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Fair, Fall Festival, Glade Top Friday, Saturday, Sunday

The Douglas County Fair and Fall Harvest Festival will be held this weekend, along with the traditional Glade Top Trail.
No fair was held this summer due to unfortunate circumstances, so the Douglas County Fair Board and the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce joined hands to lump it all into one fun-filled weekend, starting Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, just west of Highway 5 adjacent to the MoDOT Maintenance property.
Opening the fair will be the “All In Pick and Grin” featuring some great bands, like The Honkytonk Renovators with Splinter Middleton, Junior Marriott and his All Star Western Swing Band, The Southern Streak Band, the Cold Creek Cowboy Church Band, and others to be announced.
The evening will culminate with as many musicians still around gathering on stage for an “All In Pick and Grin.”
“Junior has really pulled together some amazing artists for the Marriott Music Stage, and we are excited to be working with him,” says Julia Panozzo, entertainment organizer.
The Denim Gals and Stick Horse contests which are always a part of the fair, will be held on Friday, CherNastics will perform dance and gymnastics routines, and there’s a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest.
There will also be an antique tractor display set up at the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday, Oct. 19, has a full slate of action starting when the gates open at 11 a.m. with an ATV Rodeo sponsored by Ozarks All Terrain and Scott Kilgore & Son Logging, with heats running until 3 p.m.
There will be all kinds of activity on the main stage throughout the day, including, line dance lessons, and Danny Mays Country Music – A Tribute to Charlie Pride.
Saturday night will culminate in customary fair tradition with a demolition derby.
There is at least $1,000 guaranteed to the winners with more purse funds added as sponsors step up, and drivers register.
Derby organizer, Christie Akers, says organizers have commitments from more than 20 drivers who say they are bringing cars to this year’s derby.
Throughout the two days there will be an antique tractor display; small livestock and project displays from area 4-H and FFA members; a petting zoo and pony rides; a large assortment of food and drink from funnel cakes to deep fried Twinkies, to local baked goods and coffee, kettle corn and the fair’s own concessions stand with hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings.
With vendors still signing up, there is a wide assortment of local agriculture, local woodworking, Ava Aviation Flight Club, the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW, Project Graduation, a USDA information booth, and others represented.
The all-volunteer board with several members of the Ava community donating their time and resources have really stepped up and done a tremendous job of putting this fair together.
Where else can you see top-notch entertainment one night, an ATV rodeo and demolition derby the second night included with your price of admission at $5 per day? Discount packages are available for both days and Glade Top Trail on Sunday ranging from $11 to $14 depending on meal selections at Glade Top Trail.
Advanced tickets are available at the Ava Chamber of Commerce office, Leisa’s Sweet Creations, True Brew, Independent Copy Center, and Ozark Vision Centre.
IMG_4395Following the fair, on Sunday, Oct. 20, the annual Glade Top Trail will be held. Sponsored by the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Forest Service for more than 50 years, the Glade Top Trail features the natural beauty of the Ozarks, as the trees and foliage of the Ozarks Mountains put on their fall colors in transition from summer to the cool days of winter.
The Glade Top Trail is not just an event – it is actually a landmark road carved out of the hills of Douglas and Ozark counties. Designated as a National Scenic Byways route, the Glade Top Trail was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1940s.
The Caney Picnic Area, one of several designated stops along the trail route, is the site of the program that will be held on Sunday, including a church service at 10:30 a.m., live music, and the noon meal which includes the option of slow-cooked pulled pork dinner for $6, brown beans and ham dinner for $4, or a hot dog dinner for $3.
Afternoon activities will also include a turkey calling contest, scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, a dessert auction, and exhibits by local artisans.
Bring your lawn chairs and camera, and plan to spend the day enjoying the beautiful Ozarks fall beauty.
To reach the Glade Top Trail, take Highway 5 south from Ava and turn onto Route A about five miles south of town. Follow A Highway to County Road 409 which will lead into the Mark Twain National Forest. From that point, the Glade Top Trail is marked by Forest Service signs.
Also marked along the way are various points of interest where you may wish to stop and look around, or perhaps snap a picture.
U.S. Forest Service markers explain what you will see at these various points of interest, such as the Arkansas View, the Watershed Divide, Old Houseplace, Mrs. Murray’s Gold Mine, and the Pinnacle.
Next to the Caney Picnic Area where Sunday’s program will be held is an old fire lookout tower that was once used by the Forest Service to watch for and pinpoint forest fires in the National Forest.