Volunteers, Vendors and Artisans sought for 2015 Festival

Volunteers, Vendors, Traditional Artisans Sought For

2015 Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival


WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Old-Time Music, Ozarks Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 21st year Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20. The two-day annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free.


VOLUNTEERS – Organizers come from many different areas of the community, volunteering their time to assure a successful event. There is no paid staff, never has been; and the festival committee spends many hours over the year preparing for it. This year they are placing additional emphasis on volunteer participation and training for the various tasks performed, recognizing that it is a critical element of this success.


Because of the festival’s continued growth, more volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs, organizers said. Volunteers are needed for the information booths (2 hour shifts); helping with set-up on Thursday evening or Friday morning; maintaining the entrance gate for artists on the north side of the Civic Center; as shuttle drivers around the grounds (4 hour shifts, must be 21 or older); and helping with simple residency/opinion surveys.

A drop-in luncheon and volunteer t-shirt pick-up will be held Saturday, May 9, 2015, 11 a.m. till 2 p.m., at the West Plains Civic Center, hosted by the Festival committee.

Volunteer training will be held Monday, June 15, 2015, also at the Civic Center, and will be conducted in segments specific to each area:  Gate training – 5:30 p.m.; Shuttle Drivers – 6:00 p.m.; Information Booth – 6:30 p.m.; and Surveys – 7:00 p.m.

Those interested in helping in any way should contact the West Plains Council on the Arts at info@westplainsarts.org, or call Volunteer Coordinator Dee Lewis at 417-257-5563 or 417-256-6919.  Deadline for volunteer sign-up is May 1, 2015.

Volunteers from previous years are encouraged to call or e-mail to confirm they will be participating again this year, organizers said.  Volunteer sign-up forms are available on the festival website, www.oldtimemusic.org.


BOOTH SPACE AVAILABLE – Organizers said they welcome booths from vendors, 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.  Final approval rests with festival committee members, organizers added.

Booth spaces measure minimum of 10×10-feet.  Space rental fees for the two-day period are $60 for for-profit vendors, $30 for non-profit groups, and $85 plus 10 percent net profit for food vendors.

Booth registration forms are available from Terri Combs, TSCombs@MissouriState.edu or 417-255-7988, or they may be downloaded from the festival website, http://oldtimemusic.org.  Registrations should be mailed by June 1, 2015, to West Plains Council on the Arts, P.O. Box 339, West Plains, MO  65775.

Organizers plan to provide this year’s attendees once again with a diagram/map of the festival grounds, which will be available at the festival information booths.  All on-time registrations will be listed on the diagram with the booth name and specific location on the grounds.

ARTISANS/DEMONSTRATORS – The festival has featured many different material art and craft genres throughout the years.  Most of these arts and crafts originated for entirely utilitarian reasons or to meet basic needs of the region’s early settlers, organizers said.  But 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, festival organizers explained.

Area artisans and demonstrators who are keeping these traditional crafts alive and would like to share their talents with festival goers are encouraged to contact coordinator Emily Gibson at 417-255-7966 or email to info@westplainsarts.org.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands.

2015 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, Missouri State University-West Plains, and Charles and Pam Drago.  Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.


For more information on the festival e-mail info@westplainsarts.org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival