Rural Missouri - April 2020 - 41

Festival/Fair

1st: Missouri State Fair, Sedalia;
800-422-FAIR, www.mostatefair.com
There's no shortage of reasons to make the annual August trek
to Sedalia for the Missouri State Fair. It could be showing your
livestock or catching a show in the grandstand. There are carnival
rides in the midway and fried fair food everywhere. Make sure
your yearly stop includes a visit to the Missouri Electric Cooperatives Building where you can meet and get your picture taken with
Rural Missouri's mascot, Buddy Bear. See you at the fair!
2nd: Heritage Days, Warsaw;
660-438-5922, www.welcometowarsaw.com
Heritage Days makes the third weekend in October a busy time in
Warsaw. The event takes over both Drake Harbor downtown and
the Pioneer Village at the Harry S. Truman Visitor's Center. At the
harbor, guests can browse the hundreds of offerings from vendors
of hand-made goods, clothing and more. It's a celebration of oldtime crafts, music, food and activities at the Pioneer Village with
demonstrators showing off in period clothing.

Best State Park

EC: National Tom Sawyer Days, Hannibal;
573-795-2555, www.hannibaljaycees.org
July will mark the 65th year Hannibal has celebrated National
Tom Sawyer Days. The festival is held around the Fourth of July
holiday and celebrates the antics of Hannibal's most famous book
characters. There's an official Tom and Becky contest, frog jumping
contest, fireworks and more. Children can also impress Aunt Polly
in the annual fence painting contest.

Fishing Spot

1st: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton;
573-346-2986, www.mostateparks.com
Year after year, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is Rural Missouri's readers'
top spot for hiking, fishing, swimming and more. The park is centrally located in Missouri, butting up against Lake of the Ozarks.
The park is consistently the one our judges see most in the Missouri Snapshot Photo Contest. The most recognizable feature is
ruins of the turn-of-the-20th-century castle that was destroyed by
a fire in 1942.

1st: Bennett Spring State Park, Lebanon;
417-532-4338, www.mostateparks.com
March 1 marks the opening day of catch-and-keep season at three
Missouri state parks and Meramec Spring - a family tradition held
almost as sacred as Thanksgiving or Christmas. But there's something special about the crystal clear 1 1/2-mile branch flowing out
of Bennett Spring that fuels an angler's dreams all year long.

Runner-Up: Elephant Rocks State Park;
573-546-3454, www.mostateparks.com
Those who visit Elephant Rocks State Park will no doubt remember the massive granite boulders that stand end-to-end like a train
of elephants marching through the southeast Missouri park. The
park is designed with people with visual or physical disabilities in
mind, specifically the paved Braille Trail.

2nd: Lake of the Ozarks;
800-386-5253, www.funlake.com
Covering 54,000 acres and more than 1,100 miles of shoreline,
there is seemingly no end to the fishing opportunities on Lake of
the Ozarks. Known as a top-tier bass fishing lake, anglers also have
their choice of quarry from catfish to walleye, and Missouri's officially designated aquatic animal, the paddlefish or spoonbill.

EC: Wakonda State Park;
573-655-2280, www.mostateparks.com
The six lakes are the big attraction for anglers, boaters and swimmers at Wakonda State Park. Sand from quarries helped create a
20-000-square-foot natural sand beach, the largest in the Missouri
State Park system. For those looking to stay dry, the park offers 17
miles of trails.

EC:Truman Lake;
MDC's annual prospect report for Truman Lake anticipates an
excellent year for crappie, white bass and hybrid striped bass.
Recreation areas provide more than 20 access points to the
55,600-acre lake and its tributaries, but the majority of public land
surrounding it gives anglers without a boat a fighting chance at
landing the big one.

April20_Best of Missouri_2.indd 7

3/12/20 3:49 PM


http://www.mostatefair.com http://www.welcometowarsaw.com http://www.hannibaljaycees.org http://www.mostateparks.com http://www.mostateparks.com http://www.mostateparks.com http://www.funlake.com http://www.mostateparks.com

Rural Missouri - April 2020

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