Saturday, October 13, 2012

Festivals abound in Meramec Valley Region

Mayor Bill Jenks, III
Get ready for yet another block-buster weekend of festivals, celebrations and open houses as the autumn temperatures and changing colors set a spectacular backdrop for Rolla’s 34th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival, Missouri S&T Homecoming weekend, Open Houses at local fire departments, and Old Iron Works Days in St. James.

Fall is also the perfect time to get out and explore a trail along Little Piney Creek in Lane Springs Recreation Area (located 12 miles south on U.S. Hwy. 63 South), take a stroll, jog or bike ride along the City’s 13-mile-long pedestrian bike path, play a few sets of tennis at Ber Juan Tennis Complex, or play a few rounds of disc golf at Ber Juan Park or Lions Club Park. Historic Route 66, which runs through the heart of Rolla’s downtown and along many of the outer roads, is also a favorite among classic car enthusiasts, and fans of ‘The Mother Road’ and the ‘Main Street of America.’

Regardless of what activity you choose to participate in there is plenty to do in the Meramec Valley Region, where award-winning wineries, great restaurants and shopping, sparkling springs, abundant trout streams, and several public golf courses are just around the corner.
If you feel a little more adventurous, the 1.5-million-acre Mark Twain National Forest, headquartered in Rolla (401 Fairgrounds Road), offers an endless variety of parks, trails, streams and campgrounds. Be sure to check out the Mark Twain National Forest Website at for updates on the fall colors, special places to visit and where the best places are to view the fall foliage, wildlife, and limitless recreational opportunities.
While you are out and about, and enjoying all the festivities, be sure to stop in at the Open Houses that are being held today at the City of Rolla Fire & Rescue headquarters (1490 E. Tenth Street) and the Rolla Rural Fire Protection District (1575 East Lions Club Drive). The City’s open house runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the County’s open house runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There’s plenty to see and do at both open houses, especially if you have young children and grand-children. 
Later this evening, be sure to check out the Rolla Cruise-In Christmas for GRACE, which is free and open to the public. Festivities will be held  from 5-8 p.m. at Fairgrounds Auto Plaza (located at Fairgrounds Road and Kingshighway). In addition to all the classic and vintage cars, there will also be motorcycles, great music, and much more. So plan to bring your family, friends, and neighbors, along with your lawn chairs, and enjoy a great night out.
A dash plaque will be presented (as supplies last) to anyone who brings a child's unwrapped gift  or cash donation for the GRACE (Greater Rolla Area Charitable Enterprise) for Christmas project. Refreshments will also be provided by the Rolla Road Riders. In addition, there will be a Poker Run ($5 a hand - best hand poker as you go through town to pick your cards) through the City of Rolla with five stops, terminating at Fairgrounds Auto  Plaza. Proceeds will go towards GRACE for Christmas as well. For more information, please contact Jim Larson at 573-465-0865.
Enjoy the weekend festivities, and have a safe week!


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