Missouri April 17, 2016
14 Festivals in Missouri That Food Lovers Should Not Miss
It’s no secret that Missourians love food. As a result, the state hosts many different food-related festivals throughout the year in locations all across the state. Some are simple and focused on one thing like a chili cook-off, but others are major events including rides, live music, crafts and so much more. Here are just a few of the food festivals coming up in the next couple of months and into the summer.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Rock'n Ribs BBQ Festival, Springfield
The Annual Rock and Ribs Barbeque Festival takes place on April 22 & 23. 80 teams from all over compete for the best Barbeque in a “Kansas City BBQ Society” sanctioned event. Starting each day at 1:00 p.m., sample the best barbecue around! Guests will also enjoy 11 hours of live music, lots of food and drinks, and a Kids Play Zone.
Location: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.
2. Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, Silver Dollar City, Branson
The Bluegrass and BBQ Festival takes place from May 5-30 and is held in Silver Dollar City in Branson. It features a musical line-up with names like Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, and Flatt Lonesome, on 5 separate stages. There is a Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest, The House of BBQ, and an “all you can eat” Rib Feast.
Bluegrass and BBQ Festival
3. Nixa Sucker Day
Nixa Sucker Day has been a tradition in the town of Nixa since it was started by a local barber named Finis Gold in 1957. Locals would close their shops and skip school for the day to go fishing for Suckers. The fish were then frozen until there was enough for a big fish fry.
Eventually tradition turned into Nixa Sucker Day, held during the month of May. It is fun for the whole family, with delicious food, varieties of entertainment, and special activities. In addition, all proceeds from Sucker Day activities are used to fund the betterment of the community. This year’s events take place on May 14th & 15th.
Location: Downtown Nixa
4. Berries, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, Anderson
The Berries, Bluegrass & BBQ Festival celebrates the heritage of the strawberry industry. Now in their fourth year, the festival features delicious strawberries, Arts & Crafts, a BBQ cook off, a Duck Race, a horseshoe tournament and an afternoon full of wonderful bluegrass performances. Other fun parts of the festival include the donut eating contest, and the Little Miss Strawberry Pageant. This year’s festival takes place on May 21st.
Location: Town Hole Park
Berries, Bluegrass & BBQ
5. St. Louis Ribfest, St. Louis
The 2016 Mid America Chevy Dealers Ribfest in New Town St. Charles is a food, craft, and music festival spanning all four days of Memorial Day weekend. Starting on Friday, May 27th at 5:00 p.m. and finally finishing out the weekend at 7:00 p.m. on Monday the 30th, admission to this family friendly event is free.
Numerous food vendors will be represented along with live music on two stages. In addition, there will be a large children’s play area and craft beers for the adults, as well as hundreds of vendors selling a wide variety of goods. A portion of the beverage sales proceeds goes to Focus Marine in honor of Memorial Day.
Location: 9909 Manchester Road #302
6. Smokin on the Summit, Lee's Summit
Taking place June 3rd & June 4th, Smokin on the Summit is the state championship BBQ competition. Up to 90 teams compete, filling the streets with the delicious smell of BBQ. The BBQ competition, sanctioned by Lee’s Summit’s KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) is held the first full weekend in June each year. This year,The SMOKIN’ on the Summit BBQ competition will be held at the same time as Downtown Days in beautiful downtown Lee’s Summit. Teams compete for a $10,000 purse and the right to be the SOS Grand Champion!
7. City of Kimmswick Strawberry and Apple Butter Festival
The Strawberry Festival is held each year the first weekend in June from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Over 125 food and craft vendors will be available for what is expected to be a crowd of around 30,000 people. The festival features fresh strawberries, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake, and strawberry iced-tea.
In addition to all that is strawberry-related, traditional festival foods like kettle corn, funnel cake, and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs will also be represented, and Miller beer will be served at two sites inside. Lots of craft booths, carnival rides, and a petting zoo and many other activities will also be available.
Kimmswick Strawberry Festival
There are also Strawberry Festivals the same weekend at the Vaile Mansion in Independence and in Arnold.
8. Arcadia Valley BBQ Battle, Ironton
The Arcadia Valley BBQ Battle takes place on June 10 & 11. Teams register up to June 9th to compete for over $6,500 in payouts. Enjoy live bands and a beer garden each night.
Location: Iron County Courthouse Square
9. ICS Sanctioned Chili Cook Off, Clarksville
The International Chili Society’s Missouri Cook Off will be held on June 11 in Riverfront Park in Clarksville. Enjoy live music as participants compete for $1500 in prizes and trophies in with several different styles and recipes for chili.
10. Boulevardia - Kansas City
Kansas City’s Boulevardia is a festival like no other. It takes place on Father’s Day Weekend, June 17-19. The unique beer, food and music festival brings all the fun you can imagine and so much more. It takes place in the 12th Street Bridge Historic District in the West Bottoms.
11. Main Street Party/Sweet Corn Festival, East Prairie
The Sweet Corn Festival in East Prairie takes place June 24th &25th. Besides its namesake, delicious sweet corn, the festival will offer entertainment and live music, the Tour De Corn bike ride, Huskers’ 5K run, a classic car cruise-in and a photography exhibit along with the over 100 exhibitors.
Location: Downtown Gazebo area parking lot
East Prairie Chamber of Commerce
12. Ozarks Berry Festival - Springfield
The Ozarks Berry Festival takes place on June 4th from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Springfield. It is an annual fundraising event benefitting the children of Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. Food items abound, including homemade berry cobblers and ice cream. In addition, a variety of handmade crafts and quilts that have been donated to be auctioned and sold at the Festival.
Location: First Baptist Church, Arnold
13. Annual Taste of the Ozarks - Springfield
The 14th Annual Taste of the Ozarks takes place Friday April 15th at the White River Conference Center. Proceeds from the event benefit the Big Brothers-Big Sisters Organization. Enjoy samples of food from many of Springfield's finest restaurants. There is also a silent and live auction, a $20,000 cash raffle, a wine pull, and live music. VIP Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the doors open at 6:30 p.m.
14. Berries and Barbecue Wine Trail, Hermann
The beautiful Hermann Wine Trail tradition offers many different themed tours throughout the year, and on July 30th & 31rst is the Berries and Barbecue Wine Trail. This trail allows you to enjoy delectable pairings of berries and barbeque with Missouri wines at a total of seven stops along the Hermann Wine Trail.
Have you attended any of these festivals? What was your experience? We would love to hear from you.