Apple Butter Makin' Days
All vendor spaces for 2023 are full with 100+ on the waitlist. We are not accepting applications at this time. Applications for 2024 will open March 1.
Thank you to our Entertainment Sponsors!
Sunday, October 15, 1:00
Check-in Thursday, Oct. 12, beginning at 3:00 p.m. at ABMD Office: 111 E Dallas St, Mt. Vernon, MO
Setup Thursday, Oct. 12, beginning NO SOONER than 5:30 p.m. or Friday, October 13, from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
Cancellation Full refund before Aug. 1, 50% refund before Sept. 1, no refund after Sept. 1
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Porta Potty Sponsorship $150
Ads on Digital Map $100 per square; more info coming soon!
NEW Digital Maps: Will be LIVE by October 1.
Online Marketplace: Showcase your products and offerings on Eventeny to festival visitors using the new digital maps.
Online Application: New online application. Applications are closed for 2023 and will open March 1 for 2024.
Vendor Resources: Helpful tools and articles to help navigate our new platform. Click here.
Plan a visit.
Stir the copper kettle.
Shop craft vendors outdoors.
Weiner dog races.
Be crowned the ABMD Queen or Princess.
Faire style food.
Apple pie baking contest.
The largest parade in Southwest MO.
55+ years of history and tradition.
Apple Butter Makin' Days, one of Missouri's most popular festivals, has been hosted on the courthouse square in Mt. Vernon each October since 1967. The main attraction is apple butter, cooked using century-old methods in huge copper kettles over open fires. That craft is demonstrated on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn starting shortly after dawn and continuing until early to mid-afternoon each day of the festival.
The sale of apple butter has helped fund numerous charitable projects. While cooking apple butter is the prime attraction, other activities compliment the event and provide entertainment and fun! The craft and food festival also includes games, contests, food and entertainment for all ages. The festival draws an estimated 100,000 people from all over the country for the three-day weekend!
Contests are patterned after the fun of yesteryear and include such things as peddle tractor races and a terrapin race. Other activities that have been favorites for years include the pet parade, bubble gum blowing contest, apple pie eating contest, mustache and beard contest, husband calling, and the crowning of the Apple Butter Queen and Princess. The weiner dog races in Spirit of '76 park always draw a crowd.
Cooking Apple Butter on the Courthouse Lawn
Large copper kettles, many of which are more than 100 years old, are placed on open fires hours before daybreak. Then, apples which are peeled the day before, are placed in the kettles along with water , and the mixture is stirred with long wooden paddles to prevent sticking and burning. Toward the end of the 12-hour cooking time, sugar and spices are added to give the distinctive taste. In the mid-afternoon, the apple butter is ladled into jars and sealed.
Fun for Kids
Kids of all ages enjoy Apple Butter Makin' Days! The three-day schedule is designed to involve and entertain the youngsters. By the end of the festival the children will have had numerous opportunities to enter the contests and compete for the many prizes available. Nothing makes people smile more than watching the youngsters participate in the activities provided! All children enjoy the bubble gum blowing contest, terrapin race, pet parade, apple pie eating contest, etc.
One of the largest parades in the area is held on Saturday morning of Apple Butter Makin' Days. The route takes us east on Sloan turning north on Hickory Street, then winding around the historic courthouse on the square, ending at Gibbs Park on the corner of Market and South Street. Floats, numerous bands, antique cars, horses and more fill the streets as children are mesmerized by the awe of it all. The parade starts at 9 a.m. sharp, so get downtown early to get a good spot. When we say early, we mean 7:00 a.m.!
Apple Butter Makin' Days began in 1967 as a fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations, and we hold true to that foundation to this day. Food vendors are strictly Lawrence County non-profit organizations. This festival serves as a tremendous fundraiser for our local churches, youth clubs, and civic organizations and is often the only fundraiser they have throughout the entire year. A wide variety of food is provided by our local volunteers to make sure the thousands of daily visitors have plenty of options to choose from.
Be prepared to be entertained when you arrive at the Apple Butter Makin' Day festivities! Musical and dramatic entertainment abounds. A Saturday morning parade has always been a highlight of the festival. Not only will you see the Apple Butter Queen crowning, you will listen to country, folk, bluegrass, rock, blues and Christian singers sharing their favorite songs with you! Your foot will tap and your hands will clap in rhythm with the old time fiddle and folk music. We are planning some additional entertainment this year in celebration of our 51st Anniversary to kick off a new era of the festival.
More than 350 booths of craftsmen from throughout the country traditionally set up booths featuring hand-crafted items, with many craftsmen demonstrating their work. Booth spaces are available for hand-crafted items made by the exhibitor. Craft demonstrations are encouraged. Apply early to secure your spot at Apple Butter Makin' Days. Applications open March 1 each year.
Best Western, Mt. Vernon: 417-461-0230
Quality Inn, Mt. Vernon: 417-466-4511
USA Inn, Mt. Vernon: 855-680-3239
McCanse House Bed & Breakfast, Mt. Vernon: (417) 366-3014 | Facebook page
Rest & Roll On, Ozarks Travel Center, Mt. Vernon: 417-466-9230 x1
Longhorn Arena, Mt. Vernon: 308-380-2244
Mid-America Dental & Hearing, Mount Vernon: 417-466-7196
Beagle Bay RV Haven & Campground, Sarcoxie: 417-548-0000
Route 66 KOA, Springfield: 417-831-3645
Ballard's Campground, Carthage: 417-359-0359
Coachlight RV Park, Carthage: 417-358-3666