12 Annual Lake of the Ozarks Off-the-Water Events You Don’t Want to Miss
You may associate the Lake of the Ozarks with boating, swimming, family activities and nightlife, but many visitors come to attend one of our annual events. Many national groups take advantage of the many lodging accommodations and fun activities for their visiting members to enjoy. Other events, hosted by local businesses and cities encourage out-of-towners to come check out our culture.
There are many competitions and events for boaters to enjoy, but this list focuses on fun stuff to attend off the water. Whether you’re supporting a local business or charity, these annual events will have you coming back year after year.
1. The Bagnell Dam Duck Drop
This event is hosted below the Dam on the Osage River. There are games, kids activities, food, and drinks to enjoy. Buy a duck to enter the race, and then watch it being dropped from a helicopter into the river! Winners receive cash prizes and all proceeds benefit local charities. If rubber duckies aren’t your thing, there’s a golf tournament to compete in. This isn’t your normal golf tournament, however. The course is decked out in crazy obstacles to test your skills.
2. Art & Ambiance Fair
Stonecrest Mall Hosts an annual Art & Ambiance Fair for locals and visitors to find and sample local goods. Live music adds to the ambiance, while food and wine tastings appeal to your taste buds. Artizans have their art and crafts on display. Many galleries bring their work. Museums also set up booths to show off Lake of the Ozarks history. Come to browse or find the perfect piece for your home.
3. Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing
Main Street Music Hall is home to the Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing. The three day southern gospel concert bring nationally known groups to put on a show that’s sure to inspire you.
4. Dogwood Festival
Lots of city folks love making the drive to small town festivals. The Dogwood Festival is one to put on your list. There schedule is chock full with something for everyone during this three day event held every spring. Art trails, gallery showings, a woodworking display and craft booths will fulfil your creative side. Kids will love the carnival, parade, and young eagle flights. There are multiple church garage sales, a 5K, pancake breakfast, and dinner theater for everyone else to choose from. Don’t forget to see who is crowned the Miss Dogwood and the winner of the baby contest!
5. The Midwest Wine and Brew Festival
This festival brings wineries, breweries, and food vendors from miles around. Once you get your glass, you can sample the best of what the Midwest has to offer. It’s held at the Lodge of the Four Seasons, so getting a room there is a great idea.
6. The Testicle Festival
The Testicle Festival is exactly what it sounds like...if you’re picturing enjoying freshly fried “Rocky Mountain Oysters”. The city of Olean puts on a great party with musical guests, a food truck park, and many other activities. Who doesn’t want to go home with a Testicle Festival t-shirt too?
7. Hot Summer Nights
Hot Summer Nights brings together cruisers and families for a fun night on the Strip. Classic cars, motorcycles, and just about anything with an engine can show off their goods by cruising up and down the street. There are activities for the kids with a DJ and games as well.
8. Hillbilly BBQ Fest
To get a taste of good ol’ Missouri bar-be-que, you’ll want to be sure to make it to the Laurie Hillbilly BBQ Fest. Competitors from all over the US compete to win cash prizes. Kids can compete too by cooking their best pork chops or steaks. Make it on friday to taste free wings in the beer garden. Try your luck at duck races for just a dollar while you jam to the live music. If you think your BBQ is the best in the state, bring your smoker and we’ll see what you’ve got!
9. Camdenton Arts Fest
Enjoy all kinds of art at the Camdenton Arts Fest. See local artists’ work with items available for purchase. Take the kids to the kids area to help them create their own projects. Watch demonstrations, group dances, poetry readings, acting, and musical talent. This is Lake of the Ozarks culture at its best.
10. Street Machine Fall Follies
Here’s another interesting event if you’re into classic cars. The Street Machine Fall Follies bring car lovers of all generations to the Laurie Park. With a parade, concert, and fireworks show, you’ll stay busy all day. Past follies have supported local non-profits like the Aquatics Center.
11. Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals
Speaking of car shows, the Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals is one of the biggest around. Over 1000 spectacular cars line the Strip, bringing in over 10,000 visitors to see the action. Join us to see the best of the best in classic and new cars alike. Motorcycles are welcome too! This show is almost 30 years old and known for being one of the best.
Thousands of bikers love the scenic roads that bring them to the Strip for the annual Bikefest. Bikes swarm the streets and line the center lane of the Strip, making for an astounding sight. Vendor villages are set up to showcase biker gear and accessories. Concerts are scheduled for the whole weekend, and there’s even a Harley giveaway! If you’re a biker, you probably already know about this weekend. For those who aren’t, you’ll find it’s an experience to remember.
Those are the biggest annual events at Lake of the Ozarks, but there are tons of smaller concerts, festivals, and activities we haven’t mentioned. Whatever your interests are, we’ve got something to help you enjoy your vacation at the Lake even more.
If you're looking for events you can take your boat to, here's 8 Annual Waterfront Events at Lake of the Ozarks to Get you Excited for Summer