It has been a super crazy year but the migration of the American White Pelicans is still expected and the 37th annual Pelican Festival, hosted by the Grand Lake Association, is still on schedule.
This year’s Pelican Festival will run Thursday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 11 at Wolf Creek Park, located off Highway 59 in Grove.
The carnival, by Fun Time Shows, will kick things off Thursday while vendor booths open and other activities are set for Friday and Saturday.
Carnival armband coupons are now on sale at the Grand Lake Association offices for $20 each per session. They will costs $25 each at the ticket booth once the carnival opens.
Festival organizers plan to be pro-active regarding Covid-19 concerns and will have hand sanitizing stations available throughout the Festival area. Signage will also be posted urging social distancing. Masks will not be mandatory, but organizers say to wear one if it makes you more comfortable.
“We will have signage posted around the Festival urging people to stay one pelican apart,” said GLA Executive Director Jay Cranke. “We are not taking the virus situation lightly, but wanted to have a little fun with it.”
Cranke says the Pelican Festival continues to be the highlight of the lake area summer’s end and there is something for everyone.
That something includes carnival rides, arts & crafts, food trucks, free balloon animals, car show, parade and great live musical entertainment.
Since Cranke was named executive director of the GLA in 2017, he has made it a point to bring great rock & roll tribute bands to the Pelican Festival and this year will include a bit of a twist.
Live inside the Pelican Festival entertainment tent on Friday night will be a free karaoke night by DJ 2Legit from 7-10 p.m.
“Come pick out your favorite song, hop up on stage and sing your heart out,” Cranke said.
On Saturday afternoon beginning at 3pm, the Grand Lake area father-daughter duo of Jason Faulconer and Magen Faulconer will be on stage with their blend of country, blues, pop and red dirt music.
Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., Dallas-area band Blaze of Glory THE Bon Jovi experience — will take stage and close down the Festival.
“If you like Bon Jovi, you will love these guys,” Cranke said. “I saw them perform in Dallas last year and can not wait for them to get to the Pelican Festival.”
“If loud music is a problem for you, bring some ear plugs,” Cranke added.
The carnival, by Fun Time Shows, will be open 6-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Free balloon animals by Balloon E. Dude will be available from 6-9 p.m. Thursday.
Arts & crafts and food trucks will be on hand from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The parade, organized once again by the Grove Rotary Club, begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The car show, organized by the Grove Masonic Lodge, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Sponsors of this year’s Festival includes the Grand Lake Association, Grand River Dam Authority, Names and Numbers, The Grand Laker, Joplin Globe, Arrowhead Outdoor Signs, Classic Golf Carts, KGVE, Farmers Insurance Agent Brian Farnsworth and TravelOK.com.
For more information, contact the Grand Lake Association at 918-786-2289.