The California Chamber of Commerce welcomes almost 30 additional vendors to its 32nd Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival on Sept. 17.
During its last meeting on Thursday, chamber members gathered to go over the final details for the annual event before it begins. During the discussion, organizer Becki Collier and chamber executive secretary Sandra Ratcliff told members there will be 81 vendors set up at this festival.
This is dramatic growth from the previous year's vendor participation, which totaled 54 vendors. Chamber members were excited to see such a large bump from the 2021 Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival. Although previous years had a larger number of vendors, the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in significantly minimizing that number.
The chamber canceled 2020's festival to keep the community safe from the pandemic. However returning in 2021 with the momentum from years prior proved to be a little more difficult. Seeing the list of vendors continue to grow so notably proves the event still has a lot of life left to give to the area, according to Ratcliff.
Ratcliff said many of the newer vendors focus on creating crafts. They will set up beside the many vendors who have been established at the event for some time. Members emphasized just how important it is to bring in new space available for patrons to enjoy as well as to remind the community the festival is continuing to make progress.