“Remembering West Plains”, storytelling on the square will be featured at this year’s Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, MO. Programs will be held on the northeast Courthouse lawn at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Chairs in the shade will be available for this event. No sign-up is required.

The two-day annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4.

You must hear the stories to understand West Plains, Missouri. At first glance, it seems to be just an ordinary little town where generations of people have lived their lives. But look closer. The Howell County Court House on the Square has stood as a silent witness to many years of life here in the Ozarks. Memories, sometimes proud, happy, and humorous.; sometimes terrifying, heartbreaking, and tragic. Listen. Look. The past is all around you.

A wedding in a hardware store. An explosion that made headlines of newspapers nation-wide. A rally of Union and Confederate sympathizers that turned into a stand-off. Terror during the Civil War. A woman who baked 460,000 pies. A barnstorming stunt plane that crashed through a store.  Colonel Torrey and his grand plan called Fruitville. Jim the Wonderdog. Folks who left to become famous. Uncle Wash.

The presenter will be life-long native of the Ozarks, Danette House. Retired educator and avid lover of history,  House taught in West Plains for 31 years.  Her Ozark credentials go back to her three-times great-grandfather, Washington P. Hawkins (Uncle Wash) whose family moved to Ozark County near the North Fork of the White River in 1837. He described West Plains as “just a blackjack log house, occupied by a man named Howell.” Wash served in the Union Army and later called West Plains his home. His experiences and others will help you see this place that is home.

2022 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, Missouri State University-West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the West Plains Civic Center.  Partial funding for this event is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

                For more information on the festival e-mail, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at

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