The 68th annual Dogwood festival kicks off this week, starting April 19 and continuing through April 21. According to Trish Creach, executive director of the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce, the Dogwood Festival brings in between 8,000 to 10,000 people from around the Midwest.

The 68th annual Dogwood festival kicks off this week, starting April 19 and continuing through April 21. According to Trish Creach, executive director of the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce, the Dogwood Festival brings in between 8,000 to 10,000 people from around the Midwest. As the longest running springtime event at the lake, attendees can look forward to vendors, art displays, and, of course, the flowering dogwoods. 

This year’s Grand Marshall for the festival is Janine Bullock of Janine’s Flowers and Gifts in Camdenton. Selected by a committee of business owners in the area, Creach says she is a perfect fit for the festival’s theme of “Fairy Tales in Bloom.” 

Bullock says she was made aware of the choice nearly four months ago and was honored to be selected, even though she sees many other people who would have been equally qualified. 

“There are so many more people who are worthy for this,” Bullock said. “I just try to do what I can to help this community grow.” 

She says the staff at the store are excited to take part in leading the parade alongside her. Instead of providing candy and throwing it out to the parade-goers, Bullock and store staff will be handing out flowers. She says they have around 2,000 flowers ready for the parade. More than anything, Bullock says she is just ready to get her hands on some funnel cake. 

This year’s festival will include two new events alongside the normal affair, including a 5K run and an art trail showcasing local talent. The 5K Fun Run is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Saturday beginning at the Camdenton High School. 

The Art Trail will also be happening on Saturday and will see a collaboration between local businesses and artists. 

Hosting businesses will be represented by a dogwood painted on their front windows. The artists inside will have work available and demos of their work being completed. This includes art forms such as painting, jewelry making, sculpture and more. Art will be displayed at 16 different businesses, stretching all around Camdenton. The art demos will only be present on Saturday, though the displayed art will be available for viewing from April 17-21. 

“We see this as an opportunity to support the community as a whole,” Creach said. “Art can drive a local economy. It brings people in and gives them an authentic presence of the area.” 

General festivities officially begin on Thursday, April 19 with the opening of the carnival area on the grounds of Camdenton Middle School at 5 p.m. The middle school will host many activities throughout the festival. On Friday, there will be live musical entertainment 6-9 p.m. and carnival rides from 5-10 p.m. Also on Friday, there will be a fish fry at the Knights of Columbus hall from 4-7:30 p.m. 

On Saturday, the carnival rides run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. with dance performances and live music taking place from noon until 7 p.m. Locally made arts and crafts and a variety of food and refreshments will be sold on location at many vendor booths all weekend. Also on Saturday, the Camdenton Memorial Lake-Regional Airport hosts Young Eagles Flights 12-3:30 p.m. where children from 8 to 17 years of age can learn about aviation and fly in a small airplane with the pilots of Air Lake Aviation.

The festival is full of activities around the area. For more information on the Dogwood Festival and a complete list of activities, locations of events and lists of booths and vendors, visit the chamber's website at www.camdentonchamber.com.