regional, national and international acts such as The Avett Brothers, Sturgill Simpson, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', The Mighty Pines and The Kay Brothers, will play on two different stages. Guests can also enjoy a variety of drinks and food, participate in a 5K or listen to a gospel celebration. For more information, visit www.rootsnbluesnbbq.com.
Eldon Turkey Festival: A true celebration of a Miller County staple turkey the 33rd Annual Eldon Turkey Festival from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 29 in downtown Eldon has activities for everyone. With a theme of "Hometown USA," pageants and a Turkey Trot 5K kick off the festival, followed by a parade at 10 a.m., a variety of homemade arts and crafts, food including smoked turkey legs, an array of music and entertainment on multiple stages, children's activities, a flower show and much more. For more information, visit eldonchamber.com.
Pumkin Chunkin' Palooza: Hourly "pumkin" chunking exhibitions are what draw hundreds to the increasingly popular Pumkin Chunkin' Palooza from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Ozarks Amphitheater in Camdenton. A trebuchet hurls pumpkins to their end every hour on the hour as a pipe and drum band adds to the dramatic launch. A "Largest Pumpkin Contest" and "Best Decorated Contest" with prizes, microbrew and wine tastings, food, artisan and craft vendors, bounce houses, corn pits, hay rides, pony rides, face painting, games and other activities are part of the one-day event. For more information, visit pumkinchunkinpalooza.com.
Rocheport Donut Festival: This free family-friendly music festival Oct. 5-7 in downtown Rocheport will feature a variety of regional music acts while celebrate doughnuts. Additional activities include a doughnut tossing contest, hayrides through town, a beer garden, food and craft vendors, an animal rescue scavenger hunt and doughnuts. For more information, visit "Rocheport Donut Festival" Facebook event page.
Hermann Oktoberfest: Every weekend in October, visitors to the historic riverside town and hub of Missouri wine country can enjoy many Oktoberfest activities. Music, dancing, food and more celebrate German heritage and history amid spectacular fall foliage in and around Hermann. For more information, visit visithermann.com.
Olde Tyme Apple Festival: With a 2018 theme of "Our Roots are Here," the 39th annual Olde Tyme Apple Festival in Versailles pays homage to the 400-acre active Head Orchard. Even though the orchard is no longer there, Versailles celebrates "its roots" with one of the largest fall festivals in Mid-Missouri. The Royal Theatre's production of "Seussical the Musical" kicks off the event at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4, with additional events including pageants and a car cruise-in and sock hop Friday night at B&B Drive-In. Events such as the parade, crafts and food vendors, a fiddle contest, music, apple pie contest and much more are primarily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Versailles. For more information, visit versaillesapplefestival.com.
Ninth annual Harvest Hootenanny: The ninth annual Harvest Hootenanny, presented by the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, will include a large Missouri-grown meal, local beer and wine in the Biergarten, live music, games and a raffle. This family-friendly event is 3-8 p.m. Oct. 6 on Ninth Street in front of the Urban Farm in Columbia. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.
26th annual Crush Festival: Kick off harvest season during this two-day festival from 2-6 p.m. Oct. 6 and noon-4 p.m. Oct. 7 at Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport. Guests can enjoy live music, children's games, pumpkin painting and grape-stomping fun for the whole family, all for free. For more information, visit missouriwine.com/events.
Osage Beach Fall Festival: Celebrating its 18th year, the City of Osage Beach will host its annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Osage Beach City Park. Activities include bounce houses, a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, arts and crafts booths, music, food vendors, police, fire and EMS displays, and other activities. For more information, visit osagebeach.org.
Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival: Since 1991, the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival has been a celebration of the fall staple and promotion of the village of Hartsburg. This year, the event is scheduled 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-14 in downtown Hartsburg and includes more than 200 vendors, pumpkins, food, music, shopping and much more. For more information, visit hartsburgpumpkinfest.com.
Apple Butter Days & Fall Festival: Making their own apple butter and apple pies on site, the volunteers of the Camden County Historical Society and Museum sell it to eager visitors at the organization's Apple Butter Days & Fall Festival, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 19-20 at the museum in Linn Creek. Craft demonstrations, a quilt raffle, a variety of craft vendors, and apple butter and apple pies will be available. Admission is free, and a chili and soup lunch is available for a donation. For more information, visit camdencountymuseum.org.
Fall Festival at Rock Garden Antique Barn: Organizers will also make apple butter during the annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 20 at Rock Garden Antique Barn in Fulton. Guests can also enjoy free activities including hay rides and pumpkin painting for children, a bake sale by Lizzy's Lifesavers benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, kettle corn and vendors. For more information, visit the Rock Garden Antique Barn Fall Festival event page on Facebook.