I recall the old movie watched repeatedly in my youth, “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming.”

This weekend, during the Neosho Fall Festival, the “Crafters, foodies, artsy ones are Coming; Crafters, foodies, artsy ones are Coming” and for the vendors, “the Customers are Coming, The Customers are Coming.”

It’s gonna be a big one folks and have we got plans.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, the Lion’s Club pancake/biscuit and gravy breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and continuing until 10 a.m. in the east wing of the Civic Center, 109 W. Main, just off the southwest corner of the Historic Downtown Square.

At 10 a.m. the opening ceremonies will take place on the main stage and the festival breaks loose. The Neosho Arts Council will have fine art of all types along with dance and special performances on the stage in the Civic Center.

The scarecrow contest and other fine art exhibitors will occupy the 100 block of West Main. Entry into the scarecrow contest is free, but requires pre-registration.

The Historic Downtown Square will be occupied by 145 craft, art and food vendors offering a wide range of services, information and purchasing opportunities. The 200 block of East Main will be a Kid’s Carnival Midway with food, fun and inflatables.

Coaster cars will be on display throughout the day at the corner of Washington and Main. At 1 p.m. these cars will enter into a battle for dominance of speed induced by gravity. Don’t miss this exhibition.

Throughout the day on Saturday, be sure and visit History Alley just off the northeast corner of the square.  This fine display occupies a full city block with mid-1800 exhibits and demonstrations. A must-see event in its own right.

We, as in the City of Neosho which is sponsoring and organizing the fall festival, would encourage folks to park in the area of Morse Park, immediately to the north of the Lampo Center, and utilize one of the shuttle experiences to transport them to the Downtown District.

While there they can find a model train swap meet and exhibit in the Lampo Center, lazer tag fun in the grassy park area for the bigger kids ages ? to 92.

Like the inflatables, the lazer tag is free to the public. Just sign up and play. Also, as you wait for the shuttle, you can see the lumberjack competition and watch the wood carvers craft all types of displays.

Live music continues throughout the day at the main stage in the southwest corner of the Historic Downtown Square. At 6 p.m. make your way to that area to hear Sassafras, who will cover a lot of early rock ‘n roll for our street party. The street party will continue until 9 p.m.  You asked for rock ’n roll, now you got it!

On Sunday, Oct. 8, the Historic Downtown Square will again be filled with vendors. The festival opens at 11 a.m. on Sunday and will continue until 5 p.m.

We know that people like to take their time on a leisurely Sunday morning and a lot of them like to arrive after church, so those are the Sunday hours. The activities that are limited to Saturday only are: History Alley, the Art’s Council’s events and the coaster car races.

But don’t be discouraged because Sunday brings us the car & truck show with no entry fee to participants, 17 trophies to be awarded, and 70 dash plaques to the first 70 entrants.

This will be in a designated area north of the Lampo Center in Morse Park. So, park in the free parking, check out the car show, play some lazer tag, watch the lumberjacks and wood carvers, then check out the model trains, and finally catch a shuttle to take you to the Historic Downtown District for more fun and activities.

This is the fall festival that you won’t want to miss. Engage with Neosho and enjoy our great events!

(Paul Richardson is public relations director and events coordinator for the City of Neosho.)

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