The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., will celebrate its 27th year June 3 and 4, 2022. The annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks’ music and culture. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission to all festival events is free.

For more than 25 years, friends and neighbors have volunteered to bring a celebration to West Plains – a celebration of the distinctive music and folkways of the region. This year’s event is especially meaningful following two years of canceled/modified events and activities, and points to a brighter future.

Music on the outside main stage and civic center theater stages begins at noon and runs through at least 9 p.m. The lineup this year promises great performances all day by groups dedicated to their craft. Artist information is available on the website 2022 Performers | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Workshops begin at noon in the Dogwood Rooms.  Fiddle, banjo, harmonica, button box and dulcimer are among the offerings this year. 2022 Festival Workshops | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Artisans and demonstrators will be located on the West Civic Center lawn in our Artisan Village. Flintknappers, basket making, spinning and weaving, gourd art, Native American beadwork, and even a rendezvous mercantile are featured this year. Artisans/Demonstrators 2022 | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

The Mule Jump Competition will take place on the corner of East Main and Curry Sts., with a demonstration planned for 4 p.m. and the competition at 7 p.m. Three categories (sizes) of mules will compete for over $600 in cash prizes. A Mules of the Ozarks discussion and storytelling is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Magnolia Room. 2022 Events and Activities | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

The National Bob Holt Jig Dance Competition will be held in the theater at 2 p.m., with registration open at 1:30 p.m. There are four age categories, and each dancer competes to the same tune played by live musicians. Come try out your fancy steps. $400 in prize money, plus gift certificates, will be awarded. Come watch this unique dance style. Jig Dance Competition | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival  A special on-site interview with Jig emcee Cathy Marriott will be held at noon in the Magnolia Room.

Traditional square dancing, where the caller is part of the square, will take place both evenings from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m., featuring a great lineup of musicians and hosted by Andy and Jane Elder. Square Dancing | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

The Cooking Stage will be located under the Brush Arbor in the Civic Center circle drive. Opening at 1 p.m. and continuing through 5 p.m., each day is filled with interesting dishes and discussions. The 2022 theme is “Ozarks Comfort Food – Dutch Oven Cooking?” Pie competition entries are due in the Redbud Room between 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Results of the judging will be announced at 12:45 at the Cooking Stage, followed by samples! Cooking Stage 2022 | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

Bucket Brigade teams will form and compete at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. near the Children’s Activities location on the East lawn. Look for the fire house and line up your teams! Children’s Activities, sponsored by the West Plains Boys and Girls Club, will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Children’s Activities | Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival

More than eighty booths promise a wide assortment of products, information on local organizations, and demonstrations of traditional arts; and include food concessions offering everything from shave ice to beans and cornbread. Organizers are grateful for their participation, and thankful that they can provide a venue. These past two years have been especially hard for fundraising – whether non-profit groups or those who earn their primary living through festival-type events.

Fiddlin’ spots are available in three locations toward the western side of the campus, to avoid conflict with the music on stage. Look for the canopies with chairs and strawbales, including the shaded side yard of All Saints Episcopal Church. Open jam times have been scheduled indoors – Dogwood #1 from 10 a.m. till noon both days, and 5 p.m. on Saturday. Check out the theater stage at 5PM Friday for an open jam there as well.

The festival campus runs from St. Louis and East Main throughout the civic center grounds, and includes a block of Curry Street for the mule jump trailers. St. Louis and all other surrounding streets will remain open. There is ample parking in the city lots, and golf carts will be working the parking lots to transport those who might need assistance. Disabled parking is available as marked in the Civic Center west and north lots.

Many thanks to the West Plains Daily Quill for preparing a special Festival Tab each year. Copies were distributed to subscribers, and additional copies are available. More details and photos of artists and events are always included in that Tab.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains.  The 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.

               2022 Festival partners 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 on the festival e-mail info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival

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