NEWTONIA — A family-fun event is Saturday in the small town east of Neosho. The 40th annual Newtonia Fall Festival will commence with a 5K run and mile walk at 7:30 a.m. (registration will begin at 7) in front of the Ritchey Mansion.

NEWTONIA — A family-fun event is Saturday in the small town east of Neosho.
The 40th annual Newtonia Fall Festival will commence with a 5K run and mile walk at 7:30 a.m. (registration will begin at 7) in front of the Ritchey Mansion.
Following the race, festival opening ceremonies will start at 9 at the Newtonia Community Center.
“The Newtonia Fall Festival is a time for our friends, family and community to gather, visit and enjoy the day,” said Cathy Sheehy with the fall festival. “The festival gives us a day to relax from some of the busy times of summer and just share time with family and friends. It’s also a day we work to raise funds to take care of the needs and upkeep for the community center building and grounds.”
The festival will include musical groups, a parade at 2, food, arts and craft vendors, games, a car show and tours of the mansion, which dates to the 1850s.
New this year is a bean cook-off.
“Last year, we had a pie-baking contest for the ladies. This year the bean bake is for men only,” she said. “There will be an awesome grand prize trophy, and each entry is given an award.”
If looking to set up a craft booth, contact Lucy Byrd at (417) 638-5232.
“Our booth spaces are available for craft vendors and are $10 each,” Sheehy said. “We have a real nice variety of items offered. It’s a nice time to see some of our area crafters and their talents.”
For a number of years, there has been a Newtonia king and queen competition.
“The entrants sell raffle tickets for the crown,” Sheehy said. “In addition to winning the title, the king and queen get back a percentage of the money they raise.”
Contact for tickets to enter the king/queen contest is Marsha Stanford at (417) 592-6656.
With it being the 40th annual festival, Sheehy said, “This year we are commemorating the group of people who started having festivals and their interest in raising funds to build our community center building. We will be recognizing these people throughout the day.”
The quilt show will be quilts made by women who started the center, she said.
This year’s parade grand marshals will be the Keith Family musicians. The gospel group from Anderson has joined the Newtonia festival for music every year.
“We have been honored to have them come share their music each year, and we are honoring them this year,” Sheehy said.
Starting at 9, the Ritchey Mansion will be open for tours. The mansion served as a field hospital and headquarters. Members of the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association will be on hand to provide tours of the mansion and answer questions about the house and the Civil War in Newtonia, where there were two battles.