What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (2024)

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (1)

The height of the Midwest heat signals, for some, the best time of the year: the smell of funnel cake, sound of live music and sight of bright carnival lights filling the dark sky.

The 88th annual Ozark Empire Fair kicks off Thursday, July 25 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 3. Tickets are now available on the Ozark Empire Fairground & Event Center website at ozarkempirefair.com/p/buytickets.

Rock-and-roll band Everclear, with support from Marcy Playground, will open the fair on July 25 at 7:30 p.m. on the KY3 Grandstand. The band, formed in Portland, Oregon in 1991, is known for singles like "Santa Monica," "Father of Mine" and "I Will Buy You a New Life."

Other concerts during the fair will feature Warren G with The Sugarhill Gang on July 26, Skillet on July 29 and Reckless Kelly with Jukebox Hero on July 30. And other events include the O'Reilly Outlaw Nationals Monster Truck Show on July 27, O'Reilly Auto Parts Night of Destruction on Aug. 1, Hardee's Extreme Freestyle Bullfighting on Aug. 2 and a truck and tractor pull on Aug. 3.

As always, the fair will feature plenty of fried food, local vendors and rides for the kids. More information about this year's Ozark Empire Fair is available online at ozarkempirefair.com/p/fair.

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In addition to the Ozark Empire Fair, the News-Leader compiled a list of more than 20 activities worth exploring in the Ozarks this July.

More:Celebrate the Fourth of July with these 18 Ozarks firework displays, festivals

This list of events is not comprehensive for the month of July, as there are countless activities going on around the Ozarks. If you would like your event to be considered for the month of August, email event information to trending topics reporter Greta Cross at gcross@gannett.com by July 15. Events can also be self-listed on the News-Leader's Things to Do webpage year-round atnews-leader.com/things-to-do/events.

Tent Theatre's 'Mystic Pizza'

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (2)

When: July 5-6, 8-13 at 8 p.m.

Where: Tent Theatre at 901 S. National Ave.

Tent Theatre's final production of the summer season is "Mystic Pizza," based on the book by Sandy Rustin and 1988 rom-com movie. The story follows Kat, JoJo and Daisy, waitresses at a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. Each of the women encounter their own dilemmas and get a crash course in life, love, friendship and family.

Tickets are available on the Missouri State TIX website.

Show Me Skate Invitational Tournament

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (3)

When: July 5-7

Where: Jordan Valley Ice Park at 635 E. Trafficway St.

Springfield Roller Derby is hosting its second annual Show Me Skate Invitational Tournament over three days.

The tournament will feature eight Women' Flat Track Derby Association teams: the Kansas City Roller Warrior All Stars, Capital City Crushers (Topeka, Kansas), Confluence Crush Roller Derby (St. Louis/Metro East, Illinois), CoMo Roller Derby (Columbia), Natural State Roller Derby (Fayetteville, Arkansas), Twister City Roller Derby (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and Foundation City Roller Derby (Kansas City).

The tournament's schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 5: Doors open at noon, first whistle at 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 6: Doors open at 8 a.m., first whistle at 9 a.m.
  • Sunday, July 7: Doors open at 8 a.m., first whistle at 9 a.m.

On Saturday, July 6 at approximately 7 p.m., a Show Me Skate Mashup will be held, which is an open gender game following Women' Flat Track Derby Association rules. To learn more or sign up, email ShowMeSkate@SpringfieldRollerDerby.com.

Concessions, team merchandise and vendors will be available throughout the tournament.

Tickets for the tournament are available in advance online for $10 per single-day pass and $25 per weekend pass. Advance weekend passes are only available through July 1. Limited single-day and weekend passes will be available at the door.

At the end of each day, Springfield Roller Derby will host an after party at Hold Fast Brewing, with beer and games.

Ozarks Lunkers

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (4)

When: July 6 and 13 at 7:05 p.m.

Where: Wilson Logistics Arena at 3001 N. Grant Ave.

The Ozarks Lunkers, southwest Missouri's professional football team, will play two home games in July. The Lunkers will take on the Duluth Harbor Monsters on July 6 and Kansas City Goats on July 13. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and games start at 7:05 p.m. Official tailgate parties will be held from 3-6 p.m. at The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

Tickets are available on StubWire, ranging between $15 for standard seats to $2,000 for field box seats.

More:What to know about Ozarks Lunkers football as Arena League starts this week

Shark Week at Wonders Of Wildlife

When: July 7-14

Where: Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium at 500 W. Sunshine St.

The Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" has become quite a tradition among sea life lovers across the country. In conjunction with the weeklong television special, Wonders Of Wildlife is offering several Shark Week events:

  • Shark Bracelet Decoration Station: July 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Shark Presentation: Keeper Chat: July 7-13 from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Shark Teeth Cart: July 8 from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Story Time: Hark! A Shark!: July 9 from 10-11 a.m.
  • Painting with a Splash: July 9 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Stand with Sharks Cart: July 11 from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Shark Detective Cart: July 12 from noon to 2 p.m.
  • co*cktail Mixology: July 12 from 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Sea Life Dig and Decoration Station: July 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Shark & Ray Awareness Day: July 14

Wonders Of Wildlife is also hosting a screening of the original "JAWS" movie at the Gillioz Theatre on July 12 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 on the Gillioz website.

To learn more about each Shark Week event, visit the Wonders Of Wildlife website at wondersofwildlife.org/event/shark-week.

Big Rig Night at Battlefield Mall

When: Tuesday, July 9 from 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Battlefield Mall at 2825 S. Glenstone Ave.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks and Springfield MO Parents As Teachers are partnering to host a Big Rig Night, featuring a variety of vehicles for children to explore and learn about, including semi trucks, race cars, buses, construction trucks, mail trucks and police cars. The free event will be held behind Nakato's.

National Teddy Bear Picnic

When: Wednesday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Springfield Botanical Gardens at 2400 S. Scenic Ave.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board's annual National Teddy Bear Picnic is back for another year. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed bear or toy and a picnic blanket. The picnic will feature crafts, games, story time, a teddy bear parade and frozen treats. Registration on the park board website is free but required by July 9.

Free screening of 'Purple Noon' at Moxie Cinema

When: Wednesday, July 10 at 7 p.m.

Where: Moxie Cinema at 305 S. Campbell Ave. Suite 101

Moxie Cinema and the Springfield-Greene County Library partner each month to screen one free movie as a part of the FilmStubs series. For the month of July, the 1960 movie, "Purple Noon," directed by René Clément will be shown.

"Purple Noon" is the film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's "The Talented Mr. Ripley." The story follows Tom Ripley, an American charmer, on a mission to bring his privileged acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf back to the United States from Rome. What starts as a carefree friendship twists into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft and murder. Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet and Marie Laforêt star in the film.

Tickets will be available on the Moxie Cinema website or at the box office.

More:'Jeopardy!' was this Springfield man's longtime dream. Here's how to watch him on the show

Community Service Fair on the Square

When: Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Park Central Square

The History Museum on the Square is hosting an inaugural Community Service Fair on the Square this summer. The morning event will feature more than two dozen local charitable organizations with information about their resources and how folks can get involved. The first 100 attendees will receive a swag bag. This event is free for the public.

The Wallflowers

When: Sunday, July 14 at 8 p.m.

Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East

The Wallflowers, a rock solo project established by Jakob Dylan, is making its way to Springfield. The Wallflowers is known for singles like, "One Headlight," "6th Avenue Heartache" and "Heroes."

Tickets are available on the Gillioz Theatre website, ranging between $39.50-79.50.

Price Cutter Charity Championship

When: July 18-20

Where: Highland Springs Country Club at 5400 S. Highland Springs Boulevard

The annual Price Cutter Charity Championship is Springfield's largest golf tournament, showing the Professional Golfers' Association's future athletes. Since its establishment in 1990, the tournament has raised more than $20.5 million for children's charities throughout the Ozarks.

Tickets for the tournament are available on the Price Cutter Charity Championship website at pricecuttercc.org/tickets/. The tournament allows lawn chairs, but coolers and external food are prohibited.

Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy

When: July 18-20

Where: The Old Glass Place at 521 E. St. Louis St.

The Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy is a touring co*cktail event, featuring four of Poe's most famous pieces of poetry and themed co*cktails. The hour-and-a-half long event provides an immersive experience for poetry fans of all types.

As of June 28, tickets remained available for 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on July 18, 10 p.m. on July 19, and noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on July 20. Tickets are available on fever, ranging between $48-55.

Free screening of 'Barbie' at Jordan Valley Park

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (5)

When: Friday, July 19 around 8:45 p.m.

Where: Jordan Valley Park at 635 E. Trafficway St.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is continuing its Free Movies in the Park series with a screening of the 2023 hit "Barbie." The free event is open to the public. Folks are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and snacks. Concessions will be available.

Concerts at The Shoe Tree Listening Room

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (6)

Where: The Shoe Tree Listening Room at 1342 E. St. Louis St.

When:

  • Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m.: Ozark Mountain Five ($20 admission)
  • Sunday, July 21 at 7 p.m.: Tiffany Christopher ($20 admission)
  • Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m.: Acoustic Pick'n Party (free)
  • Sunday, July 28 at 7 p.m.: The Creek Rocks ($20 admission)

Considered the "performance art division" of Arrow Creative Reuse on St. Louis Street, The Shoe Tree Listening Room hosts a variety of concerts and community-oriented events each month. Concert tickets are available on theArrow Creative Reuse website.

More:Shoe Tree Listening Room aims to be 'community place' with local music, pickin' jams

Rainbow Kids' Art Museum Outing

When: Saturday, July 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Springfield Art Museum at 1079 E. Brookside Drive

The GLO Center's Rainbow Kids program, intended for children ages 5-11, is meeting at the Springfield Art Museum for its summer outing. The free outing will include a scavenger hunt, art activity and snacks. Though the outing is intended for children a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, friends and family are welcome to join. Guardians must stay with their children during the event.

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Collins Chetwin at collins@glocenter.org.

Wake & Bake Pottery with Creava Studio

When: Sunday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Camp Fernweh at 8038 State Highway HH in Willard

Creava Studio, a pottery studio based in Springfield, is hosting an outdoor Wake & Bake Pottery workshop, where participants will learn how to make their own pipes from clay. Each participant will hand build two pieces. Creava staff will glaze the pieces for participants and pieces will be available about three weeks later for pickup at the Springfield studio.

Participants must be 21 years old to attend. Consuming cannabis or alcohol is allowed during the workshop.

Tickets for the workshop are $80, which include clay and all necessary supplies. Tickets are available on the Creava Studio website.

Killer Queen - A Tribute to Queen at the Gillioz Theatre

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (7)

When: Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East

Killer Queen, a Queen tribute band, is world-renowned for being one of the first tribute bands to follow Freddie Mercury's passing. Based in the United Kingdom, Killer Queen travels around the globe annually.

Tickets are available on the Gillioz Theatre website, ranging between $49.50-79.50.

Rare Wine Rare Books

When: Friday, July 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Meyer Library at Missouri State University at 988 E. Page St.

Missouri State University Libraries' annual Rare Wine Rare Books event is a benefit for the university's Special Collections and Archives. A six-flight wine menu and full-course dinner will be served.

Tickets are available on the Missouri State Foundation website. Registration closes July 11.

'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy screening

When: July 26-27

Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East

The Gillioz Theatre is screening all three "The Lord of the Rings" movies in late July. "Fellowship of the Ring" will be screened at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26, "Two Towers" will be screened at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 and "Return of the King" will be screened at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.

Tickets are available on the Gillioz Theatre website. Tickets are $50, which include one ticket to each movie screening and $24 in concession vouchers. VIP tickets are $60, which include one ticket to each screening, $24 in concession vouchers, a dinner provided by Doggy Style food truck, access to the venue's premium bar and a commemorative laminate.

Recycle Run

When: Saturday, July 27 from 6-8 a.m.

Where: Bass Pro Shops at 1935 S. Campbell Ave.

A part of the Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series, a free six-mile route will be set up through Springfield. The untimed race is intended for fun. Water, chocolate milk and treats will be available at the conclusion of the race.

Back to School Bash

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (8)

When: Saturday, July 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Springfield Expo Center at 635 E. St. Louis St.

Springfield Public Schools' annual Back to School Bash is an event of students and their families in preparation for the 2024-2025 school year. The event will offer backpacks, hygiene items, groceries, immunizations and connections to community resources. Kansas City Chiefs mascot KC Wolf will also make an appearance. This event is free for all SPS families.

More:Here's how much Springfield Public Schools will pay starting teachers this fall

Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Gillioz Theatre

When: Tuesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East

More:Return of the '90s: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Big Head Todd and the Monsters come to Gillioz

Toad the Wet Sprocket is an alternative rock band from Santa Barbara, California, known for singles like "All I Want," "Walk On the Ocean" and "Fall Down."

Tickets are available on the Gillioz Theatre website, ranging between $50-85. VIP tickets, which include access to the band's soundcheck and an exclusive Q&A, photo opportunity with the band, limited edition poster and lanyard, and early access to merchandise shopping, are $185.

Greta Cross is the trending topicsreporter for the SpringfieldNews-Leader. She has more than five years of journalism experience covering everything from Ozarks history to Springfield’s LGBTQIA+ community. Follow her onX and Instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email her atgcross@news-leader.com.

What's happening in Springfield? Ozark Empire Fair, 20+ things to do in July (2024)

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