It’s Black Walnut Festival week here in Stockton, MO and we’re excited for the 56th year of this amazing event! As you can imagine, the festival has seen a few changes over the years. The festival originated in the 1930’s and was known as The Fiesta. Eventually, it became The Black Walnut Festival to center around the Black Walnut crop. Today, it is operated and managed by the Stockton Lake Sertoma Club, a local, non-profit orgranization. The club donates the net proceeds from the festival to the Stockton youth and various programs throughout the community.
The Black Walnut Festival consists of 4 days of great food, wonderful music, and lots of good old-fashioned fun at the Stockton City Park. Come and enjoy the 130 vendor booths, along with many other activities such as contests, live bands and solo performances, children events, and much more! This year the festival is Wednesday, September 21 – Saturday, September 24.
Here are a few of the favorite highlights:
- Parade – This is the main attraction of the festival with queen candidates, decorative floats, marching bands, antique cars, tractors and more! The 2016 parade theme is “Life on the Lake”. Parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Stockton Middle School and continues north through Stockton City Park.
- Queen Contest – Another very popular event is the crowning of the Black Walnut Festival Queen with around 16 young ladies from area schools competing for the title! The festivities are held at the main stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.
- Bold Flavor Bake Off Contest – Gather at the park stage on 6:30 p.m. Friday evening to watch the showdown between the culinary students at College of the Ozarks versus Show Me Chefs of MO State, featuring Joy Robertson (host of Ozarks Live) as the M.C. The chefs will use Black Walnuts to create a signature dish!
- The Nut Run 5K/1 Mile Walk – Registration for this fun event starts at 7 a.m. Saturday on the Stockton square at Zumwalt Pharmacy, and the run/walk begins at 8 a.m. The event will benefit the Aubree Schmid Scholarship.
- Black Walnut Nut Contest – Bring your best Black Walnuts in to Hammons for judging and prizes! Read more here on rules and contest date.
- Hammons Plant Tours – Stop by Hammons to enjoy a short video and walking tour of the processing plant on any of these days: Wednesday – Friday at 2 p.m., or Saturday after the parade.
For more information, follow The Black Walnut Festival on Facebook. Make plans to attend this year’s 56th annual Black Walnut Festival!