Ozark Orchard Festival ‘Outstanding’
The crowd was so hungry that His Table Ministry volunteers ran out of smoked chicken and pulled pork at the Ozark Orchard Festival on Saturday.
Volunteers worked hard to prepare and serve up a free lunch, giving away the smoked chicken and pulled pork until it was gone, in addition to 200 hamburgers and 300 hot dogs.
Goodman Mayor Greg Richmond estimates that approximately 500 to 700 people attended the festival on Saturday at the Goodman ballpark.
That estimate is conservative; others believe the number might be closer to 1,000 people who came to experience the family-friendly event.
Richmond said the success could be attributed to numerous volunteers, vendors and all those who helped see the festival to fruition.
“The festival went great,” Richmond said. “It was outstanding. We had a good crowd and good weather. We thank all the sponsors, all the contributors, the volunteers — those who are seen and those who are not seen.”
The event, which took place on Saturday at the Goodman
ballpark, featured bouncy houses, a 50/50 pot and petting zoo, games, vendor booths, free food and live music.
The city of Goodman hosts the festival each year to bring the community together. This year’s event was the third annual festival.
The city received a great deal of support with donations in checks and items, Richmond said.
Cornerstone Bank and First Community Bank each contributed a sizable donation toward the festival. Nearly every Goodman business, as well as several in Neosho, donated goods to be auctioned or other items for the festival, Richmond said.
The festival — held on the last Saturday of each September — is a way to connect neighbors and encourage families to come out and let their children have fun.
The festival also celebrates the heritage of the area, which was known for acres and acres of apples and provided a great economic impact, Richmond said.
For Linda “Granny” Gill, the festival was fun and entertaining. Gill was one of several people to donate goods for the auction at Saturday’s festival. She was amazed at the bid amounts on her baked goods, which she said went for “high dollar.”
On Saturday, Richmond walked around during the festival, visiting with numerous neighbors who came down to the ballpark.
He spoke with several people who were glad the city hosted the event.
“People were having a great time, enjoying the food and fellowship,” he said.
In the future, organizers hope to create more foot traffic with a truck show or tractor show, along with more games for the children, Richmond said.
Long-term, festival officials hope to raise enough money to give Goodman children an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
“We want to work toward putting some playground equipment to benefit the kids down at the ballpark,” Richmond said.