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Pioneer Heritage Festival This Weekend

Submitted Photo

The Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks takes place this weekend at the New Haven Event Park east of Ava. Attendees can experience food, music, and demonstrations of the homesteading activities early settlers to the Ozarks practiced.

by Michael Boyink /

Mechanical hay balers. Water carrying races. Jam sessions full of Ozark music. Basket weaving. Flint napping. Quilting. Pottery. Woodworking. Broom-making. 

Talk to an early Ozark settler about “ordering Amazon Prime” and you’d get a blank stare or questions about rain forests. Mention “running up to Springfield” and they’d be packing you a bag with enough supplies to last a few days.

Without such modern conveniences as interstate highway systems or the Internet, residents of the Ozarks were much more likely to make it themselves, cook it themselves, or play it themselves.

While many of those activities, methods and techniques have been lost to the passing of time, the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks seeks to keep them alive. 

Exhibitors will show festival visitors how to make baskets, knives, quilts, canned tomatoes, pottery and more.

In 2018, Gayle Schroeder demonstrated tomato canning.

Submitted Photo
2018 Festival goers tried their hands at cross cut sawing while festival Sheriff Jon Cluff kept time.

         Submitted Photo Folk musician Jeremy Myers plays for the crowd in 2018.

But early life in the Ozarks wasn’t all work and no play.

Music was central to the Ozarkian culture, and the festival will pay homage to that fact by keeping a music stage humming, , fiddling, and jamming with music including bluegrass, folk, and gospel.  

If you can’t sit still when live music is playing, you’ll be in good company. The stage will feature clogging, square dancing, and Irish dancing. 

The Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, October 6th and Sunday, October 6th. 

The Festival will take place at the New Haven Event Park, which is approximately 15 miles east of Ava on Bryant Creek. 

Admission is free, but a five dollar per adult admission is encouraged. 

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and cash (spotty internet coverage will likely prevent vendors from being able to process card-based transactions).

The event will go on rain or shine, so grab an umbrella as well.

For more information including a band schedule, list of vendors, cookoffs, and contests visit the festival website at, email, or call (417)746-4006.