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Niangua fills community building for fall festival


The Niangua Fall Festival took place Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Niangua Community Building located at 172 State Highway F. The resurgence of the fall festival in Niangua was spurred by conversation amongst members of the community last year. A group of citizens got together and decided to host a festival to foster a sense of community.

“We used to have an annual fall festival when I was a kid… I don’t know when it stopped, but it did for a good couple of decades,” explained an organizer of the event, Ashley Venolia. “We are thrilled to bring it back. It’s exciting to get to see our kids experiencing the things that we experienced when we were kids and see people that we maybe haven’t seen in several years. It’s a great place to reconnect and celebrate our little community.”

The festival offered a parade, chili cook-off, coronation of the Pumpkin Prince and Princess, food trucks, vendors and live bands, including The Countyline Band and David Stein.

Chili cook-off Champion was Dawson Mendola, with Garrett Williams winning runner-up. Pumpkins were donated by Doug Greer, and the pumpkin carving champion was Linzy Morse, second place Chevy Hill and third place Zachary Crandall.

There were over a dozen participants in the costume contest, with Zach Sheedy, Angie Wideman and Harper Venolia named the winners. Pumpkin carving Champion was Linzy Morse, second place went to Chevy Hill and third place Zachary Crandall.

The Niangua Food Pantry hosted a raffle for a $50 gift card at the event. To enter, participants brought canned food items for the pantry. Three canned goods were redeemed for one raffle ticket and the pantry was able to fill a large box through participation. The winner of the gift card was Rhonda McIssac. A gift basket was also raffled, and won by Keli Clements.

“We had an awesome turnout at this event,” Venolia said. “We had around 300 people show up and enjoy the vendors and live music. It was awesome to see so much participation in the chili cook-off and contests as well. Thank you to everyone who came out!”

All funds raised through this year’s festival will go towards the community building and various projects to improve it.


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