From the first blooms of spring to the holiday lights, these Missouri festivals entertain visitors all year round with unique looks into the Show-Me State
There an entire roster of special events sure to please and excite your group when you visit Missouri. They offer a special way to experience the local culture and celebrate what makes the state unique. For all there is to see and do, check out a list of Missouri festivals at visitmo.com/events.
Here are just a few Missouri festivals to get you started.
Dogwood-Azalea Festival, Charleston
This springtime favorite has twice been voted a Top 5 Spring Flower Festival in the USA by Fodor’s, and the 51st annual Dogwood- Azalea Festival is sure to carry on the award-winning tradition.
The six-mile Dogwood-Azalea Trail, the star of the festival, will be in full bloom during the four-day event. Also on tap are Home Tours, a Candlelight Tour with white luminaries lining the trail, an Arts and Crafts Bazaar with a Pickers Garden, a parade, an old-fashioned ice cream social, an Art Show, carriage rides and piano concerts. A Taste of the Festival ensures there’s delicious fare for festival-goers.
Step-on guides are available for motorcoach groups.
For more information and this year’s dates, visit charlestonmo.org/festival/events.php.
Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, West Plains
Groups are invited to celebrate old-time music and Ozark Highlands culture the third weekend in June.
Old-time music is performed both days at the festival site, which stretches from the grounds of the West Plains Civic Center and along East Main Street. The main stage features regional artists, while the other stage presents up-and-coming musicians. Other events include a beard competition, jig dance competition, square dancing, and artisan demonstrations of quilting, pottery and other crafts. There are street performers, a bucket brigade, mule jump and fiddler’s frolic.
It’s not surprising this festival has been recognized as an ABA Top 100 Event. Get planning at oldtimemusic.org.
Christmas Traditions, St. Charles
Come the holiday season, groups converge on this old city just west of St. Louis to enjoy Christmas characters, carolers, outstanding shopping and dining, and decorations along the brick streets of the Historic District. At Pancakes in the Park, you’ll get to rub elbows with some of the festival favorites and eat all the pancakes and sausage you want on two Sunday mornings. Three evenings are set aside for A Yuletide Dinner at the Old Stone Chapel, where a buffet meal and music are just the beginning of a jolly evening. Secure your seats early, as both these events sell out every year.
Free events include the opening ceremony, tree-lighting ceremony and Santa Parade. Christmas Traditions begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues to Christmas Eve. Begin planning at discoverstcharles.com/events/christmas-traditions.
Ozark Mountain Christmas, Branson
This event is so large it needs two full months. There’s no waiting for Thanksgiving to kick off this holiday tradition that has been providing merriment for more than 25 years. As the Live Music Show Capital of the World, Branson is known for its line-up of themed shows and special performances morning, noon and night. From gospel and country to comedy and current hits, Branson theaters offer Christmas shows for every interest.
In addition to shows, a whole host of Missouri festivals make Branson a holiday favorite. With the Ozark Mountains as a backdrop, Branson’s Christmas Lights are awesome. The Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City theme park features 6.5 million lights and 1,000 decorated trees. The lights that illuminate Branson Landing are lovely. And there’s no shortage of shopping opportunities in Branson. Boutiques, specialty stores and outlet malls give visitors plenty of opportunities to work on their Christmas lists. Veterans Homecoming Weekend, Adoration Celebration and a Christmas parade are all part of Ozark Mountain Christmas. Consider a ride into the mountains on Branson Scenic Railway’s Polar Express.
Begin your yuletide planning at explorebranson.com/christmas.
If you’d like more great group travel ideas in Missouri, check out the Missouri Group Tour Guide and be sure to Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel to stay up to date with our latest travel news.