By Alli Hill
In Missouri, there’s always a reason to celebrate the outdoor lifestyle. From fishing and hunting to watersports and hiking, wildlife viewing and extreme biking, there’s no shortage of outdoor interests that get you off the couch and into the sunshine. If you’re an avid outdoorsman, love the water, or just want to find a new favorite hobby, you won’t want to miss these seven amazing outdoor festivals in Missouri.
In partnership with Red Bull, Primal, and Springfield Brewing Company, this annual festival is all things mountain bikes. Spanning three days at Two Rivers Mountain Bike Park, thousands of mountain bikers from across the country convene for clinics, trail runs, bike races, campfires, and networking with fellow bikers. Happening over Labor Weekend, you can expect no shortage of amazing trails at this scenic Ozarks venue.
As the world’s oldest balloon event, kids and adults alike can’t help but marvel at this masterful collection of hot air balloons. Entry to the event is free and includes a viewing of the balloons, the evening balloon glow, fireworks show, skydiving show, balloon race, and more. It’s a thrilling show, to say the least, and is guaranteed to give you a new perspective on what kind of fun you can have outside. This spectacular event is made possible thanks to KMOX NewsRadio 1120, Maryville University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Purina.
This festival calls for all those who love long bike rides, beer, music, and camping. From June 17 to June 23 find yourself riding through Missouri’s via the Historic Route 66. This cross-state festival starts in Joplin, and brings you the selected towns of Willard, Lebanon, Waynesville, Cuba, and Eureka, each housing campgrounds/hotels. After reaching your destination, there are an abundance of things to enjoy—live music, beer gardens, plenty of eateries, and many much more are all included in the plan. You won’t have worry about hauling around your bags as they will be transported via baggage shuttle by the staff. With sponsors such as Public House Brewing Company, St. James Winery and McIntyre Cider, you’ll be drinking well!
Grab your boat and head over to the Mighty Mississippi River for a two-day festival geared toward enthusiastic and experienced paddlers! There are 13 miles to paddle through, starting at the Trail of Tears portion and ending at Red Star Access. There is so much to enjoy and learn on the Mississippi River and its spectacular surrounding land. Bring your lunch and libations to have on the sandbar. Safety is the name of the game with this festival so a safety course the Friday before is required to participate.
Snow in June? You heard that right. You don’t have to wait until December to experience this mountain of snow at Jordan Valley Park in Springfield. Brought over from the Ice Park, this mound will provide you and your family with a day threaded with a hybrid of summer/snow related activities. Enjoy a snowman building contest, interactive art projects, games, a bounce house, and plenty more to be entertained with. Thanks to the Springfield Regional Arts Council partners this event is free to enjoy!
This hugely famous event is as lively as it gets. The whole month of October is filled with events surrounding this festival. However the official kick-off is the third Saturday of October, which includes a spectacular parade, a carnival, car and tractor shows, wine tasting, food vendors, live entertainment, and so much more. The amount of events going on seems never-ending, basketball tournaments, dachshund races, balls and pageants, World War I exhibits, quilting shows, there is something for everybody. This festival is so spirited thanks to Carthage Chamber of Commerce, Central Pet Care, Phillip Camerer Roofing, KMXL-KDMO Radio, and many more.
This annual event just wrapped up its 10th anniversary, and if you didn’t get to attend this year you’ll certainly want to join the fun in 2019. This festival is Missouri’s first bike-powered music and camping festival. Explore the famed Katy Trail as you travel from Columbia to Boonville and back again for a total of 75 miles on two wheels. The family-friendly ride takes you to various points along the way, including Les Bourgeois, Katyfish Katy’s, and Rocheport General Store and Cooper's Landing where you can enjoy food, music, and drinks.