The River Hills Traveler is going to be celebrating its 42nd anniversary this summer.

In recognition of the anniversary, everyone at the Traveler would like to give back to the community by organizing the 1st Annual Traveler Summer Fest, a day of fun-filled activities for young and young-at-heart scheduled for Saturday, July 18, at Morse Park North in Neosho, Mo.

This is our way of saying “thank you” to our readers, advertisers, and supporters throughout Missouri. The Traveler is a reflection of this wonderful state, and what better way to thank everyone here than to put together a huge festival that will offer something for everyone.

Several excited sponsors have jumped on board and volunteers are taking action to make this an outstanding festival for everyone from St. Louis to Pineville, Seneca to Kansas City, and Granby to Cape Girardeau.

summer fest logo

Some of the day’s events include:

• Fishing derby in Hickory Creek, which runs through Morse Park North.

• A morning 5K run.

• The park will be filled with arts and crafts booths as well as food vendors.

• Kayaking & canoeing on Shoal and Hickory creeks. (We will have some kayaks and paddles on hand, but if you have your own, please bring them if you can.)

• Guided fishing tours.

• Archery instruction for students in grades 4-12.

• Motorcycle cruise.

• Face painting.

• Hot dog eating contest.

• Dog show hosted by Faithful Friends Animal Advocates.

• Petting zoo.

• Horseshoe pitching contest.

• Child and youth talent shows.

• Swimming.

• Games for children of all ages.

• Live music from area musicians.

We’re also working on bringing in some talented demonstrators in a variety of categories and we’re negotiating with area motels on special room rates for that weekend.

We promise to keep everyone informed every time we have something new lined up through the magazine, our website, and Facebook page (Traveler Summer Fest). Summer Fest is going to be something the whole family will enjoy. Perhaps dad can go kayaking or fishing while mom and the kids swim and enjoy various activities at the park?

If you have an idea for an activity or event or would like to be a vendor, give us a shout or email.

Registration forms for booth/food vendors will be posted on our website by March 10. I expect several groups to have a booth as a fundraiser.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of Traveler Summer Fest, either overall or with a specific activity, can call the River Hills Traveler office at (800) 874-8423, ext. 1, or email festival@riverhillstraveler.com.

(Jimmy Sexton is owner and publisher of the River Hills Traveler. He can be reached at (800) 874-8423, ext. 1, or jimmy@riverhillstraveler.com).