June 19th & 20th, 2015 
"The Signature Event For West Plains, Missouri
For updated Festival Information and Schedule of Events

Come celebrate Old Time Music and the unique culture of the Ozark Highlands in West Plains, Missouri on June 14 and 15, 2013. Different from its rural counterparts, bluegrass and country, old time music has its distinctive sound and makes its own important contribution to the complex palette of what we call indigenous American music.  Musicians, artisans, and storytellers from throughout the state come to the festival in enthusiastic support of creating a place to listen, watch, interact and honor the old time traditions of our southern Ozarks communities.
(888)256-8835 or (417)256-8835
mailto:infor@westplainsarts.org  or
Click here to view: Festival Facebook page

              For more information about the festival, visit http://www.oldtimemusic.org/ .  Facebook users are encouraged to “like” the “Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival”  page for up to date information.  


7th  Annual Mule Jump 

Mule Jump 
  • Saturday, June 20th - Demonstration at 11AM - Competition at 3PM
  • Corner of East Main and South Curry Streets
  • Water and ample space for trailers will be available
  • Competition in two classes: below and above 52"
  • Standard Missouri rules will apply
  • Prizes in each class: $100 - 1st, $75 - 2nd, $50 - 3rd
  • Pre-registration is recommended but not required; participants should check in on-site by 2:30 PM
  • To pre-register or for general information, please call festival staff member Matt Meacham at (417) 372-3177.For information about policies and procedures, call mule jump coordinator Richie Dement at (573) 648-2524.
    All trainers of jumping mules are invited to participate in the Fifth Annual Mule Jump competition. Mule jumping, that most Missourian of Missouri folk arts, developed when hunters began training mules to jump over fences so that they did not have to interrupt the hunt to locate a gate.  It became a competitive event unto itself, and mule jumping contests began to take place at county fairs and town picnics throughout much of the rural Southeast and Midwest, especially Missouri.
    Wall Street Journal Video on 2011 Mule Jump

Thirteenth  Annual Jig Dance Competition Jig Dancer

The National Bob Holt Old-Time Jig Dance Competition will take place  in the West Plains Civic Center Theater.

  • Contact Kathleen Morrissey at (417) 293-7751 or info@westplainsarts.org
    Each year, the Bob Holt Jig Dance Competition is enjoyed by hundreds of spectators and contestants. It is free to compete and free to attend.
Fiddlers’ Frolic -Fiddlers Frolic Fiddlers, other instrumentalists and those who like to listen to good, toe-tapping fiddle music are invited to the Fiddlers’ Frolic during the Festival, in the West Plains Civic Center theater. The Fidders’ Frolic gives participating fiddlers an opportunity to select and lead tunes in an open jam session.  It focuses principally on traditional fiddling found in this region, but “traditional” is defined broadly and flexibly, coordinator Matt Meacham said, and fiddlers of all backgrounds, stylistic orientations and skill levels are welcome to participate.

One of the goals of the Fiddlers’ Frolic is to help conserve and perpetuate old-time tunes and techniques and fiddlers of all kinds are encouraged to join in.  Banjoists, guitarists and other instrumentalists are welcome to provide accompaniment.

For more information about The Fiddlers' Frolic, contact Meacham at 417-372-3177 or matthewmeacham@missouristate.edu, or the West Plains Council on the Arts at 417-255-1813 or email:  info@westplainsarts.org 

11th Annual "What's Cookin' Stage"

The Cookin' Stage presents "old time" dishes along with stories about how they were prepared, and in some cases, why they were prepared. In the past, demonstrators have used recipes handed down through generations to show festival goers how to create such traditional Ozark dishes as blackberry and peach cobblers, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, chocolate gravy, fresh-churned butter, jams and jellies, homemade bread and donuts, a Dutch oven breakfast, even the rendering of lard, a staple of old-time cooking.

The stage also has featured recipes using wild game, but none have become more synonymous with the festival than West Plains' resident Pauline Anderson's recipe for squirrel pot pie. Since its introduction to the stage in 2009, festival goers have clamored for a taste and repeatedly asked for its return to the menu every year since! It even garnered praise from Chef Anthony Bourdain, who featured it on his Travel Channel show "No Reservations" during a season seven visit to the Ozarks. Harden said the featured recipe was "Squirrel Pot Pie."

  • Samples of all the food made at the stage are offered free of charge to festival goers.
  • Watch step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a favorite recipe.
  • Any and all questions about the dishes will be answered.

Stories are gathered from presenters and the audience (as cooking and eating samples always prompts discussions.)

4th Annual Dutch Oven Cooking Competition Dutch Oven
The competition  is sponsored by the Ozark Mountain Long Rifles. Seasoned masters of Ozarks Dutch Oven cookery will be asked to try their hand at main dishes and/or desserts made from scratch in this annual event, organizers said. There will be no entry fee for participants. The competition will be held in and around the club's living history area near the front of the civic center.  Prizes will be awarded to first,second and third place finishers. Audience members are encouraged to sample the chefs' results following the awards ceremony.  Contact Harry McKee at (417) 372-3275 for more information about this event and how to enter. Click here for the
Dutch Oven Entry form.

Quilt Show - June 19-20, 9 am-7 pm.
 Some of the most beautiful and practical items of Ozark Life will once again be on display in Magnolia Room of the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis Street.
OTMF Quilt Show
  • The Southern Belle Grandmothers Club of West Plains will host their 10th annual quilt show in conjunction with the festival, and organizers encourage area residents and quilt enthusiasts to bring their favorite quilts to display. The quilt show was first held in 2005 in the historic Butler Building on Washington Avenue and joined the festival in 2006 as an annual featured exhibit. It showcases all types of quilts, individually made, group quilted, hand-pieced, hand-quilted, machine-pieced or quilted, or any combination. Those visiting the show are given stickers to vote for their selection for the People's Choice Award announced at the end of the exhibit. Those wishing to display a quilt should drop it off during set-up the evening of June 19 or early morning June 20. All participants are asked to pin a note on their quilts that tells the story of its maker, use or other history of the piece. "Every quilt has a story, and sharing that is part of the festival mission," organizers said.  Southern Belle Grandmothers Club Chapter No. 1011 is a member of the National Federation of Grandmothers Clubs of  America, a non-profit organization that supports charitable projects relating to cures for children's cancer. The local chapter supports Ronald McDonald Houses of Missouri and St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., as well as addresses local needs of children's groups. As part of their fundraising efforts, club members offer a handmade quilt each year. This year's "Green Delight" quilt was machine embroidered by Wanda Hunter and will be exhibited at the festival. It will be given away in October. Registration information for the giveaway will be available at the festival, organizers said. Help setting up the exhibit is always appreciated, organizers said. Those wishing to lend a hand should contact Barbara Butler at 417-256-6184 or Cheryl Kuschel at 417-257-1067.

    Artisans and Crafters - Visitors to the Festival will see a host of artisans and craftsmen demonstrating the skills that created many of the practical items used by early settlers of the Ozarks region. The festival has featured many different material art and craft genres throughout the years.  Most originated for entirely utilitarian reasons or to meet basic needs of the region’s early settlers. As a result of regional economic changes, especially increased availability of manufactured goods since the mid 20th century, these arts and crafts are no longer practical necessities; however, many talented artisans and craftsmen in the Ozarks continue to practice them both as outlets for their creativity and as means of celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage.




    Material artisans and craftsmen participating in this year’s festival include:

    • Steve and Debbie Uhlmann, Drury, Mo., oak basket makers;
    • Pam Wright, West Plains, beekeeping and beeswax candle making;

    • Butch Stone, Ava, bow maker;

    • Members of Country Heritage Spinners and Weavers, Ava, fiber arts;

    • Members of Pride of the Ozarks Goat Breeders Club/John Maruska, West Plains, goats and goat information;

    • Hutton Valley Quilters/Cindy McLean, Pomona, quilts and quilting and hands-on activities;

    • Larry Dablemont, Bolivar, jon boat building;

    • Garry Gammon, Sparta, leather work;

    • Nizhoni Ways/The Falcon Family, Springfield, Native American culture and dance;

    • Older Iron Club/John Simpson, West Plains, antique tractors and equipment;

    • Ozark Luthiers/Cecil Carroll, West Plains, stringed instrument maker;

    • Ozark Mountain Long Rifles/John Bill Murrell, West Plains, living history exhibit/rendezvous;

    • Pamela Dattilo, West Plains, handmade jewelry;

    • Possum Trot Crafts/Marian Belt, Caulfield, barn wood painting;

    • Scroll Saw Association of the World/Gene Jamtgaard, West Plains, scrollsaw art;

    • Shawnee Creek Mandolins/Mike Holmes, Eminence, mandolin building;

    • Members of the Southern Belle Grandmothers Club, West Plains, quilt show;

    • Sweet Woods Instruments/David Lynch, Warrensburg, Mo., dulcimer and folk harp building;

    • Members of the West Plains Area Farmers Market, farmers’ market vendors.

    Major sponsors include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center and Missouri State University-West Plains.  Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. For more information about the festival, visit www.oldtimemusic.org . Facebook users are encouraged to “like” the “Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival” page for up to the minute information.


    Vendors: Sign-up is underway for vendors who would like to sell their wares at the Festival. Organizers welcome booths that keep with the historic theme of the event.  Space is available for non-profit groups, businesses, school fund-raising efforts, churches, civic groups, public officials and individuals; however, in the event of duplicate offerings, first consideration will be given to early registrants.  Booth spaces measure 10x15-feet.  Space rental fees for the two-day period are $60 for for-profit vendors, $30 for non-profits, and $95 plus 10 percent net profit for food vendors.

    Organizers plan to provide this year's vendors with a diagram/map of the festival grounds, which will be available at the information booths.  All early registrations will be listed on the diagram with the vendor's name and specific location.

    Lodging, Camping, RV Parks

    If you're looking for a place to stay during this year's festival, check out the lodging and camping and rv parks on this website.