Celebrating Trenton: Missouri Day Festival

The Missouri Day Festival is held the third weekend of October each year. The festival includes vendors, children's activities, demonstrators, a parade and one of the area's largest marching band competitions.

Celebrating Trenton: Missouri Day Festival

Everyone loves a festival and there is none better than the event celebrated in
Trenton each year during the third weekend of October.

The Missouri Day Festival is in its 38th year of existence and features two full days
of activities which include a parade, high school band festival, a baby show,
window and yard decorating, and youth coloring contests. Throw in vendors
serving delicious cuisine and selling all types of arts, crafts, antique furniture, etc.,
and you have a weekend to remember.

The Missouri Day Festival made its debut in October 1984 when a committee of
Trenton residents met to organize an event recognizing Trenton and the
surrounding community. It was soon discovered that a Trenton woman, Anna
Brosius Korn, had worked with the Missouri Legislature to pass a law in 1915
designating the third Wednesday of October as “Missouri Day.” Another Trenton
resident, Gov. Arthur M. Hyde, later designated a specific date for celebration,
Oct. 18. With no known celebration recognizing the occasion, the committee
immediately chose to honor Mrs. Korn’s efforts and the Missouri Day Festival was

An aerial photo of a marching band in formation on a street.
Marching band makes it way down 9th Street during the annual Missouri Day Parade

The Trenton Area Chamber of Commerce is now in charge of the festival, which
kicks off each year on Thursday with a soup supper sponsored by the Trenton
Area Ministerial Alliance. A program follows, recognizing the grand marshal of the
festival parade as well as announcing the winners of events such as business and
residential yard decorating and a children’s coloring contest, featuring artwork
from youth attending schools in Grundy County. A concert featuring the Trenton
High School choir culminates the evening’s activities.

The main festival activities are held on Friday and Saturday and are centered
around the Rock Barn, an octogen-shaped building that was built in the 1930s as a
WPA project and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Vendors are
the featured event on Friday, with handmade merchandise and yummy foods of
all types available. A flea market also offers a variety of items for sale. The local
Mothers of Preschoolers organization sponsors a baby show for children age

newborn to five years of age. Four- and five-year-olds compete for the title of
Little Mister and Miss Trenton and take part in the Saturday morning parade.
The Trenton Rotary Club organizes and sponsors the parade, which is one of the
largest held in the area throughout the year and features entries of all types –
floats, tractors, classic cars, businesses, politicians and, of course, bands. Some
20-plus high school bands show off their music and marching skills during the
parade as well as in other competitions during the Missouri Day Marching Band
Festival, held throughout the day at Trenton High School and C.F. Russell Stadium.
All band events are open to the public.

Vendors will again be offering their wares to the buying public throughout the day
on Saturday. Antique furniture, jewelry, clothing and home décor are among the
items offered for sale in one of three areas throughout the festival grounds. Food
items from blooming onions and kettle corn to tenderloins and barbecue will be
available as will a long-time favorite – homemade root beer.

And while traditional Missouri Day events conclude on Saturday night, the
weekend is not over. The Trenton Elks Lodge holds its annual car show in
downtown Trenton on Sunday. Cars, trucks and motorcycles line the streets near
the Elks Lodge to be judged as “the best” in their category. There is no cost to
attend the show and food and beverages are available.

For more information about the festival, including a schedule of events and a list
of vendors, persons can visit the chamber’s webpage at
www.trentonmochamber.com (click on the Missouri Day Tab).

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