StateoftheOzarks Festival (SOTO FEST)

10AM to 7PM, Saturday, September 16, Downing Street, Historic Hollister, Missouri

SOTO Festival Artwork

In only a few short weeks, State of the Ozarks will showcase a festival celebrating the hardworking people of the Ozarks hills that we call home.

On September 16th (from 10AM to 7PM) in ol’ Historic downtown Hollister, Missouri, there will be a gathering of some of the Ozarks’ best and most hardworking craftsmen, dancers, musicians and townsfolk these historic hills have to offer.

In 1907, a book was published by Harold Bell Wright. The book’s title you ask? Shepherd of the Hills.

But today, 110 years later, the Ozarks have been transformed into a hustle and bustle of tourism and industry, often setting aside the culture, cuisine, music, dance and just plain awesomeness of the Ozark Mountains.

State of the Ozarks (SOTO) — 110 years after Shepherd of the Hills was published — invites all folks who come to our community to know and experience what first brought people to the Ozark Mountains we love.

Come spend a day with us — a day full of fun, skits, crafts, kids’ activities and much more. There will be  dancers, history buffs….also REALLY buff guys lifting stuff, beard competitions, beer tasting, FOOD, Yoga, Cosplay…and MORE!

Remember if you’re not having fun at StateoftheOzarks, you’re missing a pulse!

— Ethen “Puck” DeMarce


Town Square
(in front of Old English Inn)

10AM, Opening Ceremony

Town Square Demonstrations:

10:15-10:30AM – Caleb Scott’s Strongmen

10:30-10:45AM – Crossfit Branson

10:45-11AM – Caleb Scott’s Strongmen

11-11:15AM – Crossfit Branson

11:20-11:35AM – Kom Hot Yoga

11:45-NOON – Caleb Scott’s Strongmen

NOON-12:15PM – Kom Hot Yoga

12:15-12:30PM – SOTO Stones (Skal Brew House)

12:30PM – Mid-Day Festivities

12:40-12:55PM – Kom Hot Yoga

1-1:15PM – Crossfit Branson

1:20-1:35PM – Kom Hot Yoga

1:45-2PM – Caleb Scott’s Strongmen

2-2:15PM – Baldknobbers

2:45-3PM – Impact Martial Arts

3:30-3:45PM – Impact Martial Arts

4:30-4:45PM – Impact Martial Arts

6:30PM Ozark Beard Competition (made possible by Wilson & Co. Barbershop and Stafford’s Barber Shop & Shave Co.)

6:45PM Closing Ceremony

Upon the Street:

Branson Hobby Club & David Mardis lead an Remote Control Car Parade through Downing Street throughout the day

Grandma’s Goodies & Gumbo:

Terry & Darla Mire welcome the street-side acoustic Ozark music jam sessions. Bring your instrument and sit in!

Number 10 Downing Salon:

Jane Ewing hosts the Editor’s Choice Gallery of fine arts and craftsmanship. Stop by for refreshments! Note: Ozark musicians are welcome to come on in and play as well!

Aspire Spa:

SOTO Artwork Reception

Ozark Lecture Series
(Old English Inn Bistro)

The Suffrage & Art of Rose O’Neill
Susan Scott of Bonniebrook

Vance Randolph: Pissin’ In the Snow
Keith Scales, Eureka Springs History

Green Corn Rebellion: Social Injustice in the Ozarks
Hayden Head, playwright

Reconstruction Missouri: Post Civil War
Clint Lacy, author

Organized by Joshua Heston, editor-in-chief

Stone Stage
(In front of Hook & Ladder Pizza)
Varied vocalists and performers throughout the day!

Historic Railroad Depot
(just ‘cross the tracks)


 Civil War/Polk County Rangers (Brent Paschall)
 19th Century Sewing/Willcox Gibbs (Becky Paschall)
Buffalo Hunter (Gary Morris)
Feed Sack Material (Vickey Elkins)
Storytelling (Raylene Crotser)
Music in History (Paul Stickley)
Handcrafted Tureen Ware (Stew Blain)
Mountain Man (Bruce Stevens)
Women’s life in History (Vicki Dunakin)
Railroad (George Dunakin)
Fur Buyer (Pat O’Connell)

Folk Dance Stage
(south Downing Street)

10:30-11:15AM, Eitilt Irish Dance with Veritas Junior Irish Dancers

11:30AM-12:15PM, Contra Folk Dance with Daniel Farnum and Ben Dunnam

12:45-1:30PM, Eitilt Irish Dance with Veritas Junior Irish Dancers

1:30-2:15PM, Contra Folk Dance with Daniel Farnum and Ben Dunnam


3:30PM, Pat’s Clogging Studios & Celtic Fire Irish Dance Company

4:30PM, Barn Dance / Ceili

Vintage Paris Courtyard:

Kom Hot Yoga Sessions: Poses & Pints

The Colliers

The Petersens



(Booths 1-2) Cosplay Portray

(Booth 3) Comic Force

(Booth 4) VisionCon

(Booth 5) Nerd Informants

(Booth 6) Ghost Busters of the Ozarks

(Booth 7-8) Chick-fil-A Food Truck

(Booth 9-11) Gettin’ Basted Food Truck

(Booth 12) Branson Hobby Center

(Booth 13) RC Car Club

(Booth 14) Baby Hands Birth Doula

(Booth 15) Ozark Kayak Co.

(Booth 16) Crossfit Branson

(Booth 17) Kom Hot Yoga

(Booth 18) Skål Brewhouse

(Booth 19) Victory Chiro

(Booth 20) Enhanced Health

(Booth 21) Anthony Hunter’s Lamebrains

(Booth 22) Andra’s Taste of Sweden

(Booth 23) Ozark Aerial Drones

(Booth 24) Gourmet Hot Dogs

(Booth 25) Recharge Your Life

(Booth 26) J.R. the Wordsmith

(Booth 27) Southern Missouri Arts Connection

(Booth 28) Christine Riutzel & Michaela Kershaw, Artists

(Booth 29) Mary Evelyn Tucker, Artist

(Booth 30) Mary Arneson, Artist

(Booth 31) Taney County Health Department

(Booth 32) Sarah Hebert & PostNet, Artist

(Booth 33) Walter & Farmer Furniture Co.

(Booth 34) Vintage Paris Coffee Shop

(Booth 35) Barb Pozek, Artist

(Booth 36) James Shipley & Kenny Portz, Artists

(Booth 37) J. Loehr Engraving & My Soapy Habit

(Booth 38) Shawn Cash, Potter

(Booth 39) White River Bowmen

(Booth 40) Wilson & Co Barbershop & Jehu Knives

(Booth 41) Amy Callaway, Artist

(Booth 42) Jeff Martinique, Artist

(Booth 43) Branson Mill Craft Village

(Booth 44) Lindel Gore, Artist

(Booth 45) Micah Green, Woodcarver

(Booth 46) Pellegrino School of Music & Art

(Booth 47) Daniel Farnum, Leatherwork

(Booth 48) First Baptist Hollister

(Booth 49) Hollister Presbyterian

(Booth K) Turkey Creek Express

(Booth 50) Hollister Police Department

(Booth 52) Windwood Farms Goat Milk Soap / Swan Creek Crafts

(Booth 53) Feast of the Goblin King

(Booth 54) Kirk Lewis, Blacksmith

(Booth 55) Clint Loveland, Artist

(Booth 56) Stafford Barber Shop & Shave Co.

(Booth 57) Buckskin & Linen Native Trade Goods

(Booth 58) Kaitlynn Robinson, Artist

(Booth 59) Take It To the Press T-Shirts

(Booth 60) Jennifer Bauer’s Home Bakery


(Booth 61) Chris Wilson, Author

(Booth 62) Bonniebrook & Rose O’Neill

(Booth 63) Paranormal Science Lab

(Booth 64) Impact Martial Arts

(Booth 65) Larry Campbell, Author

(Booth 66) Caleb Scott’s Strongmen

(Booth 67) StateoftheOzarks

(Booth 68) Mark Kumming, Ozark Mtn History

(Booth F) Hook & Ladder Pizza

(Booth 70) Parade of Homes Real Estate Magazine

(Booth 71) College of the Ozarks Culinary Club

(Booth 72) Sigma 3 Survival School

(Booth 73) Regan Bealer, Flintknapper

(Booth 74) Gary Parton’s Knap-In

(Booth 75) Brent Paschall’s Civil War







HOLLISTER, MO. — State of the Ozarks (SOTO) will be holding their State of the Ozarks Fest in historic downtown Hollister on Downing Street September 16th.

The event will be held throughout the entire street of Downing Street in Hollister from 10am to 7pm with live music throughout the day and more live music from a couple venues downtown following 7pm.  The festival will include many varying types of entertainment and shopping; including many vendors with a wide array of local artists and artisans, crafts, a lecture series on the Ozarks, street actors, cosplay characters, dancing, yoga sessions, a kids’ area, and more! This festival will be a unique festival unlike any other because of this variety in activities.

Many festivals are specialized on one of those activities, but SOTO Fest will include all those activities.  Some of the notable participators and activities will include Civil War re-enactors, strongman demonstrations, Ozark clogging, Irish dancing, CrossFit Branson, an RC Car Parade, Hillbilly Skits, Ozark Mountain Jam Sessions, a chalk walk and painting on the street, an Ozark Beard competition, Kom hot yoga, Vintage Paris Coffee, Hollister Coffee Company, Grandma’s Goodies and Gumbo, and the kid’s area will include inflatables! The event will have free admission for all attendees.

Meet the Team


Joshua Heston, editor in chief

Dale Grubaugh, publisher

Dale Grubaugh, publisher

Curtis Copeland

Curtis Copeland, infrastructure

Shawn Cash, Ozark potter

Shawn Cash, public relations

Bo and Tami Bandy

Tami Bandy, festival sponsorships

Christine Riutzel

Christine Riutzel, fine arts

Crystal Copeland

Crystal Copeland, street characters

Shannon Thomason

Shannon Thomason, video

Mike Malas

Mike Malas, vendor experience

Ethen Demarce

Ethen “Puck” DeMarce, social media

Brent Paschall

Brent Paschall, Civil War & living history

Angela Tolbert

Angela Tolbert, cosplay

Jade Davis, Kom Hot Yoga

Jade Davis, yoga

Caleb Scott Strongman

Caleb Scott, strongman

Daniel Farnum

Daniel Farnum, Contra & English folk dance

(Top), Original collaborative artwork created by Christine Riutzel and Curtis Copeland specifically for SOTO FEST ’17. Brilliantly combining craftsmanship, art and dance traditions of the Ozarks while evocatively hinting at a brilliant, contemporary future through modern color and designs, this collaborative piece perfectly captures the mood of the upcoming festival.

Festival Sponsor

Oak Sponsor Victory Chiropractic

Victory Chiro

Festival Sponsor

Hollister, Missouri, City Hall

Oak Sponsor City of Hollister

Festival Sponsor

Walnut Sponsor PostNet

PostNest Hollister MO

Festival Sponsor

Cedar Sponsor Turkey Creek Express

About State of the Ozarks:

State of the Ozarks is an online publication that has been publishing every Sunday for the past 10 years. SOTO was birthed from the aspirations of Josh Heston, who understands the rich cultural heritage here in the Ozarks, and understand that it is separate and unique from many other areas in the country, it is its own state; the State of the Ozarks. Josh wanted to celebrate these differences and the people that make the Ozarks as unique and special as they are, this was the foundation for State of the Ozarks. The name derives from that exact idea. SOTO has many showcase sponsors, which are artist, craftsman, businessman, and others that share in this vision for the Ozarks and want to help share this wonderful history and story of the Ozarks. SOTO exist for these things.