Shakin' in the Shell celebrates 10th year

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2015 event to 
feature concert, children's area, vendors, car show

Chamber Park in Shell Knob will be shakin' for the 10th straight year, as the Shakin' in the Shell festival arrives Sept. 18 and 19.

Twilia Harrison, executive director of the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce, said the festival will feature everything people have come to expect, and this year, will include a Friday night concert, dancers, bands, a car show Saturday, a horseshoe throwing tournament, a children's area, a beer garden, food and drinks, a dog contest and vendors.

"Friday night, we'll have a concert in Chamber Park on Needles Eye Road featuring Earl and Them Band performing blues rock from 7-10 p.m., with food and drinks, a beer garden, ice cream and funnel cakes," Harrison said.

Gates open at 6 p.m. Some seating is available, but guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. General admission for the concerts and performances are free to the public. Wristbands, at a cost of $15 each, will allow children to play all games and rides all day long.

On Sept. 19, festivities will kick off early, with the 26th Annual Classic and Custom Car Show revving up engines from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Don Erickson and his wife, Ola Erickson, ran the show for 23 years, and after a two-year hiatus, have returned to run it again.

Owner of Shell Knob Small Engine, Don Erickson said he's excited to be organizing the event again and hopes the turnout and weather are favorable.

"We average about 150 cars each year, although that has been a bit down the past couple years," he said. "Most of the cars are generally pretty high-end, classic cars, and we don't have any clunkers out there."

Erickson said he will have two of his vehicles on display, a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda and a 1971 Chevrolet El Camino, but will not enter the contest, which features 75 awards this year.

"We'll have four Best of Show awards, including Best of Show Stock, Best of Show Modified, Best of Show New Car and Best of Show Motorcycle," he said. "We also have classes broken down by stock, modified, new and classic, and the winners will get trophies."

Erickson said holding the car show in conjunction with Shakin' in the Shell has always helped draw crowds, as many who go to one end up going to the other.

"A lot of people come to the car show and end up spending some time at Shakin' in the Shell, and a lot of people come to the festival then stop by the car show," he said.

Shakin' in the Shell events including the children's area, performers, vendors, food and drinks will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a salute to the flag, patriotic songs, followed by the Blue Eye School Band, the Table Rockettes Line Dancers and the Shell Knob School Band.

From noon to 2 p.m., Crazy Mule, featuring Bluegrass and comedy, will entertain. Following is the Bark in the Park dog contest, then J Rock and the Third Street Band with Classic rock from 4-6 p.m. LiveWire will take the stage from 7-10 p.m. with country rock. Shell Knob in the Spotlight (SKITS) will emcee throughout the event.

Harrison said the children's activities, which will be available all day from Saturday, are always a hit.

"We'll have a lot of kids' rides, like the bungee trampolines will be back this year," she said. "We did get rid of the spider ride, but replaced it with a six-seat swing, so more kids can ride at once."

There will also be a rock climbing wall, laser tag, sling shots, tea cups, a dunk tank, sand pile, Ronzo the Clown, face painting and bouncy houses.

A horseshoe throwing tournament, run by a world competitor, will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"We'll also have our Bark in the Park Dog Contest from 2-3:30 p.m.," Harrison said.

Normally, Haven of the Ozarks animal shelter hosts an Ugly Dog contest, but this year was not able to. Contest catagories will include: Ugliest dog, best costume, looks-most-like-owner, smallest dog, biggest dog and best trick. There will also be 'bark-tinis bar' in between contests to provide a delicious refreshment for pets.

"Dogs can go lick up chicken juice three at a time at the bark-tinis bar," said Kim Przybyl, economic development chair, co-founder of the festival, and owner of Wee Flea/Cool Canine Natural Dog Treats. "There will be prizes and drawings and winners will be able to qualify for king and queen. Co-sponsors T's Dogs Obedience Training, Fuzz Whackerz, Paw Prints Daycare for Dogs and Wee Flea/Cool Canine Natural Dog Treats will also be providing demonstrations."

Many vendors will also be on hand.

"There will be food and jewelry, Scentsy, Cask (Creative Arts of Shell Knob), the honey guy [Ozark Diamond], Ozark Mountain Woodcarvers, and probably the Friends of the Library and Methodist Church," Harrison said. "There will be a wide variety for people to enjoy."

Perhaps one of the more unusual activities includes the porta potty decorating contest.

"Sponsors pay for a porta potty, the come to the festival site on Friday and decorate them," Przybyl said. "The winner gets a traveling chamber pot. The designs people come up with are very entertaining, for example, royal flush."

Przybyl, Harrison and John Crain, chamber board member and owner of Hickory Hollow Resort, co-founded the festival in 2005.

"When it started out, we did it for economic development to bring people to the area," Przybyl said. "But, it's gotten to be such a big deal practically every business in town is sponsoring the festival or volunteering. It's very expensive to put on and has become a huge fundraiser."

Przybyl said funds from the festival benefit the community.

"It helps the community because Shell Knob is not a town or township," she said. "Everything in this town runs on volunteer and donations. It all runs through the chamber because we have no city management. We don't get money from anyone, we take care of everything ourselves."

Przybyl said the population includes about 3,200 residents who live there year-round, but includes approximately 8,000 in all.

"Since we're not a town, we have no boundaries and we have a lot of people who retire here and have homes on the lake," Przybyl said. "Some are here all the time and some are not."

Przybyl said organizing a festival of this size takes help and planning.

"We meet two times a month beginning in February to put this together, its a huge event," she said.

In the past, about 1,500-2,000 visitors have attended, and this year, they are expecting even more.

"We're hoping for 500 people each night because of the bands," Przybyl said. "We're just hoping people will come and have fun and a good time."

For more information about the Shakin' in the Shell festival, people may call the chamber at 417-858-3300. Detailed information can be found at

To enter the car show, people may call the chamber or call Erickson's business, Shell Knob Small Engine, at 417-858-3084, to have an entry form mailed. People may also stop by Shell Knob Small Engine, located 1-1/4 miles south of the bridge, to complete an entry form.

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