Even though rain and cooler weather moved into the area on Saturday, visitors still came to the 17th annual Barnyard Days.

The three-day event began on Friday and will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $6 for adults. Children under 14 free with adult. Breast cancer survivors get in free. A $1 off coupon is available at www.circlerfestivals.com.

More than 100 vendors ranging from arts and crafts to food vendors, commercial vendors attended the event, located north of Neosho.

One of the vendors, Dan Maxey and Kim Cleeton, owners of Black Rooster Creative of Trenton, Mo., made the trek to the event. They deal with barn quilts.

“I don’t call it a business, I call it an adventure,” said Maxey. “It is sort of a love and a passion, I have a creative background. I have always admired barns. We have been making trips back and forth to Iowa for the last couple of years and fell in love with the barn quilts. They are prevalent in the Iowa area. We decided, ‘You know what? There is nothing like that here in Missouri,’ so I wanted to do that. I did a lot of research, talked to a lot of people about them, then decided to give it a go.”

Their quilts are now made out of ¾-inch plywood.

“What I am selling here are quilt patterns based on quilt squares or blocks from the 1800s and 1900s,” he said. “They are my choice, right out of the book, the patterns, the colors, essentially the barn quilts go back many, many years, and they started back in the Colonial era. What the farmers and families did was they put them on their barns a way of telling them who they were or their heritage, what country they came from. But subsequently they were a sign of the family, an early family crest. They commemorate loss in the family, commemorate the memory of a great-grandfather or someone who has passed who means a lot to the family.”

The quilts range from bright to light colors, and each has a meaning. The couple uses outdoor paint for the displays.

On display during the festival, they had quilt blocks all the way up to an 8-foot by 8-foot quilt. Quilt prices range from $20 for a small one to $500 for a large one.

“This is called ‘Moonlight Star (pointing to the one behind them in the photo),’” he said.

Cleeton added, “I like the shape of it, I was asking him colors because of it. I am preserving the barn because of my mother. I want to keep that barn going.”

Cleeton has a barn, which dates back about 90 years.

“I wanted something for farmers,” she added.

“The barn is a white barn with dark green trim, so I customized it to match the barn,” said Maxey said.
But the barn quilts can be put into a lot of places.

“They are pieces of artwork, you can put them on the barn, which is a great way, but you can put them inside your house, on your house, wherever you feel,” said Maxey.

Asked if they were planning on doing one for breast cancer awareness month – which is October – he said, “When this opportunity arose, I actually was playing around at home with coming up with a quilt pattern of the actual pink ribbon.”

For more information on the barn quilts and Black Rooster Creative, call 660-286-2882 or 636-399-5371, also find them on Facebook by searching for Black Rooster Creative.

Aside from the food and the arts and craft vendors today, five competitors will compete for the second annual Albert Brumley Single Mic Showdown at Barnyard Days. They will compete for cash prizes. That event began with 10 competitors on Saturday and was narrowed to the top five competitors.