Carnival, festivals, parade all on weekend schedule

By Chance Chamberlain

The cancellation of Harrisonville’s Log Cabin Festival threw a wrench in the typical celebration of the fall season. Luckily, the carnival will continue in a new location and other communities will hold festivals of their own for area residents to attend.

Jones and Company is operating a carnival Oct. 1-3 in the south field by Price Chopper in Harrisonville.

The carnival will operate Oct.1-2 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Oct. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. Wristbands are available for purchase for $20 per session. Social distancing is required by the carnival and masks are strongly encouraged.

The local organization, “Let Freedom Ring,” will sponsor a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday in Harrisonville. The parade replaces the Log Cabin Festival parade this year due to the festival’s cancellation.

The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen approved the parade at its meeting Sept. 21. The parade will begin in the parking lot of the former Cass Medical Center and will follow Pearl Street to Independence Street where it will turn north at the bottom of the hill.

The parade will be monitored by the Harrisonville Police Department and the cost will be covered by the city.

Throwing candy is prohibited during the parade and participants who do not obey the rules will be removed from the parade by the director or the Harrisonville Police Department. Walkers may hand items to spectators, but rules will be monitored strictly.

Drexel will hold its Pumpkin Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Ricky Allen with the Dean Del Rio band will close out the event with a street dance from 7 to 10 p.m.

Festival vendors open at 9 a.m. with live music, inflatables and the classic car show following at 10 a.m. Drexel City Clerk Patty Drehr said, “I think the Pumpkin Festival is something that the town needs. Everybody has been stuck in the house for several months and they need something good to happen and I think that the festival can be that good thing.”

The Pumpkin Festival features all-day live music and a variety of pumpkin-themed contests including a pumpkin art contest, pumpkin pie competition and pumpkin bowling.

All contest winners will be announced at 4:45 p.m. on the main stage. Drehr said the contests are free to participate in and she wants everybody to enjoy themselves during the day.

“The contests will be free entry this year so that anybody can compete that wants to. We think that’s important so that nobody feels left out due to different circumstances,” she said.

“We want people to be able to have some fun at the festival. We hope they let loose a little bit after being couped up for so long.”

Drehr added, “We also won’t require masks at the festival, but encourage people to wear them if they feel more comfortable doing so. The festival is all outside in the open air, so we hope to keep people spread out so that there aren’t so many large groups of people.”

The Peculiar Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Harvest Moon Festival to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 on Main Street.

The festival will not include a carnival or vendors this year, but will have a petting zoo, trunk-or-treat and a parade down Broadway Street.

Lynn Laffoon of the Peculiar Chamber of Commerce said this year will be scaled back to ensure the safety of attendees.

“On a typical year, we would have invited chamber partners for trunks and would have a parade that ended with crafts and games, but this year we have scaled things back a bit. We will still have the parade, trunk-or-treat and petting zoo, but we had to cancel games because they wouldn’t allow for social distancing.

“We will also provide pre-packaged food so that handling is minimized for safety,” she said.

The Harvest Moon Festival will also require masks, but Laffoon said it won’t take away from the experience.

“This year we want to make sure that everybody leaves as healthy as they arrived so we will require masks at the event. Our goal is to provide a fun family event for the kids to enjoy, but we will do all that we can to ensure the safety of the attendees.”