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Missouri's 10 Summer Events and Festivals You Shouldn't Miss

Missouri's 10 Summer Events and Festivals You Shouldn't Miss
Missouri’s summers are full of events that everybody can enjoy, whether you’re a contemporary arts lover, music fan, history buff or a foodie. From events taking place in St. Louis’ beautiful Forest Park to open-air dinners in the grounds of a botanical garden, Missouri has summer activities for you to explore its gorgeous landscape.
Downtown Kansas City, Missouri © Stuart Seeger/Flickr

Food | Missouri Barn Dinner

The Missouri Barn Dinner series takes place in the Heartland Harvest Garden section of Kansas City’s Powell Gardens – a 970 acre botanical garden that promotes the importance of plant life while showcasing the fertile produce behind Missouri’s farming industry – and is the perfect summer event for any self-respecting foodie. Served in the Missouri Barn, a contemporary take on a classic farmhouse structure by architect Maurice Jennings, on its open-air covered patio the series features talented chefs cooking up differently themed dinners.

Missouri Barn Dinner, Powell Gardens, 1609 Northwest US Highway 50, Kingsville, MO, USA, +1 816 697 2600

Music | LouFest

LouFest is an annual two day music festival held in St Louis since its founding in 2010. Taking place in early September within the grounds of the city’s beautiful Forest Park, which opened over 100 years ago in 1876, the festival attracts popular and high-profile regional, national and international musicians and bands spanning genres that include indie, funk, soul and alt-country. The festival offers more than just stellar music acts and includes the Nosh Pit, a festival food court featuring tasty fare from St Louis restaurants and food vendors, and the Market Square, where festival-goers can purchase art, clothing and accessories made by the city’s creative community.

LouFest, Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive, St Louis, MO, USA

Art | ‘Art of Its Own Making’ at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Art | ‘Art of Its Own Making’ at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is renowned throughout the world for presenting exhibitions centring on cutting-edge contemporary art, and its current exhibition Art of Its Own Making is no exception. Featuring a range of mediums – including sculpture, film and video, installation and performance art – the exhibition is the culmination of 12 international contemporary artists works created over the last 50 years that explore the interactions between artists, artworks, audiences and environments and how art is interpreted, evolves and engages. Artworks featured in the exhibition include Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt’s Ground Control, a huge black helium-filled sphere that floats and moves through the gallery space as viewers do, and the late Korean-American video artist Nam June Paik’s film Zen for Film, a soundless loop of unexposed film projecting a grainy, scratched image that is different with each viewing.

Art of Its Own Making, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 3716 Washington Boulevard, St Louis, MO, USA, +1 314 754 1850

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Music & Culture | Fair Saint Louis

Commonly known as ‘America’s biggest birthday party’ Fair Saint Louis is an annual free event over the Fourth of July weekend held for the first time in Forest Park. Presented in partnership with the Fair Saint Louis Foundation, the City of St Louis and Forest Park Forever, the fair is a sensational celebration that includes live music, fun activities and an unforgettable fireworks display.

Fair Saint Louis, Forest Park, 5595 Grand Drive, St Louis, MO, USA, +1 314 434 3434

Fair Saint Louis

© Fair Saint Louis

Performance Art | Kansas City Fringe Festival

Organized by KC Fringe, a non-profit Missouri organization that connects intrepid artists with undaunted audiences, the KC Fringe Festival is an annual 11 day spectacle of performing and visual arts taking place across Kansas City which includes theatre, comedy, spoken word, fashion, music and film. Established in 2004 by local arts and culture maven Cheryl Kimmi, also the director of arts promotion company Arts Alive, the event was inspired by the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival and set up to help showcase local artists in the early stages of their careers.

Kansas City Fringe Festival, Venues across Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 533 5890

Food | Red, White and Blue BBQ Blowout

The annual Red, White and Blue BBQ Blowout takes place in the small city of Thayer, which is located in southern Missouri’s scenic Ozark Mountain Range. A fun-filled and family oriented event which is, as its name would suggest, all about barbecue the Red, White and Blue BBQ Blowout features a cook-off between members of the Kansas City Barbecue Society and also a Backyard Barbecue Rib Contest which is open to all attending the event. The event will also include a spectacular fireworks show.

Red, White and Blue BBQ Blowout, Rodeo Road, Thayer, MO, USA, +1 417 264 4444