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Missouri Travel Guide

Missouri — Festivals and Events

There’s plenty to do in Missouri from spring through the end of fall, as locals shed the winter doldrums and kick up their heels. Feast on barbecue, listen to music, enjoy the arts, and play like a kid at special festivals all over the state. Besides big name events, you will likely find local street fairs and small town parties most weekends throughout the warm months.

World Festival at Silver Dollar City

Each spring in April or May, Branson’s popular Silver Dollar City amusement park hosts what it claims is the country’s largest international festival. Visitors can enjoy dance, music, food, and entertainment from countries and cultures across the globe.

St Louis Art Fair

At least 150 artists from across American converge on St Louis’ Clayton neighborhood for Missouri’s biggest annual art celebration every September. Original work and creations are on display, many for sale, along with live entertainment, food, and kid-friendly activities.

Ozark Empire Fair

Since 1936, Springfield’s Ozark Empire Fair has been one of Missouri’s most popular annual events. This state fair-style carnival features everything you’d expect including carnival rides, concerts, awesome food, and livestock shows. It runs for several days in late August and early September.

American Royal Barbecue

The planet’s biggest open barbecue competition happens every September at Kansas City’s American Royal Center. Around 500 teams compete to create the tastiest dishes possible with both meat and sauce. With big prize money at stake, the grilling is taken very seriously. As a spectator, you get the luxury of watching the masters in action and the chance to sample a few of the goodies.

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

For seven weekends every fall, Kansas City goes medieval with one of the region’s most popular Olde World fairs. Beginning on Labor Day weekend, Bonner Springs transforms into a realm of knights in armor, jesters, maidens, and other colorful characters. Each weekend, 500 costumed people take part in jousting, period music, food, and endless other fun for families, kids and anyone with a love for fantasy.

Ranch Rodeo

Kansas City’s American Royal Center is the site of Missouri’s big rodeo event each October. The popular western event is held in the Kemper Arena every year. Enjoy watching calf-roping, bucking broncos, bull riding, and races of horsemanship. 

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