March 22, 2005
Lake of the Ozarks Celebrates Return of Spring
During 55th Annual Dogwood Festival
LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MO. – Warming weather and sunny skies herald the return of spring at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks - and so does Camdenton's annual Dogwood Festival, set this year for April 14-17.
In its 55th year, the popular festival celebrates spring and the Camdenton area's heritage, with events throughout the city and at the Stoneridge Amphitheater, just north on Hwy. 5.
"The Dogwood Festival is a fun time for the whole family," says Bruce Mitchell, executive director of the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce. "Its music, parade, carnival, crafts, food and fun make it a Lake-area favorite, with activities for young and old."
The fun will get started on Thursday evening, April 14, with a carnival at Stoneridge Amphitheater. At the Camden County Museum, a ham and bean dinner will be followed by an original play, "Camden County - Our Hope, Our Heritage." Both the carnival and the dinner/play will continue on Friday evening and the carnival also will run all day Saturday.
Highlights on Friday evening, April 15, will include the Little Mr. & Miss Dogwood Contest in the High School Little Theater and the Miss Dogwood Pageant at the Main Street Music Hall in nearby Osage Beach. The events run concurrently, starting at 7:00 p.m. A fish fry will draw hungry festival-goers to the High School Cafeteria (4:00-7:00 p.m.), then they can head to Stoneridge Amphitheater, where area performers will be spotlighted in a free talent show from 7:00-10:00 p.m.
One of the festival's most popular events, the annual Dogwood Parade, is set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday in downtown Camdenton. This year's parade theme is "TREE-mendous Living." More than 100 units - floats, bands, fire trucks, etc. - are expected to participate. In keeping with the tree theme, more than
1,600 dogwood saplings will be given away during the festival.
Other festival highlights will include a fine arts show and sale featuring works by more than 15 area artists, at First National Bank. The show will get an early pre-festival start on April 11 and run through April 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. A juried craft show and sale on Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, will feature the work of up to 100 artisans from throughout Missouri and nearby states. The craft show, at Dogwood Elementary School, will run 5:30-8:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
In addition to the Thursday-through-Saturday carnival and Friday evening talent show, other fun at Stoneridge Amphitheater will include free musical entertainment on Saturday afternoon and evening. Spectators can enjoy a Lawn Tractor Pull in the Stoneridge parking lot at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, followed at 3:30 p.m. by a Dog Contest to select championship canines in categories including cutest, best kisser, etc.
Also on Saturday, festival-goers can get their day off to a sweet start with a pancake breakfast (7:00-10:00 a.m.) in the United Methodist Church, then head to the First National Bank to hear Hammer Dulcimer Music by Sue Dutton from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Festival activities will wrap up on Sunday afternoon with the annual Dogwood Golf Classic at the Club at Old Kinderhook, preceded by a lunch for golf tournament participants.
With flowering dogwood (Missouri's state tree) and redbud expected to be in bloom, the mid-April festivities will be trimmed in the sights and scenery of spring. Nearby Ha Ha Tonka State Park is recommended as a prime spot for enjoying the dogwood springtime show, promoters say.
For more information on the Dogwood Festival, look online at www.camdentonchamber.com or call the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce at 800-769-1004 or 573-346-2227.
Visitors coming to the Lake for the Dogwood Festival will find plenty to enjoy at mid-America's favorite lake destination. For information on events, activities, dining and lodging throughout the Lake area, call 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau's web site at www.funlake.com.