Celebrate fall: Bollinger County-style

Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Massey Log House in Marble Hill, Mo. was built in 1879. (Photo by Linda Redeffer)

Few places in Southeast Missouri are known more for their amazing natural resources than Bollinger County, a place of immense forests, hills, streams and clear-running rivers.

From Sept. 27 to 30, the county seat, Marble Hill, will celebrate the Bollinger County country lifestyle with the Bollinger County Fall Festival and Heritage Days. Visitors might be amazed by the amount of attractions in the Marble Hill area: the Cat Ranch Art Guild, the 100-plus-year-old Wisecarvers Store, the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History and the Massey Log House, built in 1869.

Events kick off Sept. 27 and include carnival rides, duck races, a greased pig race, tractor pulls, lumberjack shows, a car show and live music.

At the Cat Ranch, bluegrass musician and author Mitch Jayne of The Dillards will make two appearances from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30. The ranch will also host an art show, demonstrations and bluegrass concerts.

Carnival rides will open Sept. 27, but festival hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 and noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

Worth the drive

Less than one hour away

East Perry County Fair, Altenburg, Mo.

Tucked in the Perry County hills is the old German town of Altenburg, a place where the populations swells each summer when the Perry County Fair hits town.

The fair starts Friday and continues Saturday. Friday events feature an opening parade at 1:30 p.m. and music by the John D. Hale Band at 6:30 p.m. The mule jumping competition, arguably the fair's biggest and most-famous event, takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Musical entertainment will be provided by Country Touch at 2 p.m. and the Jackson Municipal Band at 6 p.m.

For more information on what organizers call "The Best Little Fair in the Land," call (573) 824-5513.

Less than two hours away

Fort Kaskasia State Historic Site, Ill.

Want a weekend full of old-school music without having to drive far? Then the 18th Annual Traditional Music Festival at Fort Kaskasia State Historic Site in Ellis Grove, Ill., is a good bet for weekend entertainment. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and draws thousands every year to hear bluegrass, Cajun, Irish and country musicians show off their chops overlooking the Mississippi River. This year's list of featured musicians includes some familiar to Cape Girardeau audiences: Cape Girardeau native and fiddler extraordinaire Liesl Schoenberger and the Cajun music of Dennis Stroughmatt. Admission is free but parking isn't. Camping is permitted. For more information, call George Portz at (618) 632-1384.

Fort Davidson State Historic Site, Pilot Knob, Mo.

The Fort Davidson State Historic site will be the place for Civil War history buffs this weekend when it hosts the re-enactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob on Saturday and Sunday.

Fort Davidson and the town of Pilot Knob were the site of a Civil War battle in which more than 1,000 men were cut down in less than 20 minutes. Re-enactors will be on hand battling and giving demonstrations of Civil War camp life, and musician Jamin Bray will perform Civil War-era music. The fort Davidson museum will also be open, showing a documentary on the battle.

Festivities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The final battle will take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

For more information contact the historic site at (573) 546-3454.

Downtown Paducah, Ky.

Paducah will show off its riverfront and its talented culinary artists with the annual Barbecue on the River festival Sept. 27-30. This event thrives on barbecue and family entertainment, with plenty of children's shows and some live music for adults with bands like Lew Jetton and 61 South.

Saturday's schedule also features a "Marine Industry Day" to honor the city's river commerce heritage with a calliope concert, a towboat tour and other events throughout the day.

During the festival the Market House Theatre will show performances of the play "Searching for Eden: The Diary of Adam and Eve." Arts and crafts from regional artists will also be featured throughout the day.

For more information on Barbecue on the River, call Paducah Main Street at (270) 444-8649.

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