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Here’s why Cider Days is the finest fall festival in the Ozarks

September 13, 2018

Temperatures in Springfield took a dip into the 60s this week, leaving many ready for fall. Autumn lovers are in luck: Cider Days on Historic Walnut Street returns Sept. 15 and 16.

Cider Days, presented by CoxHealth, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

It’s the 21st anniversary for the fall festival, already beloved by many across the Ozarks. Here are five reasons Cider Days remains the top fall festival in southwest Missouri.

Incredible arts and crafts

Cider Days attracts artists and crafters from the Ozarks, of course. The festival has a regional draw, too, bringing in artists from Arkansas, Illinois and Texas.

There will be almost 80 booths of vendors along tree-lined Walnut Street.

The 2018 version of Cider Days includes several new vendors as well as old favorites. All three of last year’s winning artists are back at Cider Days.


Delicious food

Come to Cider Days with an empty stomach. There will be plenty of ways to fill it. Crosstown BBQ is back, as are Chef Nelly’s Peruvian and South American Catering, Greek Belly and Remo’s Mobile Pizzeria. There will also be fudge and kettle corn.

And a summertime favorite in Springfield will help you cool down. Pineapple Whip will be set up on the northwest corner of John Q. Hammons Parkway and Walnut both days. It’s the debut appearance at Cider Days for Pineapple Whip.

Live entertainment

Let your food settle while you are entertained at one of three performance stages. The Reliable Toyota Show Wagon is near National Avenue. The DeLong Plumbing Bandstand is in the middle of the festival grounds, near the food court. Music at the Inn takes place right in front of the picturesque Walnut Street Inn.

More than 30 groups will be performing during the two-day festival. There will be live music, both vocal and instrumental, dancing and theatre. Check out the Cider Days website for a full list of performers and times.


Family fun

Bring the kids with you to Cider Days. There are plenty of things to catch their attention. Ozark Bubble Company will be there, as will two face painters and Ted E. Bear’s Toy Factory. Making their first appearance at Cider Days are Princesses of the 417. They’ll have a booth and also perform on the Bandstand stage Saturday from noon-1 p.m.

Cider. Of course.

It’s in the name of the festival, after all. The Ozark Empire Fair Foundation will be serving up delicious, real apple cider. There will be two tents serving cider for your convenience.

Want to go?

Admission is just $4 per person, with children ages 10 and under admitted free. You can pay with cash at the gate, or by card thanks to Systematic Savings Bank. Central Bank of the Ozarks will also provide an ATM at Cider Days.