Sept. 22 marked the first day of autumn, and when you live in the Missouri Ozarks that only means that our world will only get more beautiful as each week passes.
Along with the colorful foliage, cool temperatures and Friday night football at Rolla High School, and Saturday afternoon football at Missouri S&T, fall means festivals in the Rolla area and Meramec Valley Region. Old Iron Works Days, set in the picturesque Maramec State Park in St. James is a must see and experience two-day festival held the second weekend in October (Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11). Maramec Spring Park is located 8 miles southeast of St. James on Highway 8. The cost to attend Old Iron Works Days is just $10 per car. You don’t want to miss it.
Two weeks later the Rolla Downtown Business Association (RDBA) will host the 31st Annual Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, Oct. 24 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) in historic downtown Rolla. The event coincides each year with Missouri S&T homecoming festivities. The festival, which is free, will be held on Pine Street in historic downtown Rolla. The festival will include crafts, information booths, food and entertainment. The Route 66 Marching Band Festival, hosted by the Rolla High School Marching Bulldog Brigade, will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Rolla High School football stadium in the Bray Sports Complex.
Of course you don’t have to wait for Old Iron Works Days or the Arts and Crafts Festival to enjoy the beauty and splendor that exists all around us. There are over 305 acres of park land, and 31 parks in the City of Rolla to enjoy with friends and family. And don’t forget the 1.3-million-acre Mark Twain National Forest, Lions Club Park, Tanager Trail Ozark Nature Reserve, Lane Springs, Beaver Creek Conservation Area and the 342-acre Little Prairie Conservation Area when you’re looking for places to get away, take a hike, have a picnic, and enjoy the fall foliage.
Fall is also a time when we are all thinking about cleaning out our garages and closets and getting ready for the annual City-wide Fall Clean-up. The Fall Clean-up, coordinated by the City’s Environmental Services Department, is held the first Saturday in October on Oct. 3. Anyone interested in participating in the Fall Clean-up (residential only) is asked to please bring your items to the curb by 6 a.m. Please, however, do not bring your roll-out container to the curb for this special clean-up because it will not be picked up on Oct. 3. Examples of items that will be accepted are furniture, microwaves, televisions, old clothes, and normal household trash. Items that will not be accepted are appliances, water heaters, yard waste, tires, or construction debris such as sheet rock, shingles, concrete or rock.
Loose items should be placed in boxes or bags and small pieces of lumber should be bundled. For more information, please call the Environmental Services Department at 364-6693.
In closing I’d like to repeat the often-heard mantra throughout town to “shop local” whenever possible. During challenging economic times one of the best ways to help offset a lull in the economy is to shop locally - not only to support our local business establishments, restaurants and hotels, but to invest in the community in which you live and work.
Enjoy the great fall weather we are having, and be sure to visit the City’s Website (www.rollacity.org) for more details regarding the events and festivals listed above.