ALTON -- Alton's 19th annual Ozark Black Gold Walnut Festival will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and Alton Chamber of Commerce officials said the festival will be bigger than ever.
According to chamber planning committee chairman Tammy Curtis, the festival outgrew available space on the square last year so most of the activities are being moved to Piney Creek Park (formally Lions Club Park) just east of Alton on Highway 160.
Fun Time Shows of Doniphan will have rides and games operating Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday. With more space available they will have more rides than last year.
The festival will kick off Thursday night with the first ever Alton Fire Department Anything Goes Contest. All fire departments are invited to participate. The winning fire department will receive a plaque and a traveling trophy. Departments wanting to participate should contact Jan Freeman at 417-778-6586 or Curtis at 417-778-7327. The Alton Fire Department will also hold a barbecue that evening.
Friday night is being described as Family Fun Night with all kinds of games and contests. All county residents are invited to get limbered up and try the three legged race or the human wheelbarrow race. These and lots of other activities are being planned under the direction of David and Sharon Weisz.
The displays will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and remain open until 5 p.m. Artists and crafters are invited to set up. To reserve a space contact Daisy Simmons at 417-778-6164.
Several groups are scheduled to entertain during the day and an evening concert is planned to finish off the activities. Plenty of food will be available all day. Tentatively scheduled for the town square on Saturday are a gospel bluegrass festival and giant yard sale. Eight different groups are planning to be there for the festival. Chamber officials said there should be something for everyone at the Alton festival.