You enter the park to the smell of  kettle corn mixed with the taste of fresh squeezed lemonade, the sound of kids giggling as they chase a squealing pig around in circles.  The Ferris wheel creaks, as the carnival worker shouts over the roar of the crowd cheering for the monster truck race down the track.

We have entered Missouri Fair Season, which kicks off with the Missouri State Fair and continues with many small community fairs and festivals. Each community puts their own flair in their fair, and the best part can be watching the locals share their memories, their excitement, and their love for their community. 

As a mom, I have found fairs and festivals give us a taste of culture we may never experience again.  It is not everyday you get the chance to pet an alpaca, or taste fried Oreos, or watch farmers beg their stubborn mule to jump over a pole.

Almost every local community in Southeast Missouri has a fair or festival of some kind, both big and small they are unique, and for I often feel like I am at a family reunion when I head out to the fair(s).

The SEMO District Fair in Cape Girardeau

As a child I remember my dad loading us up after school and heading to the fair, I remember the anticipation I would feel all day long. Still today I get excited as it gets closer to the SEMO District Fair, there is something about the smell of the fair grounds, the sights of the farm equipment carefully placed around the grounds, and the chatter of visitors from all over visiting Cape Girardeau.  The SEMO District Fair includes concerts, farm exhibits, rides, and many good laughs.

East Perry Community Fair

Yearly, The Best Little Fair in The Land draws thousands from all over the area for one event, the mule jumping contest. A mule jump contest consist of farmers attempting to convince their stubborn mule to jump over the pole.  Now this may not sound as exciting as it is, but as you glance around the stands you will see watchers on the edge of their seats waiting to see if their favorite mule makes the jump. The East Perry Community Fair is September 20-21 in Altenburg, Missouri.

The Bollinger County Fair

Street Dancing, Hula hoop contest, Box Car Racing and a Kiddie Tractor Pull at the Bollinger County Fair.  The town comes alive the weekend of the festival with not only festival events, but the town shows its true heritage as many of the  historical sites around town will be open for tour. Must sees this year is the Friday Night Street Dance and the Cat Ranch Round Up at the home of artist Tom Runnels.

Pioneer Days in Marquand, Missouri

marquandmoWhen a town of 203 folks draws 10 times its population, you know it has to be good.  Pioneer Days is kicked off yearly with a musical performance in Historical Homan Hall on Friday night, followed with all day events on Saturday in Marquand’s historical park.  On Sunday they finish the weekend of with a community wide church service in the Marquand Park.  Pioneer Days take place September 27-29 in Marquand, Missouri.

Madison County Fair in Fredericktown, Missouri 

The sound of lawn mowers racing, the smell of lemon shake ups, as you pet a squealing pig.  The Madison County Fair is a true country fair with a petting zoo, crafts, and good old fashion fair food.  The Madison County Fair is held October 3-5 in Fredericktown, Missouri.


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