Autumn is my favorite season in our beloved state. Well, I love it most of the time. With numerous fall festivals to choose from, I have to share my favorite – the Missouri Town 1855 Fall Festival. I hope the stunning blue skies and crisp breeze continue through the festival’s weekend this Saturday and Sunday at Fleming Park. In its 36th year, it still brings authenticity of an earlier time in our country’s history.

Autumn is my favorite season in our beloved state. Well, I love it most of the time. With numerous fall festivals to choose from, I have to share my favorite – the Missouri Town 1855 Fall Festival. I hope the stunning blue skies and crisp breeze continue through the festival’s weekend this Saturday and Sunday at Fleming Park. In its 36th year, it still brings authenticity of an earlier time in our country’s history.

When I venture out to the festival, I soak in the colors as I travel through Lake Jacomo, saving my final moments for feeding the buffalo and antelope just before I journey home. As soon as my feet hit the ground in the grassy lot where I park my car, I leave today’s modern world behind. The festival makes it easy to time travel for a day. Follow the distant music of mandolins, the sweet smell of wood fires and apple cider, and you’ve entered what feels like a far-away place.

Touring the town is a treasure in itself. From the school house to the church, each structure in the village has been carefully tended. You can watch the craftsmanship of the blacksmith, listen to the musicians and storytellers, and take a ride in the wagon while you enjoy nature’s artwork. I enjoy watching the ladies at the spinning wheels and shopping for just the right handmade hat, scarf or other treasure that can only be found at the weekend celebration.

One year as I passed the pair of oxen moving slowly down the hill, I spied a bonnet. You know, the kind that Laura Ingalls Wilder wore. I bought it and sometimes wear it to the festival with my jeans and T-shirt. It’s almost as great as wearing my Kansas City Royals cap. Of course, I take it off when I leave the park. OK, no more secrets. Moving on to the children’s area! I absolutely love this part of the festival. Games that today’s kids never dreamed of can be played there. It’s fun to watch, and yes even participate in tug of war, walk on stilts (help!), join the sack races, game of graces or join in making crafts. If you’d like, you can sit and play checkers, drink some root beer and watch the dancers. They’ll even let you join in should you want to kick your heels up just a bit.

I can’t fail to mention the food court. Doesn’t sound very 1855, does it? I prefer to call it the picnic area. Go buy a handmade quilt from one of the quilters, spread it out and eat your lovely meal under a tree. I guess you should probably sit at the picnic tables instead, just so you don’t ruin that new quilt.

There’s so much more I’d like to share. You’ll have to experience it for yourself. Go have fun and enjoy the day with your family. You’ll be glad you did.