The 2022 Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival was deemed a great success by artists, artisans, vendors, and attendees alike! It was wonderful to see the camaraderie of the artists – even though each of them share the music all year long, it’s not very often that they are able to play the same event. What a great support system they have!

The steering committee for the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival would like to thank everyone who was involved in any way with this year’s event.  The event was welcomed by our community as always. The Festival is the culmination of lots of planning and preparation, but without community support and assistance, it would not happen.   The people who volunteer their time in one segment or another are the reason we are able to provide this free experience each year, working toward celebrating and preserving the distinctive culture of the Ozark Highlands. What a blessing to live where there is such great support for this City of West Plains signature event!

Music radiated from the outside and theater stages both days, and our folkways artisans demonstrated traditional crafts.    Our Cooking Stage was a great mix of storytelling, sharing, and Dutch oven presentations. Workshops were well-attended, and we’re grateful to each one who performed or presented at this event. Jig Dance and Mule Jump competitions had great attendance again this year. We returned to two nights of old-time square dancing next year, pairing seasoned dancers with novices, demonstrating this great tradition once again.

The Pie Competition brought lots of entries, and we all enjoyed sampling the pie submissions. The Bucket Brigade and Children’s Activities areas boasted record crowds for their respective activities. While we did not have the traditional Quilt Show, Cindy McLean provided a sampling of the quilts worked on during the festivals of years past, and JudyJo Protiva demonstrated with her treadle sewing machine on the mezzanine.

To our artists, sound techs, emcees, booth workers, survey takers, cart drivers, and all those who worked in the public eye and behind the scenes – THANK YOU!  Each one of you who contributed your time and effort is appreciated.  Special thanks to our new logistics team who provided set-up and tear-down labor, aided by the good folks at Howell Rural Fire Department.  

Thank you to our Festival partners:  West Plains Council on the Arts, Missouri State University-West Plains, the City of West Plains, the West Plains Civic Center, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the Missouri Arts Council.  Your financial, technical, and in-kind support is invaluable.  Additionally, thanks to the many individuals from each of these organizations who contributed their personal time. 

We appreciate our sponsors who generously gave so that we can continue to provide an outstanding free-of-charge event for our community. Event sponsors included Hirsch Feed and Farm Supply, Aid Downtown Antiques, and The Fish Shack. Pickin’ Circle sponsor The Media Arts Center; Dance Circle Sponsors – Howell Rural Fire Dept. #2, K-Kountry 95 & The Train, KSMU Radio, Robert I. Leonard, DVM, Ozark Marketing, and South Central Golf Equipment; Whittlin’ Circle Sponsors – Holiday Inn Express, Renewal by Andersen, South Howell County Ambulance, and West Plains Bank and Trust; Quiltin’ Circle Sponsor – Meek’s the Builders Choice; Other donors – All Saints Episcopal Church, West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce, West Plains Optimists Club, and West Plains R-7 School District.

Special thanks to our official print media sponsor. the West Plains Daily Quill, for their coverage before and after the event, and for the wonderful program book provided to our guests. We also want to thank the other media outlets who provided Festival coverage – Ozark Area Network and KHOM/K-KOUNTRY.

Thank you especially to our Festival Steering Committee members who devote hundreds of hours throughout the year to the planning and execution of this Festival.  Your ongoing commitment to its success and growth are essential. 

Hoping for an even better event next year – mark your calendars for June 2 and 3, 2023!