Hundreds gather to celebrate local art, food and music for 24th annual Cider Days

The smell of fried apple cider donuts and the sound of live local music filled the air along Historic Walnut Street on Saturday for the opening of Cider Days.

The two-day fall festival celebrates its 24th anniversary this year, showcasing artisans, local nonprofits, food trucks and live entertainment.

This year's festival is Shayna McDonald's first as a participating vendor. McDonald is an elementary school art teacher during the day and a potter by night. Folks can find an array of pottery items at McDonald's tent, including bowls, mug and magnets.

McDonald said she traditionally sells her works at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks, but she has been "hoarding" pieces for the weekend's festival.

"This is my first big-girl event," McDonald said. "I think it's really important to see all the different people that are here in Springfield. We have so much talent here that you would have never even thought of."

McDonald isn't the only artist experiencing the festival as a vendor for the first time.

A festival goer grabs a handful of flowers from the Ozark Mountain Flower Truck during Cider Days on Saturday, Sept. 17 along Historic Walnut Street. The two-day fall festival showcases local artisans and craftsmen, food trucks, nonprofits and live entertainment.
A festival goer grabs a handful of flowers from the Ozark Mountain Flower Truck during Cider Days on Saturday, Sept. 17 along Historic Walnut Street. The two-day fall festival showcases local artisans and craftsmen, food trucks, nonprofits and live entertainment.

Leslie Berry, who does hand embroidery, is also new to Cider Days. Aside from traditional wall hanging embroidery, Berry also creates custom hats and jewelry.

Berry said the accessibility of Cider Days is what she finds appealing, as it's not often folks have access to so many local artists and craftsmen in one place.

More: 27 fall festivals to attend in Springfield and throughout the Ozarks in 2022

Visitors can find McDonald, Berry and hundreds of other vendors during the final day of the festival on Sunday. Cider Days is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday's live entertainment includes:

  • Conservatory of the Ozarks on the Show Wagon Stage at 10 a.m.

  • Princesses of the 417 on the West Stage at 10:30 a.m.

  • Matt Harp on the Center Stage at 10:30 a.m.

  • SLT's Illumination Dance Company on the Show Wagon Stage at 11 a.m.

  • Dragonfest Renaissance Faire on the West Stage at 11:30 a.m.

  • Kenny Key and Juanita Lee on the Center Stage at 11:30 a.m.

  • Lauren Ashley Dance Center on the Show Wagon Stage at 11:45 a.m.

  • Finley River Boys on the West Stage at 12:30 p.m.

  • Queen City Acro on the Show Wagon Stage at 12:30 p.m.

  • Studio VIE Dance on the Show Wagon Stage at 1:15 p.m

  • Uke 66 on the Center Stage at 1:45 p.m.

  • Jin J. X on the West Stage at 2 p.m.

  • Republic Community Band on the Show Wagon Stage at 2 p.m.

  • Ralph Hepola's HepTones on the Center Stage at 2:45 p.m.

  • Resonance Dance Company on the Show Wagon Stage at 3 p.m.

  • The Bridgetones of the West Stage at 3:30 p.m.

  • Ozark Dance Academy on the Show Wagon Stage at 4:15 p.m.

Liberty Spencer, front, and Zoe Buzzard paint pottery pumpkins at the Artistree Pottery tent during Cider Days on Saturday, Sept. 17 along Historic Walnut Street. The two-day fall festival showcases local artisans and craftsmen, food trucks, nonprofits and live entertainment.
Liberty Spencer, front, and Zoe Buzzard paint pottery pumpkins at the Artistree Pottery tent during Cider Days on Saturday, Sept. 17 along Historic Walnut Street. The two-day fall festival showcases local artisans and craftsmen, food trucks, nonprofits and live entertainment.

Festival attendees may also enjoy a walking tour of Historic Walnut Street with historian David Eslick at 1 p.m. The tour departs from the Walnut Street Inn.

Festival tickets are available for $5 online or at the event. Children 10 and under get in free. Purchase tickets online at bit.ly/3qG1i5W.

Greta Cross is the trending topics reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email her at gcross@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Cider Days celebrates 24 years of local arts, crafts, food and music