What's a festival without a carnival? Take the kids to the Camdenton Middle School parking lot on S. Business 5 Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or all of the above, for hours of fun.

1. The Parade

A festival without a parade is like a day without sunshine. Watch homemade floats, vintage cars, the Pride of the Lake Marching Band and more pass by to enjoy the spectacle and grab some CANDY! The parade marches has been marching through downtown Camdenton since the festival’s inception 67 years ago.

2. Carnival

What’s a festival without a carnival? Take the kids to the Camdenton Middle School parking lot on S. Business 5 Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or all of the above, for hours of fun. The carnival will be open from 5-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday with $20 wristbands available from 5-9. Then on Saturday, the carnival will run noon-10 p.m. with the $20 wristband available from noon-4 and 5-9.

3. Booths

From upscale jewelry made with natural stones to free seeds from master gardeners and hand-forged metal art to makeup, the booths that fill the area around Camdenton Middle School offer a wide variety of hand-made and novelty items. And don’t forget the food stands selling treats this year like traditional funnel cakes, cotton candy and kettle corn as well bison burgers and fried alligator meat. Fun education experiences for kids can also be found with the Camdenton Police Department’s seat belt convincer and opportunities to sign them up for a children’s history camp and get scouting information. Oh, and did we mention face painting!

4. Live entertainment

The Dogwood Festival some great live entertainment options at the CMS parking lot as well. This main stage of the festival will feature the local dance company, LOZ Dance on Friday night followed by local band Soul Joke. Cameron Rhoades on drums, Jordan Crane on lead guitar and backup vocals, Taylor Malonson on lead vocals and Tyler Martin on bass guitar make up the rock band that plays rock, hard rock and metal. And on Saturday, watch American Gymnastics Team, the baby contest, the dog contest and music by Mitch Shields, Helen Russell & Company and Shawn C.

5. Chance to win

While much of the activity of the Dogwood Festival is now around the middle school area, downtown businesses in conjunction with the Camdenton Art League are getting into the festive mood with a special promotion. The Dogwood Business Hop will begin April 20 and run through the end of the festival. Look for the Camdenton businesses that have a dogwood flower in their window painted by local high school students. Receive a punch card from one of these participating merchants. Visit each business with the signature dogwood bloom and have the card initialed. At your last stop, leave the card with your name and phone number. They will be collected at the end of the festival. The person with the most visits will receive a $100 gift certificate. Additional gift certificates of $25 will be given for second and third places.

For information about events, call the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce at 573-346-2227.