National Harvest Festival Premiers Culinary & Craft School at Silver Dollar City

By Guest Contributor

First posted on 09-09-2008

National Harvest Festival Runs September 11 – October 25

Silver Dollar City, long known as “The Home of American Craftsmanship,” celebrates its roots with the debut of the new Culinary & Craft School during the Ozarks’ premier fall festival, Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest Festival. Showcasing interactive culinary arts and craftsmanship, this new project opens as the theme park presents the nation’s largest gathering of demonstrating craftsmen, award-winning musicians, fall food and harvest-time activities.

Also, two events within the festival highlight American institutions: the popular Salute to the Great American Cowboy featured in September, followed by the new Tribute to the American Farmer in October. The festival runs September 11 – October 25.

Designed for a special experience, Silver Dollar City’s Culinary & Craft School, opening September 11, brings participants behind the scenes to learn the culinary techniques of legendary Silver Dollar City home-style cooking, as well as the techniques of creating handmade crafts for home decor. The all-new 3,000 square-foot timeberframe building features a state-of-the-art kitchen showroom and a Craftmen’s Showcase room furnished with the work of the park’s expert craftsmen. Class schedules are available on the website,

Widely recognized as the foremost event for fine craftsmanship, the National Harvest Festival features handcrafted jewelry, bronze sculpture, basket weaving, pottery and stained glass, with more the 100 visiting artists demonstrating their art, including Best of Missouri Hands juried artists. Entertainment includes 400 musicians on stages throughout the park, and the original musical production Headin’ West, telling the story of the American pioneer spirit in the 1870s west. The production comes to life with elaborate sets, surround-sound, and special effects from deep cave prospecting to white water rafting. A talented cast of 14 actors performs, with live music enhanced with an original orchestra score. Headin’ West runs through October 19.

The tastes of the fall harvest are served up throughout the park, with smoked turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob and hearty skillet meals cooked on open grills. For a full festival feast, guests can dine at Tastes of America in the Red Gold Heritage Hall, featuring barbecued ribs, roasted prairie chicken, southwestern tacos or buffalo chili, and desserts from blackberry cobbler and peach pie to hot apple dumplings.

Cowboy Features, September 11 – 28

From the Red Gold Arena with trick riding and mild mustang presentations to western saddle and tack makers, the flavor of the West is featured in September. Watercolorist and Gunsmoke star Buck Taylor hosts stars of classic American Westerns, and nine-time Grammy winner Asleep at the Wheel performs in a special concert on September 20. Dancers can kick up their heels at the country barn dance.

Performers include:

Asleep at the Wheel Bill Barwick

Sons of the San Joaquin Native American Hoop Dancing

Sons of the Silver Dollar Judy Coder & Pride of the Prairie

Roy Rogers, Jr.  Belinda Gail & Curly Musgrave

Tribute to the American Farmer, October 1 – 25

A new event within the National Harvest Festival, the Tribute to the American Farmer includes border collie sheep herding demonstrations, an antique John Deere tractor display, show cattle from FFA, life-size dairy sculpture, and Southwest Dairy’s mobile classroom with cow-milking demonstrations. The “Touch of Ear” Draft Mule Hitch will parade on the Square daily, showing the power and beauty of eight mammoth draft mules. Plus, “Lassie” star Jon Provost appears with the 9th generation of the famous collie, and country music artist John Conlee performs on October 11.

Performers include:

John Conlee Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show

Larry Stephenson Band Les Gilliam & Silver Lake Band

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper The Wilders

The festival at the theme park near Branson, Missouri, runs September 11 – October 25, open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. For information, schedules and tickets, contact 800-831-4FUN or