Inaugural TroutFest to bring community together

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Freeman: ‘Fun for the whole family’

The inaugural Cassville TroutFest will be in conjuncture with the 175th anniversary of Cassville, aiming to bring the community together for two days at the Cassville Aquatic Center park and soccer fields.

The community will celebrate the city of Cassville on Aug. 14, followed by the TroutFest on Aug. 15.

Rachael Freeman, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce director, said the 175th anniversary will be celebrated starting at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Cassville football fields.

“We are going to have a 30-minute firework show to celebrate,” she said. “Before that, there will be a video about Cassville and guest speakers. That will transition into the firework show that will be put on by Jared Lankford with Hale Fireworks.”

Freeman said this is the kick-off that will start the excitement for the next day.

“TroutFest 2020 will start off with the Trout Trot 5k and Minnow Mile at the Aquatic Center,” she said. “The Minnow Mile will start at 7 a.m., and the Trout Trot will follow at 7:30 a.m. Registration is at 6:30 a.m.”

The events were originally scheduled to take place in June, but due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), they were rescheduled.

“Vendor booths will open at 9 a.m. on the soccer fields,” she said. “We will have multiple vendors and food trucks.”

Additionally, Security Bank is sponsoring Kona Ice shaved ice, and the first 150 snow cones will be free.

“Hungry Hollow will have a beer garden, and live music will be sponsored by Arvest Bank,” she said. “There will be people there from the Department of Conservation that will have educational entertainment.”

There will be no gate fee or entry fee for the event.

“We are working with Missouri State Parks to give them a space to set up and talk about the outdoors in our area,” Freeman said. “Due to COVID-19, we have gotten rid of the carnival rides and bounce houses, but the Cassville YMCA will have a kids area to offer fun kid activities.”

Also, Aug. 15 will be the free swim day at the Cassville Aquatic Center and it will be kids free fishing weekend at Roaring River State Park. Kids’ Fishing Day has been canceled, but kids will still be allowed to fish for free over the weekend.

“Due to COVID-19 there won’t be activities at Roaring River like usual for the kids weekend,” she said. “However, Bass Pro and Cabela’s are big sponsors that have given us about 100 free fishing poles to hand out.

“We will also have some of those usual activities set up at TroutFest to win a fishing pole.”

There will be acres of fun spread out throughout the whole park and fields.

“We are really trying to bring what they usually have at Roaring River for the kids free weekend up here for people to enjoy,” she said. “There will be the emergency vehicles like an ambulance, firetrucks and helicopter, Dutch oven cooking, people to teach you how to tie a fly and a casting competition.”

There are several sponsors for this event including the big sponsors like Bass Pro, Cabela’s, City of Cassville, Arvest Bank, goBEC, Fastrip, George’s, Freedom Bank and Security Bank.

“I have met with Emergency Management Director David Compton every week for four months,” Freeman said. “We have been working out details of the event as far as it relates to COVID-19.

“We discuss and make sure we are OK to move forward with the event.”

At this time masks are not required, but are welcome.

“The Cassville Chamber has ‘Fish Local’ masks for sale and they will be for sale at TroutFest as well,” she said. “There will be hand washing stations and hand sanitizer set up throughout the event.

“Additionally, there will be space between the vendor booths.”

People are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to have picnics in the acres of space that will be available.

“The point of this event is to remind people that Cassville has something unique in Roaring River,” Freeman said. “We want families to experience that nothing beats your kids experiencing the catching of their first fish — and we want that to happen at Roaring River.

“That is the moment they fall in love with fishing.”

During this time, Freeman has been in touch with Chambers across the world, and every week the local Chambers hold conference calls to discuss how things are handled with COVID-19.

“During this uncertain time, the spirit of community has been in full force,” she said. “Our communities and businesses are all supporting each other and it has been amazing.

“We are very fortunate to have the brave backing of the community through this.”

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