Since 1967, one of Missouri's most popular festivals has been held on the historic courthouse square in Mt. Vernon on the second weekend in October. The main attraction is apple butter, cooked using century-old methods in huge copper kettles over open fires. The event is sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce.
The festival will be a three-day event held on Oct. 7, 8 and 9. The craft of apple butter cooking will be demonstrated on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn starting shortly after dawn and continuing until early to mid-afternoon each day.
The Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce booth, which will be located on the southeast corner of the square near Hickory Street, will offer free program books that will give information about all the events at the festival.
There will be 380 booths of handmade items, which will open at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. There will be live music and games throughout the day. Johnny Doxx will wrap things up on stage with a performance at 4:45 p.m. on Friday.
On Saturday, there will be one of the largest parades in southwest Missouri at 9 a.m. Following the parade will be entertainment with Brightwater Junction, Flyin' Buzzards Bluegrass, The Swingin' Bebobs and more. There will also be a car show in the park.
On Sunday, worship service begins at 9:30 a.m., and booths open at 10 a.m. Several of the local churches will perform throughout the day.
Businesses will decorate the windows with displays of antique furniture and collectibles and some will dress in costumes of the era.
Contests are patterned after the fun of yesteryear and include such things as nail driving and a terrapin race. Other activities that have been favorites for years include the pet parade, bubble gum blowing contest, apple pie eating contest and an apple biting contest.
A wide variety of food is provided by local organizations and churches.
For more information, call the Mt. Vernon Chamber at 417-466-7654.