Ozark Or­chard Festival Ex­ceeds Or­ga­niz­ers’ Ex­pec­ta­tions

LIVE MU­SIC, FREE FOOD HIGH­LIGHT GOOD­MAN EVENT

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Sally Car­roll

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.

Sally Car­roll/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS

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.

SALLY CAR­ROLL/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS

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.

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