Posted by: marykfurness | October 11, 2011

‘Tis the Season for Fall Fest-ing…..

….fa-la-la-la…..oh wait.

That comes later.

This is fall fest-ing time…..where everything is called Heritage and Harvest and Craft and Apple and Pecan and Pumpkin; where the Great Corn Maze springs up east of Columbia, and people rush to spend time outdoors before the nasty  November chill drives them indoors.

In September, I joined my husband and son for some fun away down yonder in the Bootheel of our fair state–it was Heritage Day at Big Oak Tree State Park.  Big Oak Tree is a wonderful way to experience part of Missouri as it might have been seen by the first explorers–huge oaks and hickory trees nearly block out the sun; these are trees that have never been harvested.  It takes a bit to find the park, but it’s worth it.  The place took a beating in the floods when the Bird’s Point levee was blown back in May, but it (and Towosahgy State Historic Site) are making a comeback, and it is worth it to take the road trip. 

Heritage Day included old-time music…

 …crafts, living history talks by Civil War soldier interpreters, and insanely good food–tender steak sandwiches, fresh lemonade, barbequed  chicken …..oh, and of course, the ubiquitous funnel cake.

October 1st found me literally following the drum(s), as my husband and son went with the Boone County Firefighters Pipe and Drum Corps to the hamlet of Brunswick, MO for the Pecan Festival.  There is something endearing about small-town festivals and parades as they pass in front of the bait and tackle shop and the local tavern….yes, they can be cheesy, (I mean, “Little Mr. and Miss Huggable”?), but these people work hard on the parade floats, they shine up their tractors –LOTS of tractors–

and all traffic comes to a complete halt when the parade starts! Especially when the parade marches along a state route running through the middle of town.

The best thing about this parade is that it ended right in front–more or less–of some of the most incredible barbeque I’ve had in my life!  And I’ve sampled some pretty amazing ‘que!  A family –made up of various extended members and a few friends –was serving up ribs, beans, potato salad, cabbage, and a drink for 8 bucks a plate!!  And it was a massive plate! We shared 2 plates between 3 of us and we could barely walk afterwards! Sitting around and talking to these folks between bites was a joy as well; friendly, kind, hospitable, laid-back people, whose only concern at that moment was that nobody went away hungry.

Last weekend, Arrow Rock held its Craft Festival and Hartsburg its renowned Pumpkin Festival; this weekend, there’s a festival in Jefferson City, and of course, Columbia will overflow with alumni and friends for the 100th anniversary of Homecoming.

May your fall be colorful and bright….and may you take time to enjoy all that fall in our fair state has to offer!


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