If you enjoy fall festivals, you’ll want to check out one on Saturday Sept. 23, 2023. Admission is free and there are lots of fun festivities and activities, from music, to sampling spirits, to browsing artisan offerings, to trying your hand at painting.

Photo by Freepik

By Peg Cameron Gill

The Pierce City Fall Festival offers something for everyone. It’s hosted by the Pierce City Arts Council (PCAC), 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, celebrating its 14th year supporting and celebrating the arts in the Pierce City community. Of course art will abound. But there is much more in store on Saturday, Sept. 23! 

From 10 AM to 6 PM, the public is invited to come to Pierce City’s beautiful South Park at 100 S. Elm for all the festivities and fun. The Festival has expanded its scope this year inviting any plein air artist who is interested to come to the inaugural Paint Out! event and paint scenes from the town, and promote the arts in the area. Plein air refers to painting outdoors or out in the open with most supplies on hand. A suggestion list and map will be available to the artists and all attendees.

Spectators are encouraged to observe and see how the artists set up and what they choose to paint. Works will be on display and then for sale at the festival in the late afternoon. 

William Jeffrey Jones, owner of The Clay Cup and Pottery Studio in Neosho, is just one of the artists who will be participating in the plein air event.

Photo by Kristin Nama

This year, the “artist alley” includes April Davis of Carthage. Davis returns to offer painting lessons for all. She charges a small fee at her booth. Also, look for blacksmith Jim Keebaugh, Pierce City native, who will demonstrate forging from fire.

Kids can get creative with repurposing recyclable items in the always anticipated “Junk Art Booth,” a Pierce City Fall Festival favorite. 

You’ll find many handmade goods such as jewelry, pottery, crafts, artisan cookies, leather, woodwork, and artisan essential products, such as skin care products such as lip balm, salve, hair conditioner, goat soap, lotions that are infused with herbs and essential oils, along with other vendors including a variety of food trucks. 

Try specialty foods such as homemade egg rolls, homemade root beer and cherry limeade, ice cream, and flavored pecans. Also, kettle corn, funnel cakes, smashed burgers and onion rings, street tacos, panini sandwiches and soups. These food trucks will be serving up tasty options: Cherish Cook, B&N Concessions, Egg Roll Deli, Wildcat Ice Cream, and The Brunch Buggy.

Ozarks Knockerball is returning this year. Always a crowd pleaser, it allows all ages to tumble around in a large bubble ball—like you’re in a human foosball game! Rolling round and round  costs $5 for 5 minutes or a $15 wristband for all day.

Gizmo’s Games brings a new addition to his games for 2023: a train ride, in which parents can ride along.  After all, why should kids have all the fun? 

Remember to bring your lawn chairs for live entertainment throughout the day. Neva Welters starts early with the soft sounds of her dulcimer.  She’s followed mid-morning by Turtles on a Log, who bring their folk  flair to the stage. Robin’s Hood, playing a variety of genres— soft rock, swing, and the blues—returns to the festival.

Photo of Robin’s Hood courtesy of Pierce City Arts Council

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Miller will take the stage throughout the day. The day will end with a special acoustic performance by Pierce City’s own Mark Chapman. 

Pennington Wines, Indian Springs Brewing Company, Myrtle’s Distilled Spirits, and Tall Pines Distillery will prepare samples of their beverages and sell their products in the sampling garden for patrons 21 years and older. A small donation upon entry gets taste enthusiasts a festival souvenir wine glass for their sampling.

Photo courtesy of Pierce City Arts Council

The Fall Festival in Pierce is gonna be fierce! 

Read about an accomplished Missouri plein air painter here.

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.