More fall fun in the Ozarks: music, fun and festivals amid beautiful autumn scenery

Gainesville resident Rhonda Hardcastle and granddaughter Jade visited the McKenna Family Pumpkin Farm in Forsyth over the weekend.

It’s the time of year when pumpkins, apple cider and crisp, fall air set a tone of festivity in the Ozarks. Listed here are Halloween and fall events that residents can visit or attend this week. Watch the Times each week for an updated list of fall-related events. Those organizing a local fall or Halloween-themed event should contact Jessi Dreckman at or 417-679-4641 to add the event to the listings.


This weekend

Apple Butter Making Days, Friday through Sunday, Mount Vernon 

Apple Butter Making Days, celebrated on the square in Mount Vernon since 1967, will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday this year. The main attraction is the traditional craft of making apple butter using century-old methods in huge copper kettles, many over 100 years old, over open fires. The craft, demonstrated on the southeast corner of the square, begins before dawn each morning and continues throughout the day. Other traditional crafters will also be doing demonstrations throughout the festival. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 9 a.m. each day, and booths and other food vendors open around 9 a.m. each day. Several competitions  will be held including, pedal-tractor races,  pet parade terrapin races, and wiener dog races, plus bubble-gum-blowing, apple-pie-eating, mustache- and beard-growing and husband-calling contests, and the crowning of the Apple Butter Queen. One of the largest parades in the area kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Live country, folk, bluegrass, rock and Christian music will entertain the crowd. For more information, visit or call the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce at 417-466-7654.


Docktoberfest 2017, Saturday, Pontiac

Pontiac’s new craft brewery, Lake Bums Brew Co., along with Pontiac Cove Marina, are co-hosting this year’s Docktoberfest. The event will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Lake Bums Brew Co. location in the red barn on Parrothead Lane in Pontiac. Lake Bums Brew Co. will be handing out free samples of their craft beer and will be selling other beer, wine, soda and water. Live music throughout the day will be performed by Robert “Rice” Voss, Schuyler Van Gilder, Howell Creek Band, Dark Horse, Maris Becket and Half Step Down with special guests Rick Williams and Robin Logue. A free fish fry will be served; organizers ask diners to bring a side dish or dessert to share. This is a family event, and kids are invited to join in on the fun. Face painting, bubbles and sidewalk chalk will be offered to keep the younger guests entertained. 


Fall Art @ the Mill, Saturday and Sunday, Dawt Mill, Tecumseh

The Art at the Mill craft fair at Dawt Mill will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15. A variety of vendors is scheduled to appear, including Carvers for Christ chainsaw artists, paintings by Stacey Mcguiggan, custom-made jewelry, handmade candles, blown-glass artists, Indian Grass Farms with several baked goods, Riveted Ragdoll with metal art and many more. For more information, search for “Fall Art@The Mill” on Facebook, or call Dawt Mill at 417-284-3540.  


Finnigan Farms Scarecrow Fest, Saturday, Fordland

 The Scarecrow Fest at Fordland’s Finnigan Farms will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. The gates open at 10 a.m., and live music starts at 10:30 a.m. A pumpkin and spoon race is scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by a giddy-up race, a pie-eating contest (for ages 12 to 18), and live music again at 12:30 p.m. A water balloon toss will be held at 1 p.m., and a pumpkin hop race will be held at 1:30 p.m. All games will begin with a round for ages 5 to 8, followed by another round for ages 9 to 12, and finally a round for ages 13 to 18. A scarecrow or Halloween mask coloring project will be available for children ages 1 to 4. The event wraps up at 2 p.m. with the winner of the scarecrow contests being announced. Fordland High School FFA will sell tickets for a calf and rabbits. Snowcones, funnel cakes, boiled peanuts and a hotdog lunch will be available for purchase. For more information, search “Finnigan Farms Arena and Stable” on Facebook. 


Glade Top Trail Flaming Fall Revue, Sunday, Ava

The Glade Top Trail Flaming Fall Revue, an Ozarks tradition for decades set at the Caney Picnic Area of Glade Top Trail in the Mark Twain National Forest, will be held Sunday, Oct. 15. This year’s event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a church service. The event includes live music, fall activities, a turkey-calling contest, pumpkin ring toss, dessert auction, pumpkin painting and booths from local artisans, all in a setting offering wide views of Ozarks fall foliage. Organizers say the event also will include opportunities for lots of free family fun.  A meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the choice of a hotdog and chips for $3, brown beans and ham with cornbread for $4 or a slow-cooked pulled pork dinner for $6. Seating will be limited, so those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs. 

Directions from Gainesville: travel north on Highway 5 into Douglas County. Turn left onto A Highway (in Douglas County, not Ozark County) and follow the signs to the Caney picnic area on Glade Top Trail. For more information, visit or call 417-683-4594. 


Halloween Dance Party, Saturday, Mountain Home, Arkansas

The L.C. Sammons Youth Center, a part of Mountain Home Parks and Recreation, is hosting a Halloween dance party from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, for kids in third, fourth and fifth grades only. Entrance cost is $3 for youth center members, and $5 for all others. Snacks and punch will be provided, and a bicycle will be given away. Those attending are encouraged to wear a costume. For more information call 870-424-7275. 


Hollister Grape & Fall Festival, Saturday 

The Hollister Grape & Fall Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 14, on Downing Street in downtown Hollister. The event begins at 9 a.m. with the Color Me Grape 5K, which starts at Hollister City Hall. At 10 a.m., the festival opening and flag ceremony will be held, followed by a performance by the Chinese Acrobats of Shanghai. Live music and a variety of other acts will fill the day, with the event’s main event, the annual big grape stomp, to be held at 3 p.m. Teams of four compete by dancing in barrels of grapes to their favorite tunes in front of a standing-room-only crowd. First- and second-place teams in adult and youth categories win prize packages. More live entertainment fills the schedule in the afternoon and evening, with the event wrapping up around 10 p.m. A wide array of vendors and exhibitors, a petting zoo, street dance and more will be held, and a beer and wine garden provides guests with a place to relax. Admission to the event is free. For more information visit or call the Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce at 417-334-3050. 


Ozarktoberfest, Saturday, West Plains 

Ozarktoberfest will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. at East Towne Village in West Plains. Ozarktoberfest brings homebrewers and the public together to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of West Plains. Adult admission is $20, and kids of all ages are free. The line-up includes live music, food, a homebrewers competition and more. The kid-friendly event will feature hillbilly golf, corn hole, sack races, spoon races, horseshoes and face painting. An after-party featuring live music with Jessamyn Orchard and Dustin Miller on upright bass will be held at Wages Brewing Company from 7 to 10 p.m. No cover charge. For more information, search for “Ozarktoberfest” on Facebook. 


Oz-Con Halloween Party, Saturday, West Plains 

Ozarks Gaming Convention, known as Oz-Con, is hosting a Halloween party at the Avenue Theatre in West Plains at 6 p.m. Saturday. The event is free, but donations are accepted. Everyone is invited to wear Cosplay, and a Cosplay contest will be held with prizes for the winners. The movie concession stand will be open with snacks and drinks for purchase. Organizers say the party will feature a big guest announcement. For more information or to follow along on updates, search “Oz-Con” or “Oz-Con Halloween Party” on Facebook. 



Turkey Trot, Friday and Saturday, Yellville, Arkansas 

The 72nd annual Turkey Trot will be held Friday and Saturday in downtown Yellville. A variety of food and crafters will be set up. The festivities will begin at noon Friday with an opening ceremony. Music and entertainment planned for Friday include the Yellville-Summit Band, the Flippin Band, a lip sync contest for kindergarten through senior students, an illusionist and magician, Mellow Mountain Band and JR and the Allstars. The square closes at 9 p.m. Friday. Saturday kicks off at 7 a.m. with a 5K. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m., followed by music by the Dan Benton Band, the Miss Turkey Trot winners, Possum Holler Fiddlers, an adult lip sync, a performance by the Turning Pointe School of Dance, Buffalo River Cloggers, Malia’s Polynesian Ohana Dance Group and music by Buckshot. The square closes at 10 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit 


Ongoing attractions

Harvest Fest at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, Springfield 

The 207-acre Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park was created to provide education and recreational resources to the Ozarks area, and Harvest Fest is its signature fall event. The farm is open for Harvest Fest from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Activities include hay rides, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a grain train, a cow train, carnival games, pony rides and more. Kids can interact with the farm animals in the barn and corrals, use the pedal tractors and the playground for free. Other activities have a small charge ranging from $1 to $2 for children and $1 to $3 for adults. A haunted “trail of horrors”on Friday and Saturday nights caters to those who want a little spookier experience. Visitors can travel the trail from 6:30 to 10 p.m. those days for a $5 admission fee, which includes a hay ride to the trail. For more information, call the Springfield-Green County Park Board at 417-837-5949, visit or search for “Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park” on Facebook. 


McKenna Family Pumpkin Farm, Forsyth

 The McKenna Family Farm in Forsyth features locally grown pumpkins and other produce, plus an activities area including a bounce pillow, a big-bale hay maze, a two-acre corn maze, a pumpkin bounce house, a huge sand box, pony swings, big hay stack, tricycle race track, baby farm animals, four slides, “gerbil wheels” made from extra large tires, rubber ducky water races, a jump pad and hay rides through the woods. There is no charge to visit the farm to purchase produce, pumpkins, baked goods or fall decorations. General admission for the activities area is $7.50 for those age 3-65, $3.75 for seniors 66 and older; children under 2 are free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit or call 417-593-3459. 


Monster Corn Maze, Cabool 

At this spooky attraction, guests are led deep into a dark forest and into a massive corn maze. Promotional materials say, “Twist, turn and run for your life from the terrors within the maze. Just when you think you’ve made your way out, think again. You’ll have to pass through a three-story haunted house before you reach safety.” General admission is $15 per person; $25 VIP tickets guarantee a specific admission time between 8 and 11 p.m. and allow the buyer to skip waiting in line. The facility only accepts cash at the door, but tickets can be purchased online at with a credit or debit card. Children ages 13 or younger are required to have an adult with them at all times. The Monster Corn Maze is open Fridays and Saturdays from dark through 11 p.m. through Oct. 28. For more information call 417-962-2676 or visit the 


Pythian Castle ghost tours, Springfield 

Ghostly tales will be told while guests tour the early twentieth century castle at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Friday nights (and some Saturdays, check the website or call for more information). The tour lasts about an hour and a half, includes a brief history of the castle. Tickets for the ghost tour are $15 when purchased online at or $16 at the door. For more information or to make reservations visit or call 417-865-1464.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423