Old-time cooking – the stories, recipes, and dishes will be featured at this year’s What’s Cookin’ Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, along with a healthy dose of Dutch Oven cooking. This is the 16th year for the Cooking Stage. Aid’s Downtown Antiques are sponsoring this event. This year’s theme is “Home Remedies and Recipes to Cure What Ails You”

The  annual Festival will be held June 5, 2021, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The 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.

Check out this year’s flyer.

In the Brush Arbor, neighbors will share stories from their families, highlighting the way food was prepared in their homes here in the Ozarks. Dutch Oven cooking will be featured. Coordinator Tara Shahan starts the day off at 10:30 a.m. with Lemon Balm Remedies – tea and poppy seed honey cakes, followed by a discussion session of home remedies in the Ozarks.  What did they eat during the 1918 Pandemic? Come at 3 p.m. for Shrimp Wiggle, Salmon Loaf and Apple Sauce Cake….and of course, there is sampling!  Completing the day’s offerings will be a Dutch Oven workshop preparing chicken noodle soup – good for what ails you!

Saturday’s session will also include the Annual Pie Competition. This year will include three categories:  fruit pies, other dessert pies, and savory pies.  To enter, bring your pie to the Redbud Room at the West Plains Civic Center on Saturday June 5 between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m.  Judging by a select group of experts begins shortly after, with awards announced (and samples offered) at the Cooking Stage at 12:30.  This year’s judges include Carey Harris of 101 Pastries & Cream, Chef Tyler Dill from Ozarks Healthcare, and Representative David Evans.

Pies should be prepared “from scratch.”  Homemade crust is preferred, and there will be an award for best homemade crust.  Please bring a copy of your recipe so it can be shared in next year’s Festival Cookbook. Pies should be brought in non-returnable tins.

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.

               2021 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, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at

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