People throughout our community should take a moment to pause and consider how blessed we are that the City of Neosho considered and is presenting the 65th Fall Festival. A plan has been developed, approval was given by the Newton County Health Department and vendors were solicited for participation. Despite all of the effort and work, changes have occurred.

The Fall Festival will be great and a lot of fun, but modifications have been made. Some things that you normally see, won’t be there or available this year. There are several reasons for absences but bear in mind that a lot of the people that exhibit, vend and otherwise are active participants for the attendee’s enjoyment, are older people. People who may be at risk. Regretfully, we have even lost some to death and a couple are recuperating from other medical issues. Not necessarily due to the coronavirus, but they passed away. Condolences go out to their families.

Older vendors or exhibitors have been pressed with the hard choice. They enjoy vending and exhibiting but have been forced to choose between that and the option that is within their safety and comfort zone. For those reasons, you will not see History Alley during the 2020 Fall Festival and the activities provided by the Arts Council will not be taking place. There will not be any vendors in Morse Park or in the Lampo Center.

Let’s focus on a bird’s eye view of the 2020 Fall Festival. It will be housed completely within the Historic Downtown District. As of this writing, we have about 95 vendors. Beginning early Saturday morning, the Lion’s Club will be providing breakfast. There will be a Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show, registration occurs on the day of the event taking place on East Main. Participants can gain entrance at the intersection of Lafayette and Main. There will be a Coaster Car (Soap Box) show and race on South Washington Street. Activities for the kids and families will be immediately off of the square on East Spring. There will be games and corn hole boards set out for open play. In addition, Laser Tag will be set up in the green space on the north side of the street. Laser Tag was selected since it is an outdoor, socially distanced game.

The Civic will house the Model Train Show and Swap Meet this year, don’t miss this awesome display. Artist Alley will host Fine Arts activities and a Jazz Stage on North Wood Street. Vendors will be placed along the way to guide you into the activities there. The Main Stage will be on the southwest corner of the Square and will be providing music “all day long, all day long!” The Main Stage will provide the enduring mix of Folk and Classic Rock.

There will be a lot of activities, things to see, items to buy, music to enjoy, and much more. I will be sporting my special mask that I acquired for the occasion. The challenge is still out there, bring your own special mask and let’s make this fun.

-Paul Richardson writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On, for The Neosho Daily News. He is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions.