Kiwanis Fall Festival returns to Republic after cancellation last year due to COVID-19 concerns

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - The Kiwanis fall festival is an Ozarks tradition that dates back to the 1950′s. The fall festival returns this weekend after it was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

Many southwest Missouri residents expressed their excitement for its return.

“The festival is the Kiwanis Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year,” said President Justin Hart. “We take all the proceeds from the festival, and then we donate them back throughout the community throughout the year. It is all one big service project for Republic.”

Last year the festival was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. But now that the vaccination is available, the club decided to bring it back in 2021.

“Last year with the COVID numbers being so high, vaccines weren’t out yet. So we just thought it was the safest approach just to cancel it just for everyone’s safety,” said Hart.

According to Hart, the Kiwanis Club felt is was safe to conduct the festival because vaccinations are readily available.

The Kiwanis Club of Ozark Empire says on its website, “The money they raise is used to purchase new shoes for distribution through the Springfield Free Shoe Bank program, fund youth education and organized activities, and assist established organizations in fulfilling children’s needs,”

The Kiwanis Club of Ozark Empire is also known for its shoe drive. Kiwanis is partnered with Springfield Public Schools to put shoes on students who are on free and reduced lunches.

Right now, The Kiwanis Club is also experiencing a shortage of volunteers. If you would like to join their team, CLICK HERE here for more information.

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