Fall Festivals in Southwestern Missouri

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Republic Pumpkin Stun

Watch pumpkins grow to record sizes at Republic Pumpkin Daze. This year, for the first time, the fun extends to a two-day festival.

September 30–October 1
Republic, Missouri
Essential activity: tractor pull
Must-have snack: Pumpkin Pancakes
Unmissable entertainment: Pie Eating Contest
Free entry

You’ve never seen pumpkins like these before. With pumpkins weighing over 600 pounds, the Republic Pumpkin Daze Festival holds competitions for the biggest pumpkins. You can participate in other categories like biggest watermelons, tomatoes and sunflowers.

Even if you do not participate in the contest, you can see the products weighing. It’s not just pumpkins that are big. This year’s event is a celebration of Republic City’s 150th anniversary and the 30th Pumpkin Daze Festival. Usually held on Main Street, this year it takes place at JR Martin Park, offering more space for entertainment and up to 350 booths for vendors.

There’s something for everyone at this festival, including more hands-on activities. Bring lawn chairs to sit and listen to performances by Geezer, Mark Chapman Band and Isaac Kenneth. Invite friends and family over for delicious treats in the concessions area for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dive into hot corn, ice cream, pig on a stick, Smokin’ Wheels barbecue, corn dogs and tons of festival food.

Let your pets strut their stuff in the Pet Parade. “We had dogs dressed like anything you can imagine,” says Cheri Hamilton, chair of the Pumpkin Daze committee. The parade isn’t limited to dogs, however; enjoy seeing a wide variety of chickens, cows, ducks and other animals in costume.

The Republic Pumpkin Daze also offers a Kids Zone section full of activities to keep kids entertained, including a playground, laser tag, human hamster balls, and inflatables. Finally, be sure to take part in the pedal tractor contest, offered in the youth and adult categories.

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