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festival 2019

festival logoThe 11th annual Fayette Festival of the Arts was on Saturday, Aug. 3, with a full schedule of performances and activities running from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.  The festival again took place in and around Howard County’s historic courthouse square in the heart of Fayette, in addition to two locations on the nearby Central Methodist University campus.
The event continues to be the premiere summer happening in Fayette and included a variety of live music performances from the Howard County Memorial Bandstand and the courthouse yard, in addition to the 20th annual Fayette Art Show which was musiciandisplayed in two separate locations — inside the courthouse and in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art located in Classic Hall on campus.
New this year were tours of the recently-dedicated Central History Museum located in CMU’s T. Berry Smith Hall. A number of displays, photos and artifacts continue to be on display, including items from the Civil War and both World Wars. 
Persons with limited walking abilities were shuttled to and from the courthouse and the campus.
Art show entrants included those entering as adult professional, adult amateur, and youth (elementary, middle school, and high school). First, second and third place ribbonswere awarded in six entry fields: painting (acrylic and oil), painting (watercolor or pastel), drawing, photography, sculpture, and varied media - plus special awards such as people’s choice. First place winners received cash prizes.
Youth works were displayed exclusively inside the courthouse. Adult works, professional and amateur, were shown in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. Exhibits at both sites were open for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Results will be available on the art page in the near future.
Also at the festival were food vendors of different varieties, plus beverages and ice cream served by local celebrities and government officials. Free water was also available. Displays and activities on the courthouse lawn and adjacent streets included vintage vehicles, a Dutch Oven demonstration, historic presentations, various craft displays; public safety displays, and a free bounce house for the kids. A local group known as P.A.W.S. (Pet Adoption Welfare Service) was set up on the courthouse lawn with adoptable pets in tow.
New this year was a public safety display from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Except for refreshments all offerings were free.
“The festival is designed to highlight awareness of Howard County’s rich historical heritage, in addition to showcasing this area’s contemporary culture and entertainment,” noted retiring general coordinator Jim Steele, former publisher of the Fayette newspapers. “Most of those who performed this year are professional musicians," he continued.   
Taking over direction of the festival this year is Fayette resident Glenn Ludkie, a retired music educator with extensive experinece in planning festivals and special events.
quilt of valor presentationBest known of the scheduled musical organizations was the Columbia Community Band. The group has been a traditional favorite for many years dating back to a predecessor event known as the Great Fayette Freeze Off which took place from 2000 through 2008. A Quilt of Valor presentation was part of the performance. The Peacemakers Quilting Group presented a Quilt of Valor to Kirk Klingler.
Returning to the festival for the fourth year by popular demand was a vocal trio from Marshall known as the Morton Sistersmorton sisters . They sang a variety of genres and styles in tight three-part harmony creating a blend taking listeners back to the sounds of the Andrews, McGuire, and Lennon Sisters.   
A New Orleans-style jazz band known as Doc and Friends has been a long-time festival favorite. It is directed by CMU’s retired Swinney Conservatory dean, Ron Shroyer. The group was joined by Central Methodist University President Roger Drake who in an earlier lifetime was an accomplished country music performer on keyboard and other instruments.
Other performers included theFaith Family Church musicians presenting Gospel & Patriotic Music who opened the festival at 9 a.m. Two other popular groups who returned from past years are The Show-Me Brass Band and the Just Friends jazz combo.
New this year was a performance by Armstrong resident Randy Edwards and his one-man band and pianist Nate Sater who who performed a variety of numbers starting.
cakesThe annual cake contest and auction, a longtime part of the festival, took place following the performance of the Columbia Community Band, with proceeds going 50-50 to the Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and to the festival for operational expenses. Contest results are available on the cakes page.
The south side of the courthouse squarewas reserved for a display of classic cars and trucks, in addition to fire engines and other emergency responder vehicles.
Also, local artist Millie Haggard did aninterpretive presentation describing the Howard County history mural in the circuit courtroom (courthouse second floor) starting at noon.
The festival is sponsored each year by the Fayette Area Heritage Association (FAHA) with support from a number of other community organizations, businesses and individuals. Jim Steele once again served as master of ceremonies.