Ozarks traditions to be featured at longtime West Plains festival
Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be held June 2-3 in Downtown West Plains.
The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival makes its return from June 2-3 this year. Now into its twenty ninth year, the festival continues its tradition of educating the public about folk life traditions.
From blacksmithing to tool making and dancing, the Ozarks Heritage Festival seeks to inform festival goers about the traditions that make the Ozarks unique. All this and more can be experienced for free at the civic center in historic downtown West Plains, Mo.
Kathleen Morrissey, president of the west plains council on the arts and one of the festival organizers said jig dancing is one of the traditional dances featured in the Ozarks. Workshops on how to dance will be featured at the festival and a contest will be held featuring different age ranges.
“We have a contest where the people who are jigging are divided up into different categories and our youngest category would probably be up to—I don’t know—maybe 10-years-old and our oldest category goes way over 90,” said Morrissey.
The festival will also feature traditional storytellers from all over the state demonstrating this art form. Morrissey highlights the importance of generational storytelling and the historical significance these stories hold.
“The Ozark’s stories are unique. You (become) a storyteller that’s got seven generations here along with their storytelling -- is going to be all that history,” said Morrissey.
For additional information about the festival, visit oldtimemusic.org.