Ozark Orchard Festival Exceeds Organizers’ Expectations
LIVE MUSIC, FREE FOOD HIGHLIGHT GOODMAN EVENT
When Goodman Mayor Greg Richmond started the Ozark Orchard Festival three years ago, he hoped to bring the community together for some good, clean fun.
With live music, a free lunch and activities for children, he and the festival committee wanted to create a fun-filled day for all neighbors.
“We want people to come and let the kids play, sit and listen to music, and not have to spend a lot of money,” Richmond said.
The committee has met — and exceeded — that goal.
With a variety of activities planned, the committee will roll out the fun for the third annual festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Goodman ball field.
From bouncy houses to a 50/50 pot and petting zoo, organizers are lining up games and activities for neighbors of all ages.
As in years past, food, games and live music will be part of the family-friendly, fun event.
Organizers also hope to have vendors on hand. Those who attend will have the opportunity to enjoy a free lunch. Other concessions will be available for a fee, Richmond said.
His Table Ministry will offer free
chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers, Richmond said. The lunch is free but donations will be accepted.
Volunteers are prepared to grill 500 pounds of chicken, he added.
The festival celebrates the heritage of the area, which was known for acres and acres of apples and provided a great economic impact, said Mayor Richmond. The event is a great way of bringing the community together for a day of fun, he said.
In the future, organizers hope to create more foot traffic with a car show and a tractor show. Organizers also are trying to market the festival as a unique get-together to garner more community support. Long-standing festivals, such as Apple Butter Days in Mount Vernon, tend to gain momentum over the years and attract folks from a wide radius. As the Ozark Orchard Festival grows each year, Richmond hopes to build the tradition and attract more people.
Still, the early beginnings have proven the festival has made a strong statement.
“We’ve done really well,” Richmond said. “We’re more than happy with our participation.”
Volunteers have been working hard to nail down details and logistics for the day. The weather looks to be cooperating, and Richmond hopes organizers will not have to rely on the Oct. 6 rain date.
Several volunteers, including city employees, work hard to make the festival happen, Richmond said.
“They do a lot of work behind the scenes. There’s no way I could do this by myself,” he said.
Long-term, festival officials hope to raise enough money to purchase playground equipment at the Goodman ballpark.
As part of an ongoing candy sale, a variety of candy bars and lollipops are available at city hall. Candy bars are offered for $1 and $2, depending on the kind, as well as 50-cent lollipops.
Richmond believes having a goal, such as the playground equipment, helps market the festival.
Neighbors enjoy coming to the festival to let their children have fun while they have a great lunch and visit with others.
“It’s a community effort,” he said.
Volunteers are needed to help with the festival, from serving food to helping with children’s activities to providing musical entertainment.
For information, or to volunteer, call City Hall at 417-364-7316.
Sophia Spencer, the great-granddaughter of Goodman Mayor Greg and Rhonda Richmond, takes a closer look at her new “tattoo” during the Ozark Orchard Festival last year.
Goodman alderwoman Alice Kezar (left) and former city clerk Paula Brody take a moment to pause while volunteering at the Ozark Orchard Festival in Goodman last year.