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(West Plains) – Volunteers are sought for the 19th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, set for June 14 and 15 in downtown West Plains.

There is no paid staff and there never has been, organizers said, adding the festival committee spends many hours over several months preparing for it, including coordinating logistics, choosing the stage performers and accepting vendor applications.

Most volunteers are asked to take part for an hour or two each day at the information booths. One booth is under a canopy on East Main Street, the other in the lobby in the West Plains Civic Center. This means a volunteer could be at the outside booth for an hour, then another hour in the air-conditioned building on one or both days. The booths are open 8 AM to 9 PM June 14 and 15.

The jobs are easy – hand out written information on hour-by-hour shows on the two stages, ask out-of-towners to fill out surveys, sell festival items, including T-shirts, and field questions vendors or others might have. For example, a vendor may need ice. The volunteer at the booth will get it from nearby or another volunteer will be paged by cell phone to come take care of that. If you’d rather just stay at the booth, that’s fine, too.

Bring a lawn chair. Bring your cell phone.

For more information or to set a time to help, call 417-256-9191 during the day, 417-256-8886 after 6 p.m. any day, or email

You can ask to volunteer at a certain time of day; usually at least two volunteers are at each booth. It’s recommended that you bring a friend.


There is also a call for people who would spend an hour or two at a small barrier at one of the driveways beside the civic center to assure only those who are allowed to park beyond that point get to do so. The information needed to do the job will be in writing and other volunteers will be available to help. Help is just a cell phone call away, if needed. This is easy work.


A few rooms at the civic center are set aside for the performers who will be on the main stage. It is stocked by the festival committee with snacks and water for them. Artists and their musical instruments are transported by four-wheelers to and from the main stage at their allotted time to perform.

Volunteers helping with that must have a driver’s license. It is hoped that each volunteer would work in two- to three-hour increments. For example, three hours on that Friday and three more that Saturday. No volunteer will be alone on the assignment.


Help is always needed to set up the Thursday evening before the festival, including at the main stage, and helping vendors find their assigned locations on the street. Specific people are already assigned to the big jobs.


Help is also needed from about 8 to 10:30 p.m. when crews will be closing up and cleaning up to end the festival.


There will be a volunteers’ meeting sometime in the next few weeks. Each volunteer who signs up between now and then will be notified by phone of the exact date.

The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The two-day festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands. Admission is free.

Major sponsors include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center and Missouri State University-West Plains. Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

For more information about the festival, visit or “like” the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival page for up to the minute information.

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