If you're looking for something and unique to do with your family this summer, Missouri offers all kinds of interesting outings, but Ozark, Missouri has the Sertoma Duck Race Festival.
The festival is a weekend long event filled with activities and fun for the whole family all aimed at benefitting and raising awareness for children's charities such as Care to Learn Ozark, and the Christian County Family Crisis Center.
The festival begins June 29 at Finley River Park in Ozark and features a carnival with plenty of rides for the kids. The Kidzone Carnival hours are Friday, June 29, 5 p.m. To 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 30, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also on hand will be bounce houses and other fun activities for the kids.
In old fashioned Missouri Ozarks style, the festival includes a pie eating contest on Saturday at 7 p.m., as well as live music throughout the weekend.
Saturday at 9 p.m. there will be a fireworks show and throughout the day that day, beginning at 1 p.m. there will be a car, truck, and bike show. Food will be readily available in a food truck park both days, as will craft and vendor booths.
A duck race festival wouldn't be complete without a duck race and that event will be held on Saturday at 7 p.m. The duck race is a rubber duck race on the Finley River, but the prizes are nothing to sneeze at.
First place in the duck race wins a new Chevy Silverado, second prize is a $2,000 Signal Gas Card, and third prize is a $2,000 Texas Roadhouse Gift Card. The festival boasts that there are fifteen prizes totaling over $40,000. The festival estimates that there will be about 6,000 rubber ducks racing down the Finley River.
A highlight of the event, weather permitting, will be the 12th Annual Hot Air Balloon Glow hosted by the Children's Smile Center.
The Glow Facebook page said of the event, “The hot air balloons are tethered to the ground so all attendees can get close to the balloons, get in the baskets and help keep them inflated! This is a nighttime balloon glow and not a launch; hot air balloons are not allowed to launch when it is dark.”
The Glow is free to the public and is a must-see for attendees of the festival.
If you go...
Finley River park's address is 891-961 N. Riverside Rd., 65721 Ozark. From I-44 Take the US-65 BUS S/MO-14/Jackson St exit from US-65 S Continue on MO-14 E/US-65 BUS S/W Jackson St to your destination in Riverside Township.