Camdenton Dogwood Festival moves to Ozarks Amphitheater

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Attendees of the 2019 Dogwood festival enjoy the many festival rides outside of Camdenton R-III middle school.

The 70th annual Dogwood Festival will be back in action this year, but will be hosted in a new location. Ozarks Amphitheater will host the festival, pageant and food vendors that have historically been held at the Camdenton R-III middle school. This year's theme is 'Dogwood through the Decades' and the grand marshals of the parade will be front-line workers. 

According to Camdenton Chamber Executive Director Trish Creach, the festival committee met with Camdenton R-III Superintendent Tim Hadfield to discuss plans for the festival earlier in the year. Hadfield says the school was still open to the idea of hosting the festival in 2021, but expressed concern to Creach over the difficulty the school would have with sanitation and staffing the event.

“Keeping our building clean is tough with less staff. The Chamber was very supportive of that,” Hadfield said.

With this in mind, Creach says the committee made the decision to seek out another venue so that planning and preparation could begin. The Chamber reached an agreement with the Ozarks Amphitheater and the festival will be held there on April 15, 16 and 17. 

The Dogwood Festival parade will be held at 10:00 a.m. April 17. It will begin at the Camdenton city park and end at the Ozarks Amphitheater. Both Camdenton Police and the Camden County Sheriff's Office will be present to guide the parade

Creach says they will include some extra safety precautions at the event this year, including hand sanitizer booths and optional masks to be handed out. However, normal attractions such as rides and food vendors will be unchanged.

This is not the first time the Dogwood Festival has been hosted at the Amphitheater. It will be returning to the location for the first time since the early 2000s. Creach says they were fortunate to have the location ready to host at such short notice. She says the amphitheater even has old layout designs for the festival from previous years, making organization much easier. 

“It’s so great to have the Amphitheater in Camdenton’s backyard,” Creach said.

Mary Kay von Brendel, Director of Operations at Ozarks Amphitheater, says they are excited about the opportunity to host the festival and look forward to the event.

"All of us at the Ozarks Amphitheater are excited and honored to be the host for the 70th Dogwood Festival," Mary Kay said. "Being an active member of our community is important to us."

If the world has returned to normal in 2022, Creach says they are open to returning the festival’s location to Camdenton R-III, but those decisions are still far off. More information about the festival, such as the official layout and festival maps, will be released at a later date.

For more information, check the Camdenton Chamber website at http://camdentonchamber.com/