2015 Exhibits/Activities

New to the Festival this year are several events/activities that you’ll want to be sure to see.  Links to more detailed information are provided.

2015 Youth Musical Talent Competition Logo

Youth Musical Talent Competition




Dutch Oven Workshop and Competition



Treadle Sewing Machine Demonstration –

This year, as an added feature, Judy Jo Protiva, co-owner of Peace Valley Poultry, will be demonstrating treadle sewing machine use on the mezzanine of the West Plains Civic Center from noon to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, along with friends who have offered to help. JudyJo is a wife, mother, and grandmother, who started using treadle sewing machines in the early 1980s. It had been a dream of hers, and she was finally able to find a suitable machine.

Before she worked the kinks out of her beginning style, she started sewing pants for an exercise group. That, together with her delight in sewing for others and herself, put her learning into high gear. She only sewed for the group for a few months, but continued sewing on the treadle. Soon the wheel would hum as it rotated smoothly, the needle sewing creations.

A year or two later she sewed a tipi with her machine. She bought the canvas from a canvas company in Denver and sewed yards and yards of double seams, forming the fabric into a tipi cover. On the day she celebrated raising it, she met Jim Protiva, the man of her dreams, and they married 1½ years later.

JudyJo had always wanted to sew for her own children, and soon there were four children. Sometimes she would sew into the night to make the dresses and shirts for her family, a quicker process when it was quiet. Her oldest, Beth, remembers hearing the sound of the whirr of the treadle machine as she went to sleep. As these children grew up playing on and with the treadle, they developed a natural rhythm with it, until when they were old enough to sew, they could handle the machine efficiently.

To JudyJo, the treadle not only represents a means of productivity, but also a sense of nurturing and caring for others that is passed down through the generations. JudyJo hopes to be sewing on the quilt for her granddaughter, Laura, during the demonstration.

Come visit and learn more about these machines which are still used in many places today.


A treadle is a part of a machine which is operated by the foot to produce reciprocating or rotary motion in a machine such as a sewing machine, weaving loom, grinder, powering water pumps, or to turn wood lathes, to name a few. They allow human power of machinery without the need for electricity. Many of the early sewing machines were powered by a treadle mechanism. The treadle was operated by pressing down on it with a foot, or both feet, to cause a rocking movement. This movement spins a large wheel on the treadle frame, connected by a thin leather belt to smaller driving wheels on the sewing machine.



Miniature Horses and Petting Zoo –

Loren Cockrum and Jenny Kiest of West Plains will have miniature horses and a petting zoo, to be located in the parking area at the Southeast corner of the West Plains Civic Center.



Back for a second act:



Haromonica Gathering with Seth Shumate

It’s been called a French harp, a mouth harp, a blues harp and a mouth organ, but its proper name is harmonica, and it will be the featured instrument of a demonstration and workshop 1-2 p.m., Saturday, June 20, at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival.

Nearly everyone has wished they could play the harmonica, organizers said, and for those who are old enough, their wish began with what was once called a horse opera.  In those thrilling days of yesteryear, no bona-fide Western movie would be without its lonesome cowpoke, a nightrider, soothing the little doggies with a tune on his pocket harmonica.  It’s a vision etched into the head of every old Gunsmoke or John Wayne fan.

Those who are younger may have caught the yearning to play the blues harp when they listened to Bob Dylan or wondered what that whiney little bent note thing was that John Lennon was playing on “Love Me Do”.

Neither John Wayne, the lonesome cowpoke, Bob Dylan or the Beatles will be appearing at the festival, but the harmonica will during a gathering that will give festival goers a chance to celebrate, learn about, and possibly learn how to play the diatonic, 10-note harmonica, organizers said.

The gathering will be hosted by Seth Shumate, an Arkansas native whose grandfather and great-grandmother played the instrument all their adult lives.  Shumate said he acquired the habit in the seventh grade.  Since then he has practiced, studied the history and currently plays with The Ozark Highballers.

Free harmonicas will be provided to the first 70 participants in the gathering.  To learn more about Shumate, search YouTube for Old Time Harmonica.


2014 Festival Bucket Brigade 2

Joe Auffert’s Bucket Brigade

Chief Joe Auffert and friends from the Howell Rural Fire Department will once again provide fun and excitement for all who wish to participate. Young competitors are the focus of this event, but all ages are welcome!


Bucket Brigade competitions will take place at the “fire house” which will be placed near the corner of East Main and Walnut Streets.  Events are scheduled for 11 a.m., 3, 5, and 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.


2014 Festival Dog Demo

Kennel Club Demonstrations

The South Central Missouri Kennel Club, located in West Plains, will bring a demonstration of their various training disciplines to the Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19. The demonstrations will include drill team, rally, obedience, and agility; and will be held in the Mule Jump area at East Main and Curry Streets.


Drill team is a group of dogs and handlers going through a variety of coordinated maneuvers; obedience requires each dog to work individually, showing their ability to follow commands; rally is a spin off from obedience, requiring dog and handler to complete specific maneuvers on the course; and agility involves obstacles taken in the order the judge specifies.



Returning favorites, with links to their full page descriptions:

2014 Festival Roe Family 3

Main Stage


2014 Festival 2nd Stage 3

2nd Stage


2007 Festival - Cooking Stage (8)

Cooking Stage


MuleJump1-2 copyColor

Mule Jump Competition


2014 Festival Bed Turning

Quilt Show and Bed Turnings


2010 Festival - Rendezvous Youth

Rendezvous/Living History


2009 Festival - Fiddlers' Frolic (4)

Fiddlers’ Frolic


2009 Festival - Square Dance (16)

Square Dances


2007 Festival -Jig Dance Competition (14)

Bob Holt Jig Dance Competition


 (l-r) Jacques La Rue – Hayden Topliff; Lieutenant Alan Wextad – Wade Mattsfield; Polly Montclair – Terri Whitsell; Trusted Ike – Jim Clemens; Charming Mimi – Paige Davis; Swamp Crone – Cretia Ussery; and Lazlo the Drunk – AJ Hufstetler.

(l-r) Jacques La Rue – Hayden Topliff; Lieutenant Alan Wextad – Wade Mattsfield; Polly Montclair – Terri Whitsell; Trusted Ike – Jim Clemens; Charming Mimi – Paige Davis; Swamp Crone – Cretia Ussery; and Lazlo the Drunk – AJ Hufstetler.

Melodrama at The Avenue Theatre


2008 Festival - Children (2)

Children’s Activities


2010 Festival - Artisans (5)

Artisans and Demonstrators






Check the 2014 Exhibits/Activities tab for a look at previous events.

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