The 29th Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival, taking place this Saturday, will pack a full day with events that have become staples at the yearly fixture.
The Ham & Turkey Festival routinely draws more than 100 different vendor booths to dot the sides of South High Street. In recent years, the festival has grown exponentially, thanks to the support of the area's two largest employers — Burgers' Smokehouse and Cargill Inc.
Though a couple items are sprinkled across the morning agenda, such as the 5K walk/run and the Eagles' ham breakfast to start the morning, the day's events really kick into high gear starting with the "Anything Goes" parade.
From there, everything's on the table — vendors open, music acts start performances on the festival stages and judging for the yearly staple car show commences after its start earlier in the morning. The car show, mirroring last year's changes, will again be moved to the corners of South and High streets, as opposed to its traditional location of the Moniteau County Fairgrounds.
On the festival stages, eventgoers will find a variety of acts. The north stage features music and entertainment from the students of California's schools, while the south stage will feature entertainment such as the Sheltered Reality Drum Line and The Burney Sisters of Columbia. The Eagles stage will be headlined by California's local Bourbon Creek Band.
Following yearly tradition, employees with Cargill will help to prepare a record-breaking turkey sandwich in the late morning — this year's will measure 74 and a half feet in length.
The bulk of the day's events come to a close in the afternooon following judging for many of the main attractions — including the parade, car show and BBQ contest. However, the day caps off with an evening Figure 8 competition sponsored by California's Rural Fire Auxiliary at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds.
More detailed information and schedules for the Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival can be found in the festival tab included with this week's Democrat newspaper.