Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Plenty of fall events are scheduled

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Cassville’s the place to be within the next week with annual fall events that promise, for participants and spectators alike, plenty to do around the square and on the R-4 campus. Events will be both daytime and in the evening if locals and visitors alike are looking for something to do any time during the end of the coming week.

Chamber of Commerce sponsored events make this possibly the busiest time of the year for the civic group.

In years past

Back in the late 1930s and pre-World War II, this time of the year gave Chamber members and those boosting agriculture plenty to do with the Harvest Show dates, which were set. This meant building cattle pens around three sides of the square and cleaning up the Community Building (later Hall Theater) for sewing, canning and other displays that fared better indoors.

The Community Building, then on the west side of the square provided spaces for other displays, including preserved vegetables, sewing sections and crafts, those judged in the high ranks walked off with ribbon awards. The gymnasium floor was often given to games for youngsters.

The actual difficult part of the cattle exhibit sheds, even for experienced hands with hammers and saws, was that the structures were made of oak lumber with tin roofs. And the materials were often borrowed and would be returned to their owner after the event was completed. I wonder if those permitting use of all that material ever received proper recognition?

Judging brought out the best of animals in the area and produced some real opportunities for those engaged in agriculture wishing to upgrade their livestock during one visit to town over the run of the event, which was usually three days.

All cattle judging was done in an area roped-off in front of the Post Office. For the sheds and loafing areas, all three sides of the square were under a roof.

Missed judging

My first entry opportunity to show came when I entered a year-old Jersey heifer named Fawn. Help in getting her show ready came from dairyman J.R. Fuquay. Her horns were shining having been scraped with glass and her looks were terrific.

Just before being called to the ring, I was getting her some fresh water and she hooked my pants, tearing the entire seat out. By the time I went home and changed my clothes, Fuquay had to show Fawn, but she got a second place.

This event might be considered the largest undertaking of volunteer labor ever to be enjoyed for a Cassville civic event from time of construction to teardown time at the conclusion of the show.

“The Show” is back

Chamber events fill the remainder of the month, beginning with a resumption of The Show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21 with the second performance on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. All performances at the Cassville school FEMA building. Tickets are available at the C of C office and several local businesses or may be obtained at the door.

Chili-Salsa Cook-Off

Cookers of chili and salsa will have their pots boiling early October 23 as the public square turns into the annual Chili-Salsa Cook-Off. Cash and bragging rights will be available for winners as usual.

This year’s event, scheduled to cover three sides of the square will include informational booths, craft people from a wide area of the Midwest joining local crafters in displaying their wares. Musical entertainment will be provided throughout the morning and early evening activities.

Roaring River

October 31 will find this season at Roaring River State Park coming to a close. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Rogers and crew will shut down park facilities completing another eight-month season.

With the closing there will be limited catch and release fishing for Rainbow Trout at the park later during the closing months, until another season opens March 1, 2022.

As the Roaring River season comes to a close, park followers also will find the Flaming Fall Review fade into another season of raking leaves for those wanting an outdoor activity, just another preparation for the winter months.

There can always be considerable sentiment in seeing Roaring River close even for those few months of early winter. When you have spent a near lifetime in going to the park when there was nothing else to do, it can leave a person with emptiness.

Even if it was to run on the trails, picnic, fish, swim or just relax, Roaring River was always there. And the association with concessionaires over the years has been a bonding experience.

On a personal note, being away from the park this year and a half hasn’t been a very pleasant experience in my lifetime

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.

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