10AM to 6PM, Saturday, September 15, Downing Street, Historic Hollister, Missouri

This fall, State of the Ozarks will showcase a festival celebrating the hardworking people of the Ozarks hills that we call home.

On Saturday, September 15th (from 10AM to 6PM) 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, a hundred 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) — 111 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

Making SOTO Fest '18 Possible...

Victory Chiro
Hollister, Missouri, City Hall
PostNet Hollister Sarah & Jesse Hebert
Renewal by Andersen
Commerce Bank

Thank you to our sponsors for making StateoftheOzarks Fest possible!

SOTO Fest '18 Vendors



501st Stormtrooper Legion

Prime Lending

Pellegrino’s School of Music & Art

Action Craft Man

Bauer Baked Goods

Zombie LARP

Blue Rock Print Co

Chuckwagon Lemonade

Victory Chiro

Caleb Scott’s Strongman / SOTO Balloon Tent

Webb Outdoors

Queen City Beard & Mustache Federation

Ozark Mountain Medical

Hook & Ladder Pizza

Swan Creek Crafts

Axis Off Grid / Justin Sage Williams

Darren Vermillion Encampment

Regan Bealer’s Flintknappers

White River Kayak

Maple Hill Ceramics

DruidCraft Props / Michael Amburn

Ghost Busters of the Ozarks

Tribal Yoga

SOTO Headquarters

Hillcrofters Society


MidTown of Downing Street

J Loehr Engraving / My Soapy Habit

Amy Callaway Watercolor

Kim Cooper – Cartouche Gallery & Branson Sign Design

Mary Evelyn Art

Mary Arneson Art

Vintage Paris

Downing Apparel

Comic Force

College of the Ozarks Culinary Club

Skaggs Foundation

Wards of Iassos / J. Christopher Wilson

Walter & Farmer Furniture

Taney County Lacemakers

Kristin Wade, Massage Therapist

Branson Mill

Independent Solar

Flowers by Billie

First Community Bank

Moonstruck Pottery

Bulone’s Sauces & Salsas

Painted Inspirations by Carla

Silent Sillies / Anthony Hunter

Kaitlynn Robinson Art

Mike’s Garbage Art

Beauty from Light



Kilwins Ice Cream

Commerce Bank


Lil Whittler Joel

Clint Loveland Art

Young Living Essential Oils / Carolyn De Jager

Taney County Health Department

Stafford’s Barbershop

Jade Davis, Rossiter Healing

Cole Cramer, Portraiture Art

Kirk Lewis Blacksmith, Viking Warrior

Amanda’s Enlightened Living

Hands with Heart Massage

Smyrna Baptist Church

Ozark Mountain Stair Lifts

Hollister Presbyterian Church

Wood’s Disc Golf & Supplies

LillieHobbs Mercantile

Tri-Lakes Tricksters

White Hart Renaissance Faire

Feast of the Goblin King


Hollister Police Department

Renewal by Andersen

Paranormal Science Lab

Grandma’s Goodies & Gumbo

Weddings at the Homestead


Hollister, MO (June 15, 2018) — State of the Ozarks Media has scheduled the second annual StateoftheOzarks (SOTO) Fest for 10AM to 6PM, Saturday, September 15, 2018, in downtown Hollister. The festival team hopes to reprise the success of last year’s inaugural event. 

“It’s a time to come together as an Ozarks community and just celebrate our traditions and our differences,” says Dale Grubaugh, StateoftheOzarks publisher. “We surprised a lot of people last year but it was a good surprise and we plan to do that again.” SOTO Fest ’17 included a wide range of traditional and contemporary facets of Ozarks culture. 

SOTO Fest ‘18, which will span the length of Hollister’s historic Downing Street District, is scheduled to include traditional Ozarks craftsmen, progressive fine arts, a chalk walk, cosplay, Civil War re-enactors, historic dance, martial arts demonstrations, a zombie LARP, bluegrass jam sessions, a Queen City Beard and Mustache Federation competition, Zumba®, yoga, and strongman exhibitions. Ozark vocalists and performers include Luke Acker and Tim Elliott. White Hart’s Feast of the Goblin King will attend, as will Dragonfest Renaissance Faire benefiting Infinity Academy.

The 2017 festival included over 75 vendors. Hollister Police Department estimated attendance at over 5,000. “This event did not look like a first-year event,” says Rick Ziegenfuss, Hollister city administrator. “[SOTO Fest] looked like a veteran 10-year event.”

Joshua Heston, editor-in-chief of State of the Ozarks, notes he would “like to increase our number of vendors considerably this year and we are well on our way in establishing that goal.”

Festival sponsors include Prime Lending, Victory Chiropractic, PostNet of Hollister, First Community Bank of the Ozarks, Commerce Bank, Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement, and the City of Hollister.

The festival is free to the public.

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.