Musicians, storytellers, craftspeople, exhibitors, lecturers and vendors make up the Ozarks Celebration Festival. Each play an important role in fostering a sense and understanding of the place we call the Ozarks.
They come from Cassville, Missouri, just down the road, and we're sure glad they did. Brightwater Junction has enjoyed entertaining crowds for over a decade with award-winning instrumentalists, singing, and traditional music. Swing by the Max Hunter Performance Stage on Saturday afternoon to experience their high energy show and some great clean humor.
According to his website: "Van got his first banjo for Christmas when he was thirteen; an old silvertone his dad bought at Nicks pawn shop in West Plains, Missouri for forty dollars. 'Dad taught me a few chords in standard C twining and a two finger roll.' The first tune Van learned was 'Green Corn'. Hearing Grandpa Jones at a show in West Plains when he was seventeen inspired him to learn claw hammer style. Van’s father and brothers played music together all through childhood. Van still plays in a string band with his brothers, The Colbert Brothers Stringband, at small festivals locally and statewide. He is a member of the Davis Creek Rounders and performed on the 'Winter’s Bone' soundtrack and is a member of the Blackberry Winter Band." Van performs Sunday @ noon on the Max Hunter Performance Stage.
Each year we look forward to Judy Domeny Bowen's traditional Ozark ballads from the Max Hunter and Vance Randolph collections as well as farm songs and original folk songs. A Rogersville, Missouri singer, songwriter, teacher, and auctioneer, she charms audiences with her beautiful clear singing, excellent flat-picked and finger-style guitar playing and witty commentary. Bowen shares historical information about the songs she sings as well as personal stories of her life growing up on a Missouri farm. Her energetic delivery, insightful songs and charmingly informal presentation style have made Bowen a favorite performer with audiences throughout the Midwest. Bowen’s historical lecture, entitled "Terrible Songs—Missouri Tragedies Set to Music", features four songs of true happenings and the events leading up to them. Songs included are The West Plains Explosion, The Iron Mountain Baby, The Meeks Family Murder, and Resurrection Sunday. Catch Bowen on several stages throughout the festival weekend.
ReverbNation offers this bio on the dynamic duet, Ezndil: "Mike and Nancee Micham have been performing together for 20 years. They met in Arizona while working at Rawhide, a little Western tourist town. After three years there doing comedy skits and playing music, they decided to head for Missouri. In 1992, their talents landed them in Silver Dollar City and the McHaffie's Homestead. And there they fit right in. The feel of the Homestead is that of an 1880's family and the 'characters' portray life on the old farmstead. Mike became the lead guitarist and humorist for the Homestead Pickers (the featured band on the front porch) and Nancee cooked on the old wood stove, told stories and sang with the band. During these years, Mike and Nancee's mutual love for traditional Irish folk songs grew and they have been featured together at the Homestead, festivals, house concerts and pubs! In early 2007, they decided it was time to focus on the farm and their own duet. Along with traditional Irish music, they also perform folk, gospel and silly songs for the whole family. They have a big following from Silver Dollar City and other venues and their fans all love their great interaction with each and every crowd." Join in their fun performance on Sunday afternoon on the Clear Creek Performance and Kids' Area stages.
Brad Reynolds (upright bass), Bill Crider (guitar), Brett Dudenhoeffer (fiddle), and Alan Johnson (banjo) make up the Finley River Bosy, a traditional bluegrass, gospel and classic country band based in Springfield, Missouri. The band has played many local area venues including: Silver Dollar City, Prater's Country Music Show in Lebanon, Luttrell's Live Music Show in Springfield, The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company Festivals in Mansfield, The Ozark Senior Center and Ozark Farmers Markets in Ozark. OCF is pleased to welcome them back!
We welcome back The Homestead Pickers who have entertained millions at Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri since 1997. On Saturday afternoon come hear their entertaining and memorable renditions, along with a few acoustic antics, on the Clear Creek Performance Stage.
According to ReverbNation: "Melinda Mullins is the daughter of Johnny Mullins, Grammy-nominated songwriter and elementary school janitor from Springfield, Missouri who penned hits for Porter Wagoner (Company's Comin), Loretta Lynn (Success), Emmylou Harris (Blue Kentucky Girl), and many others. When Johnny passed away in 2009, he left behind a treasure trove of unreleased writings and songs that Melinda discovered a few years later. 'The Johnny Mullins Collection' is Melinda's effort to bring public attention to this large body of wonderful and heartfelt material through live performances and by sharing it with other artists. These songs are timeless and lend themselves to interpretation by modern performers; Mullins' song 'Success' was Loretta Lynn's first Top-10 hit in 1962, and was later recorded by both Sinead O'Connor and Elvis Costello. Melinda is accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Bo Brown. Bo plays with Blackberry Winter Band, the group that appeared in and provided soundtrack for the 4-category Oscar-nominated film 'Winter's Bone'. He also performs with other local groups such as Hogmolly, Hamburger Cows, Da Mullets, and The Undergrass Boys. Melinda occasionally plays her dad's songs with other area musicians, including Cliffton Boone of the western swing band Sugar Thumb." Mullins and Brown perform the "Songs of Johnny Mullins" Saturday @ noon on the Max Hunter Performance Stage.
One of the best times at the Ozarks Celebration Festival is when the young dancers from Pat's Clogging Studios take the stage. Smiles abound as they kick up their heels in traditional dance. Don't miss what Pat and the Celtic Fire Irish Dance Company have in store for us this year. Catch up with them Sunday afternoon in Ellis Recital Hall.
Red Bridge returns to the festival to entertain us with their traditionally based bluegrass, performed by four lead vocalists, 3 & 4-part harmonies, strong instrumentals and a variety of songs. These entertainers are high energy and add lots of fun and natural humor to their show. Their superb musicianship will be on display Saturday afternoon on the Clear Creek Performance Stage.
Stormy Weather's background is rooted in Ozarks old-time music. Their traditional Irish music performances are influenced by the Chieftons, Andy McGann and many other Irish musicians. You can catch them Sunday afternoon on the Clear Creek Performance and Ellis Recital Hall stages.
Undergrass Lite includes two members of The Undergrass Boys, a progressive bluegrass band that toured in the early '80s with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Leon Russell, Bill Monroe, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Hartford, and Newgrass Revival. We're fortunate to have them back at the festival this year. Come on out to hear Bo Brown (guitar, dobro, vocals) and David Wilson (mandolin, fiddle, vocals).
Always a favorite, Urban Praise from Deliverance Temple brings joyful gospel and praise singing to the festival each year. Their audience grows during each song as festival patrons are drawn to the Max Hunter stage to enjoy their performance and the fellowship.
We're excited to have Wires on Wood back this year! Stop by the Clear Creek Performance Stage on Saturday morning to hear members Dave Wright (guitar), Carol Wright (bass), Kenny Key (mandolin), Dan O'Day (fiddle), and on special occasions, Roger Matthews (banjo).
More Artists, Crafters, Exhibitors and Vendors by Spaces
- Branson Tri-Lakes Quilters
- Quail Farm Pottery
- Hand Crafted Wooden Bass Lures by Albert Ford
- Arnold Layne – Fiddle Maker
- Helen Grace Muzzy – Fiber Artist
- L & A Stitchery
- Historic Recreations Treenware
- Honey Bee Baskets & More
- Ann Gray Corn Shuck Doll Maker
- Missouri Cowboy Poets Association
- Meyer Library Special Collections & Archives
- Ralph Foster Museum
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum
- Vickey’s Feedsacks
- Ozarks Studies Institute
- Ozark Country Kitchen
- Chef Quintin Eason
- Farmers Market
- Ozark Mountain Knitting Guild
- Ozark Rug Hookers
- Springfield Fiber Artists
- Moore’s Art
- Suzi Vause – Master Walking Wheel Spinner
- Mike Kellerstrass – Blacksmith
- Jim Lee Carr - Coppersmith
- Stewart Family Farm
- The Ozark Mountain Gem & Mineral Society
- Sam Dyer Pen & Ink
- MSU Fruit Experiment Station
- Lacemakers of the Ozarks
- Ozark Needleworkers Chapter
- Equestrian Essentials
- A bit Boho
- Joe Batterton – Broom Maker
- Ozarks Whittlers & Woodcarvers
- Jan Porter – Jewelry Maker & Copper Colorist
- Hooks & Sticks
- Bluestem Farm
- Repurposed Memory
- Creations by Tallbird
- Julia’s Java Gourmet Coffees
- The Nut Man & Buttercream Fudge
- Smokin Wheels BBQ
- Tied & Dyed T-Shirt Factory
- Kids Directory – Just for Kids Jewelry & More
- Face Painting by Joy Marino
- Ed Carter – Rope Maker
- Rolling Pin Cookies
- Festival Information Tent
- Gourdgeous Garden
- Bowls for Breasts
- John T Woodworks
- Gulf Breeze Inspirations
- Just Between Friends
- Patchwork & Paper Mache’
- Laurie Grundy – Custom Made Banjos
- Wooden Tent Soap Works
- First Earth Wilderness School
- Polk County Rangers
- Earthworks Designs
- Ozark Empire Fair Concessions
- Circle B Ranch
- JM Designs
- Fanciful Creations
- Just Because
- NE Creation
- Kettle Korn
- Anvil Customs - Leather