Fun and colorful fall events continue throughout area

Gentry Blackburn (in the chef’s hat) along with her parents, Walker and Beth Ann Blackburn, hand out treats from the Frontier Baptist Church trunk to trick-or-treaters Paul Goodwin, left, and Emmett Lynne at last year’s Trunk or Treat on the Gainesville square. This year’s trunk-or-treat is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween. Times file photo.

It’s that 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 in the coming weeks. 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 throughout all three days. For more information, visit or call the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce at 417-466-7654.


Docktoberfest 2018, Saturday, Pontiac

Lake Bums Brew Co. in Pontiac will host Docktoberfest from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the brewery on Parrothead Lane in Pontiac. The six bands scheduled to provide a full lineup of musical entertainment include Rick Williams, the Traveling Troubadours, the Howell Creek Band, Rio, Half Step Down and Maris Beckett. The event will be family friendly, and kids’ fun will include face painting, slime making, pumpkin carving and more. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. 

A dinner of fried fish, pulled pork, slaw, beans, dessert and tea or lemonade will be served from 3 to 8 p.m. Cost for the dinner is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 and under, and must be paid for with cash or check. 

Wine, soda, water, specialty drinks and their own handcrafted beers, including a new seasonal brew, Spicy Jack Pumpkin Ale, can be purchased inside the brewery with cash, check or credit/debit cards. Organizers say the brewery is expanding its licensed area for the event to create a bigger outdoor seating area, and therefore no coolers or outside alcohol will be allowed anywhere on the premises. 


Ozarktoberfest, Saturday, West Plains 

The fifth annual Ozarktoberfest will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at East Towne Village in West Plains. Ozarktoberfest brings homebrewers and the public together to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of West Plains. 

Food vendors include Annie’s Hot Dog cart with brats and hotdogs, the Ozarks Catering with German fare, the 37th Judicial Circuit CASA group providing a hot wings competition and the West Plains Area Farmers market with pretzels and more. 

Live music will include Jared Painter at 1 p.m. and the Ozark County band Creek Stink at 4 p.m. A historical beer hayride has been added this year. The hayride includes a history presentation by Jason McCollom and Jim McFarland, and guests may bring their beverages along for the ride. Kids and designated drivers ride the historical hayride for free. Adults pay $15, which includes beer and a souvenir cup. 

The kid-friendly event will feature a “kinderzone,”which includes supervised and unsupervised activities and fun for kids, including an obstacle course, firefighters sack races, acrobats, face painting, a presentation by Blink of an Eye Illusions from 2 to 4 p.m., an escape room area by the Escape Room of West Plains from noon to 4 p.m., a photo booth, bag toss, giant Jenga, an unsupervised area to play Frisbee and other games and much more. Kids must be accompanied by an adult or other caretaker. The kinderzone is not a babysitting service. 

For more information, visit or search for “Ozarktoberfest” on Facebook. 


Turkey Trot, Friday and Saturday, Yellville, Arkansas 

The 73rd 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, child and adult lip sync contests, a turkey gobble contest and music by The Welcome Ridge Band. The square closes at 9 p.m. Friday. Saturday kicks off at 10 a.m. with the introduction of the Miss Turkey Trot/Miss Drumsticks contestants and crowning of the winner, a performance by the Buffalo River Cloggers, the Dan Benton Band and performances by the Turning Point School of Dance and the Polynesian Ohana Dance Group. A turkey trot street dance will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The square closes at midnight Saturday. An Oktoberfest tent, sponsored by the Rotary Club, will be open from noon to 9 p.m. each day and will feature music, beer, bratwurst and other German-type food, a photo booth and a chicken dance. For more information, visit 


Next weekend


Mark Twain Carnival, Rueter, Friday, Oct. 19

Mark Twain Elementary School will host its fall carnival Friday, Oct. 19. The event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with bingo and a chili supper, served by donation. A concession stand will also have funnel cakes for purchase. At 5:30 p.m. a variety of games will open, and at 7 p.m. the king and queen coronation and live auction will be held. The live auction features items for bid, including two Jason Aldean concert tickets with meet-and-great passes, Branson show tickets, a load of gravel, a veggie bullet, a compact drill/driver set and more. Classroom basket raffles will also be offered with themes including candy, Christmas, move/game night, Pioneer Woman, and fishing. The event is open to all kids and adults, not just Mark Twain students and families. For more information call the school at 417-785-4323.


Rescheduled Spirit movie night at Gainesville Saddle Club Grounds, Saturday, Oct. 20

As a thank you to the community for its help after the 2017 flood, the Gainesville Saddle Club is planning a community movie night at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the saddle club grounds. The club will show the movie Spirit, an animated story about a horse in the Old West, on a large inflatable screen. The community event is free and open to everyone. Organizers suggest bringing a blanket or lawn chairs for seating. The event was rescheduled from its original date last weekend due to technical difficulties with the projector.

The saddle club’s cook shack will be open for purchase of burgers, hot dogs, chili pies, nachos and drinks beginning at 5:30 p.m..


Haunting in the Hollows of Galloway Park, West Plains, Saturday, Oct. 20

The 12th annual Haunting in the Hollows at Galloway Creek Nature Park in West Plains will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. The free, family-friendly Halloween event will feature special activities each hour. The event will feature pony rides, an escape room, a chicken chase, face painting, arts and craft booths, a petting zoo, a cupcake walk, cookie creations, kids games, lots of prizes, goat rides, pet costume contest and an agility run. For those who are looking for creepy crawlies and other animals, Fishland is bringing live snakes and spiders for visitors to see, the Dickerson Park Zoo will have their Animal Tales show and a Born to Be Wild presentation featuring a live New Guinea singing dog, a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a Sudan plated lizard, a tree frog and a pine snake. Everything is free. There is no extra charge for games and activities. For more information, call West Plains City Hall at 417-256-7176 or search for “Haunting in the Hollows” on Facebook.


Glade Top Trail Flaming Fall Revue, Sunday, Oct. 21, 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. 21. This year’s event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a church service. The event includes live music throughout the day by Missy Breshears, Jam Dandy Band, Bethany Caudill and Centerline. Fall activities, a turkey-calling contest, pumpkin ring toss, dessert auction, pumpkin painting and booths from local artisans will be featured 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. 



Oct. 27, 2018


Oak Grove Church family day hayride & BBQ, Wasola, Saturday, Oct. 27

Oak Grove Church will host a family day featuring hay rides and a BBQ beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Games and other fun will also be included. The church is located about 15 miles north of Gainesville on Highway 5. Everyone is invited to join in on the fun. For more information, call Mike Vlad at 720-205-0790.


Halloween night


Bakersfield trunk-or-treat

Bakersfield’s trunk-or-treat will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Pride Park Pavilion. Those handing out candy can set up as early as 4:30 p.m. Fun for all ages is planned, and prizes will be awarded for the best decorated trunk.


Lutie School Trunk-or-Treat, Theodosia

Lutie School will host trunk-or-treat from 5 to 6 p.m. in the school parking lot. Community members, organizations and school clubs are encouraged to participate in handing out candy. Those who plan to hand out candy are asked to contact the school at 417-273-4150 beforehand to make arrangements. 


Ozark County’s annual Trunk-or-Treat on the Gainesville square

 Ozark County’s eighth annual Trunk-or-Treat will be held on the Gainesville square from 6 to 8 p.m. Area residents are encouraged to participate in passing out candy from their decorated car trunks. Sign-up is not required to pass out candy; just show up before 5:45 p.m., when the square will be roped off and closed to traffic.  

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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