Hootin an Hollarin

Jerry and Kay Painter at the 2016 Hootin an Hollerin Festival in Gainesville.

The Hootin an Hollarin Festival, one of the oldest of its kind in Missouri, begins each year at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday in September with a Queen Pageant.

Contestants, dressed in their best country dresses, will delight the crowd this Thursday in Gainesville with stories of how things used to be and a square dance.

This year will mark the 59th year and plans are for a great celebration, say organizers. All the Hootin an Hollarin is offered free to the public, with handcrafted items and food available for purchase.

A costume parade will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, with all ages competing for best old-time “Life in the Ozarks” dress. The Big Float and Band Parade will start at 2 p.m. Sept. 21.

Bluegrass, country and gospel music entertain visitors on Friday and Sept. 21, and the music continues for square dancing at 9 p.m. all three days.

There are contests of all kinds during the festival: bed races, outhouse races, calling contests, quilt show, pet show and pie contest, just to name a few.

There will be old-fashioned “brush arbor” gospel singing in the gazebo, and old-time games and races for kids.

Hootin an Hollarin visitors can shop at a multitude of craft vendors around the square. They can also watch demonstrations of old-time crafts and, when they’re hungry, there are all kinds of food offerings including lemonade, kettle corn, ice cream, burgers, hotdogs, beans and cornbread, funnel cakes and barbecue.

For more information visit ozarkcounty.net or hootinanhollarin.com.

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