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Ninth Annual Fayette Festival of the Arts - August 5, 2017

quick link to fact sheetmayor signing proclamationFinal preparations are being put in place for the ninth annual Fayette Festival of the Arts coming up Saturday, Aug. 5, with a full schedule of performances and activities running from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. 
The festival takes 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 has become the premiere summer happening in Fayette and again will include a variety of live music performances from the Howard County Memorial Bandstand and the courthouse yard, in addition to the 18th annual Fayette Art Show which again will be displayed in two separate locations — inside the courthouse and in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. 
quiltshowThe annual Peacemakers Quilt Show, with over 150 quilts on display, will run simultaneously in Linn Memorial United Methodist Church on the CMU campus. Proceeds from the Quilt Show will go to the Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and the Quilts of Valor project. Persons with limited walking abilities will have available shuttles to and from the courthouse and the campus.
sketch of courthouseArt show entrants will include those entering as adult professional, adult amateur, and youth (elementary, middle school, and high school). First, second and third place ribbons will be 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 will receive cash prizes.
Youth works will be displayed exclusively inside the courthouse. Adult works, professional and amateur, will be shown in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. Exhibits at both sites will be open for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also at the festival will be food vendors of different varieties, plus beverages and ice cream served by local celebrities and government officials. Free water will be available. pawsDisplays and activities on the courthouse lawn and adjacent streets will include vintage vehicles, a Dutch Oven demonstration, historic tours, 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) will set up on the courthouse lawn with adoptable pets in tow.
Except for refreshments and the quilt show, all offerings are free. A record number of vendors is expected this year. 
“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,” notes event general coordinator cc bandJim Steele, retired publisher of the Fayette newspapers. “Most of those who will perform this year are professional musicians,” he notes.
Best known of the scheduled musical organizations is the Columbia Community Band which will play beginning at 11 a.m. The group has been a traditional favorite for many years dating back to a predecessor event known as the Great Fayette Freeze Off. 
Of special note is a group taking part for the first time and led by Central Methodist University President Roger Drake who, in an earlier lifetime, was an accomplished country music performer on keyboard and other instruments. He played with many of the nation’s foremost country artists from Nashville and elsewhere.roger drake Several of these musicians will travel to Fayette to perform with Drake from the festival bandstand. Dubbed “All the President’s Men,” the group is slated to play starting at 1 p.m. 
Following Drake’s group at 2 p.m. will be a New Orleans-style jazz band known as Doc and Friends which has been a long-time festival favorite. It is directed by CMU’s retired Swinney Conservatory dean, Dr. Ron Shroyer who in past years had been part of a group known as the Storyville Stompers headed by the late Butch Antel.
The entire music and drama schedule includes: • Gospel & Patriotic Music - Faith Family Musicians (9:00 a.m.) • The Show-Me Brass Band (9:45 a.m.) • Just Friends jazz combo (10:15 a.m.) • Columbia Community Band (11:00 a.m.) • All the President’s Men - Roger Drake & Nashville musicians (1:00 p.m.) • Doc & Friends New Orleans Jazz (2:15 p.m.) • Miss Route 66 Jessica Harper sings - (3:10 p.m.) and • Fayette Area Community Theater cast members perform songs from Godspell Jr.(3:30 p.m.).
Concluding the schedule will be the Morton Sisters Vocal Trio from Marshall (3:45 p.m.). First seen at the festival last year, the group was exceptionally well received as they performed 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.      
Jessica HarperThe annual cake contest and auction, a longtime part of the festival, will take 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. Cakes will be judged in both adult and youth categories, with first, second and third place prizes in each group. Mark Belcher will again serve as auctioneer.
The south side of the courthouse square will be reserved for a display of classic cars and trucks, in addition to fire engines and other emergency responder vehicles.
Also, CMU historian Robert Rackley will lead a 10:30 a.m. walking tour highlighting the historic university campus. And local artist Millie Haggard will do an interpretive presentation describing the Howard County history mural in the circuit courtroom (courthouse second floor) starting at 2:30 p.m.
The festival is sponsored by the Fayette Area Heritage Association (FAHA) with support from a number of other community organizations, businesses and individuals. Festival coordinator Jim Steele again will serve as master of ceremonies.

Review of Eighth Annual Fayette Festival of the Arts

performers at festivalThe Howard County Courthouse square was bustling and alive on Saturday, August 6, 2016 as people of all ages joined to celebrate the eighth annual Fayette Festival of the Arts. The next festival is tentatively set for Aug. 5, 2017.

Other nearby festival location venues included CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art (adult art show) and Linn Memorial United Methodist Church (quilt show). Live music, the art show, a quilt show with nearly 200 entries, good food and perfect weather — sunny skies and mild temperatures in the mid-80s — all combined to make a thoroughly enjoyable event. In addition, vintage vehicles, a Civil War encampment, a Dutch Oven demonstration, tours of historic Fayette, craft vendors, a free Dutch oven demobounce house for kids, and PAWS (Pet Adoption and Welfare Service) provided additional diversions.

Sponsored under the umbrella of the Fayette Area Heritage Association (FAHA) with support from a number of other groups and individuals, the festival — as in past years — was designed to highlight awareness of Howard County’s rich historical heritage, in addition to showcasing this area’s contemporary culture and entertainment.

vendor boothEvent coordinator Jim Steele, retired publisher of the Fayette Newspapers, noted that feedback has been exceptionally positive. “This year’s event was, I believe, the best overall since we began in 2009,” he said. “Particularly the musical entertainment, along with strong art show participation, and the sale of food and crafts came together as never before.” The festival has become the premiere summer event in Fayette and includes a variety of live music from the Howard County Memorial Bandstand and the courthouse yard.

youth artThis also was the 17th year for the annual Fayette Art Show which is a major part of the festival. The most significant recent change for the art show has been the increase in elementary, middle school and high school entries. For the third year, youth works were displayed exclusively inside the courthouse. Adult works, professional and amateur, were shown in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery. Exhibits at both sites were open for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Categories of art work displayed included painting (oil, acrylic, water color and pastel); drawing (pencil, or pen and ink); photography; sculpture; and varied media such as fiber art and computer art. Ribbons and cash prizes were awarded in all categories. Click here for results. A father-daughter team, Jerry and Emily Benner from Ferguson, served as art show judges.

Columbia Community BandBest known of the musical organizations that performed Aug. 6 is the Columbia Community Band which played beginning at 11 a.m. It has been a traditional favorite at the festival for many years dating back to a predecessor event known as the Great Fayette Freeze Off. Also of note this year was a New Orleans-style jazz group called Doc and Friends which performed following the cake auction. It was directed by retired CMU Swinney Conservatory Dean Ron Shroyer who in past years had been part of an organizatin known as the Storyville Stompers headed by the late Butch Antel. Joining Doc and Friends was CMU President Roger Drake on piano.

Morton sistersThe remaining music and drama schedule included: The Show Me Brass Band, 9 a.m. (a group which has often performed in the past); excerpts from “Harvey” by the Fayette Area Community Theater, 9:45 a.m.; Just Friends Jazz Combo, 10 a.m., a Macon-based group which was new to the festival this year; and Miss Route 66 Jessica Harper singing her own compositions at 2:30 p.m. This was followed by the Morton Sisters, a vocal trio from Marshall which also was new to the festival this year and, like the other new group, was exceptionally well-received. One of the longtime favorites in the Boonslick area, Roy Stevens’ EZ Tunes, concluded the musical entertainmet.

The festival’s traditional cake auction took place immediately following the performance of the Columbia Community Band, with proceeds going 50-50 to the Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and the festival for operational expenses. Mark Belcher donated his services as auctioneer, with Carlene and Don Cullimore serving as cake judges. First, second and third place ribbons were awarded. Click here to see winners.

The south side of the courthouse square was reserved for a display of classic cars and trucks, plus emergency responder vehicles on the north side. Adjacent to the courthouse, in addition to Bob WiegersFAHA’s old-fashioned ice cream parlor, were a number of vendors serving-up a variety of tasty food items. Various artisans had interesting craft items for sale.

CMU history professor Robert Wiegers led a 10:30 a.m. walking tour highlighting the historic university campus and nearby homes. Also, local artist Millie Haggard did an interpretive presentation describing the Howard County history mural in the circuit courtroom starting at 2:30 p.m. Festival coordinator Jim Steele again served as master of ceremonies.

Howard County CourthouseThe Fayette Festival of the Arts is enhanced by its location.  Fayette is the county seat of Howard County and the courthouse square provides a picturesque location for most of the festival.  Central Methodist University, site of the Ashby-Hodge Gallery and Paul H. Linn Memorial United Methodist Church is just a short walk up Church St. from the square. Golf carts rides are available.

Fayette itself is located in central Missouri in an area of rolling hills dotted with small farms.  It is easily accessible from Interstate 70 over scenic state roads from Boonville on the west and Columbia on the east.  In addition to the courthouse square, Fayette has a number of structures which are listed on the national historic register and festival visitors are encouraged to tour the town by car or by foot.