If you know me even slightly, you probably know that I come from a musical family, although my music teachers back in the day were skeptical because of my own lack of talent. If someone doesn’t know me but has lived in the area long enough, I am asked if I’m from “the fiddle playing Wellses.” Yes, that group, unless they’re in some sort of trouble then I’m most definitely not. ;) I absolutely love music and always need some sort of sound in the background at all times. My high school friends hated how my burned CDs would jump from The Real Slim Shady to The Missouri Waltz with no warning at all. I love to listen to music and dance (when no one is looking), but I wasn’t blessed with a sense of tone or rhythm, so it’s a spectator sport for me.
This spectator sport is probably from falling asleep to fiddle music all through my childhood. I’d hear it almost every night when I went to bed, and on weekends, I would wake up to many family members and family friends playing throughout the night. I’m absolutely certain that my adult inability to reach a deep sleep is from numerous 2 A.M. wake up calls as a child from the Orange Blossom Special. It really does feel like a freight train barreling into your bedroom when your father has the loudest fiddle on the planet.
On Saturday, September 15th, at Santa Fe Trail Days in New Franklin, I finally get to show my real musical talents to Howard County, which consists of registering other fantastic fiddlers and keeping score of a contest. Living with a musical family, I early on learned that I even had a musical talent called organization and simple mathematics. Every fiddle contest needs one of those and I’m happy to fill that spot. The fiddle contest is free to the public and has some amazing cash prizes for the fiddlers, so spread the word.
At one time, I did play the fiddle, as the photo somewhat proves. I played a song called pepperoni pizza at my elementary talent show and even entered a few contests alongside my father. Many junior division contests at the time only required two songs, and I only knew two songs, but if there was a contest with a cash prize and too few entries, I’d play the following songs: Boiled Cabbage, some waltz that I probably butchered, and Burnt Cabbage (yes, that is just a funny way to play two songs twice, but the judges always thought it was cute). I know how hard it is to play the fiddle. It takes years of practice, skill, and talent. You should definitely come by downtown New Franklin on Saturday to hear and appreciate the years of practice these musicians have put into it.
And the fiddle is the state symbol of Missouri. It has a long tradition and history in Missouri life and culture. I was once told that Howard County had more fiddle players than in the whole rest of the state, but after learning more about Howard County history, I’m assuming it was when Howard County was ⅓ of the whole state before it was whittled down to its current size. Fiddle music has a deep history in my family and I always enjoy hearing such amazing talent.
The contest is in downtown New Franklin this Saturday. Registration starts at 3 P.M. and the contest starts at 4 P.M. For more information call 573-823-9207 or 660-537-5821.
The Fayette Area Community Theatre just sold out three shows of Hairspray this weekend! Three shows sold out! They had a great cast and crew and now they deserve a break, but nope, they’re already gearing up for the next fun FACT event.
The 2018 FACT Wine and Spirits Walk is just around the corner - August 4th from 4-7 P.M. on the courthouse square in Fayette.
This year’s wine walk was moved up to try something new by teaming up with the Festival of the Arts. FACT figured they were all out anyway, enjoying the local musicians and artists, so they might as well end the day with some delicious wine and spirits.
If you’re afraid of the hot Missouri weather, you’re in luck. The wineries and distilleries are all hosted indoors so you can stay cool while you check them out and spend a little time getting to know the local businesses involved.
There are eight wineries and two distilleries joining FACT this year around the square:
Tickets can be purchased at various locations around town and at Eventbrite, and they’re only $15, so check this link if you’d like to make sure you have a ticket:
There are many other updates to be seen on the FACT event page too, such as vendors, entertainment, and silent auction items, so check out their event page for more details:
If you have questions, would like to volunteer, or would like to donate to the wine walk, message their Facebook page or call 660-202-9258. It will be a fun time and great event for the Fayette community.
I have been compiling this list of local organizations for a while now, but it's far from complete. There are many organizations that I haven't heard back from, but twice as many that I haven't even had a chance to reach out to yet. I'll repost it once in a while as updates are made. If you have a correction, update, or an addition you'd like to make, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a chance to look over it and see what these amazing groups are doing for the community. It may inspire you to join one or share it with someone new to the community.
American Legion Post 273 - Commander-Josh Kirby - 660-888-3486
Association of Women for Education - https://www.facebook.com/FayetteAWE/
Book Club - 660-248-3348
Boonslick Women’s Business Network - https://www.facebook.com/boonslickwomensbusinessnetwork/
Central Mo Athletic Circuit - (573) 999-3106
Fayette Area Community Theatre (FACT) - Bridget Hussey 573-823-9304 – FB and email@example.com
Fayette Jr. Optimists - Kelly Elliott, Sponsor - firstname.lastname@example.org - 573-489-1785
Fayette Main Street – Rick Alexander ph. 573-864-1138
Fayette Optimist Club - https://www.facebook.com/FayetteOptimistClub/
FHS Jr. Optimist Club - Kelly Elliott, Sponsor - email@example.com - 573-489-1785
Friends of the Howard County Library - 660-248-3348
Howard County Democrats - https://www.facebook.com/howardcodems/
Howard County Fair Board - Christine Fuhlage, 660-888-6162, Mailing address PO BOX 468, Fayette, Mo 65248
Howard County Health and Wellness Council (HCHWC) - https://www.facebook.com/HCHWC65248/
New Franklin Lions Club - Kelly Pihana Rackley, Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
PAWS: Pet Adoption and Welfare Service - 660-248-2739
Santa Fe Trail Days Betterment - Nikki Eaton - email@example.com
South Howard County Historical Society - https://www.facebook.com/South-Howard-County-Historical-Society-210420989056798/
Coming Saturday, June 2nd, is a choral event that you just can’t miss. Vox Nova, a vocal chamber ensemble of music educators, conductors, and professional vocalists, will be performing at Linn Memorial United Methodist Church at 7 P.M. on the CMU campus.
It’s free admission and open to the public!
In 2014 a group of friends came together to create Vox Nova so they could continue their love of music by singing challenging choral music during the school year. The group continues to sing together today for various events even though they are spread across the country from cities spanning from Seattle to New York, and we’re lucky enough in Fayette to have them come together for a performance at Linn.
They are accomplished musicians, as many of the members perform with other professional choirs, at prominent music festivals, and with various opera companies, both locally and across the United States. The group has been guest artists for the Odyssey Chamber Music Series, the Idaho International Choral Festival, and the True/False Film Festival. Vox Nova has been committed to choral excellence, working together even as their careers have taken them across the country so they can continue to spread choral music to listening audiences.
Some members of the group that you may recognize are Darrell Jordan, a former adjunct professor of music at CMU and a now in-demand recitalist and concert soloist, Christine Jarquio Nichols, a Columbia music educator and the artistic director of Vox Nova, and local Lacey Gladden, a music educator and CMU grad.
To learn more about Vox Nova, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/voxnovacomo/
For more information about the event Vox Nova in Concert, check out their event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/207772699827456/.
It will be a great concert of friends and musicians, each with their own professional careers that have led them on different journeys, coming together to reunite at our benefit. Make it a night out with this fun and engaging performance!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s always something going on at the Howard County Library in Fayette. Genealogy research takes place every Friday from 1-4 P.M. in the Glenn and Betty Collier Genealogy Center in the basement of the library. Fridays are also busy with library story hour at 11 A.M. and all day block day on the first Friday of every month.
Spring and summer are gearing up to be busy as well, and the first event will be Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 P.M. at the library for the Friends of the Library annual meeting. This isn’t just any annual meeting though. After a brief business meeting, they will honor Tony Cook, the outgoing Friends of the Library president, who is stepping down after more than 15 years of service to the Friends. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting. If you’d like to become a member of the Friends of the Library, dues are $5 for an individual annual membership, $10 for family annual membership, $100 for individual lifetime membership, and $2 for student membership. These funds help support library collections and programs.
On May 9th at 7 P.M., the Friends of the Library have scheduled a meet and greet with author Alex George at the Fayette First Christian Church sanctuary. George is the author of A Good American and Setting Free the Kites, and he is also founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia. He is also a lawyer and is opening a bookstore in Columbia soon. Following the program, there will be a book signing and refreshments giving you a chance to ask him how he does it all. Well, that’s what I’m going to ask, anyway.
Get ready for some excitement in the library this summer because the summer program is entitled Libraries Rock! Every Thursday in June, at 10 A.M. and 6 P.M., readers of all ages can paint rocks, learn about rocks and caves, and even get a little musical. And new to the library this year is a middle school book club that begins Tuesday, May 22 with book discussions, pizza, and fun. Did I mention pizza? I wish I was still in middle school. They’ve been working hard redecorating an area in the basement just for this purpose so stop by and check it out. The summer reading program will wrap up on Saturday, July 7 at 5 P.M. for the annual street fair.
Lots going on at the library! While you’re there for all the cool events, check out a book, buy a book from their book sales, and get to reading. Bask in the summer sun (it will come eventually, I think) with a good book thanks to your local, hard-working, wonderful library.
April 14th is going to be a great day to get out and get active! The Fayette Area Community Theatre (FACT) is hosting a “Superhero” 5K Fun Run/Walk Saturday, April 14th with a 9 A.M. start time. Get the family out, dress up as superheroes, and get a little exercise while you’re having a great time!
You can register for the 5K at the link below: https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/Fayette/FACTSuperhero5kFunRunWalk
You can also register the day of the event at the check-in table near City Hall right off the square in Fayette. Just arrive about ten minutes before the start time so you have plenty of time to register, stretch, and plan your strategy of Superman-flying to the finish line or giving everyone else a chance while you jog it. It’s $15 for adults (18 and up), $10 for youth (6-17 years old), and children 5 and younger are free. Save on your registration fee by bringing a canned or boxed food item for $1 off (up to $5 off per person). These food donations will go to the Fayette Food Pantry.
Costumes are encouraged but you certainly don’t have to wear one. Everyone knows you’re already Super Mom, or Wonder Dad, or the Amazing and Incredible Grandma. If you have questions about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-239-0238.
Family Fun Day is also on April 14th at the Fayette City Park from 1-3 P.M. There will be numerous activities geared toward preschool through 5th grade in shelters #1 and #2, the playground, sand volleyball court, and the frisbee golf course, and all the activities are FREE. This is a great way to spend a day with the whole family and save your wallet as well.
Many organizations are joining in for the fun:
Fayette Library/Librarian Christina Kloeppel - Rock Painting
First Christian Church - Decorate Your Own Mug
Get Bent Fitness/Mackenzie Wells - Obstacle Course
Golden Study Club - Butterfly Feeders Craft
HCHWC - Squirrel Feeders, Free Snacks, Games, Frisbee Golf for Kids
Howard County Veterinary Services/Dr. Jessica Stroupe - Roping Game
Jr. Optimists of Fayette - Games
Paisley Bowtique - Face Painting
Parents As Teachers/Kristen Himmelmann - Bubble Fun
Sam's Health Mart Pharmacy / Pharmacist Cortney Pettit - Decorate Your Own Tote Bag
In case of rain, activities will be held in the Fayette High School gymnasium. If you have questions about Family Fun Day, contact email@example.com or call 573-864-2064.
It’ll be a great day of fun for the family, so head out, and show your support for both organizations, Fayette Area Community Theatre and Howard County Health and Wellness Council.
For updated information about the events, check their Facebook event pages:
Elisha Wells Stroupe
New Franklin is feeling pretty lucky this coming weekend! One of my favorite things is coming up. Wine walk time! The Cork and More Wine Walk in New Franklin takes place from 4-7 P.M. downtown this St. Patty’s Day, Saturday, March 17th.
At $15 a ticket, it’s a great deal for a date night or girl’s night out. There are, as always, wonderful wine tastings from wineries all over the state. A long list of wineries are attending this year, nine total:
Check out the Cork and More Wine Walk event page for more details about each winery if you want to do your homework. You are certain to find something you’ll love with the extensive options available at this event.
Local vendors will be set up as well with food, personal shopping and great gift items. Tanner Lee Bechtel will be performing with guest Phillip Wooldridge, as well as the Fairley Brothers Band. If that wasn’t enough to get you there, you also have the chance to win one of the three door prizes: overnight stays at Megraw House in Fayette, Hickory Springs Bed and Breakfast in Boonville, and Hotel Frederick in Boonville.
This event is hosted by the South Howard County Historical Society. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $15, or if you’d like them in advance, stop by Exchange Bank in New Franklin and pick up a pair. It’ll be a fun time and a good way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Make sure to wear your green!
Elisha Wells Stroupe
The Fayette Area Community Theatre has another great production coming up this week. The modern classic Steel Magnolias will be presented by the local community theater by our very own local talent on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, January 25, 26, and 27 at 7:00 P.M. and Sunday, January 28 at 2:00 P.M.
The play, which will be held at CMU’s Little Theatre, is a comedic drama about the lives of a group of Southern women, their family relationships and friendships, in the face of difficult times, and how those bonds help them move forward in the face of these difficulties. The director is Angela Howard, the Fayette High School speech and theater coach, and she has assembled a group of local women that fit the characters to a tee:
Truvy - Stephanie Moore
Annelle - Anna Valencia
Clairee - Bridget Hussey
Shelby - Hailey Sage
M'Lynne - Aimee Sage
Ouiser - Mickie Foland
Advanced tickets are available at Grey Willows, Merchants and Farmers Bank, Commercial Trust Company, and Exchange Bank in Fayette, or you can purchase them through the following link on Eventbrite:
Advanced tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets at the door will be available for $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. There will also be an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter for the Friday, January 26th performance. Make sure you head out to one of the performances to support your local community theater, these talented ladies, and all the volunteers and businesses that help make FACT productions happen.
If you’d like more information about Fayette Area Community Theatre, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FayetteACT/. Volunteers, actors, and directors are always welcome to join in on their monthly meetings!
Thanks to Sam’s Health Mart in Fayette for sponsoring this ad. Stop by Sam’s at 300 N. Church St. for your pharmaceutical needs and check out their new Mommy and Me section.
Elisha Wells Stroupe
For all you moms out there, your life just became a little simpler. Sam’s Health Mart has answered your prayers with its new Mommy and Me section. No more running out to the big box store or spending extra money on expedited shipping from Amazon to get your childcare items ASAP. An even worse scenario, sending your husband out with a picture of the breast pump parts or colic drops that you so desperately need.
Did you run out of liquid gold nursing bags? Not feeling so great from morning sickness and need something to ease the queasies? Or the worst of all mommy catastrophes, did the last surviving binky disappear into thin air? Sam’s has you all set.
The Mommy and Me section has been up for a little over a month but new items are still being added to fit the needs of our local moms. If you can’t find what you need, just let them know and they’ll find it for you. The ever popular Medela breast pump parts are in stock, and the newly popular Spectra parts have recently been added. If you have a baby shower to stock up for, definitely stop by for all the most popular items that moms and babies love. Great gift ideas include the Baltic Amber teething necklace, which is very popular for those teething, fussy babes, and Nuby’s The Nibbler, for introducing solid foods without the choking hazard. They have lots of other great baby items like the NoseFrida to wipe out a snotty nose, baby sleeper sets, picture books, educational toys, and baby soaps and skin care for mommy and baby like Bella B, an all organic line.
It’s a great way to shop local and they are priced competitive with Amazon, and it’s another great service brought to you by your local pharmacy. If you do have to send your husband in with a blurry picture of a baby item that he can’t name, they’ll make sure he leaves with what you need. Happy mommy, happy baby, relieved daddy!
Stop by Sam’s Health Mart in Fayette at 300 N. Church St. or call 660-248-2275 if you have questions.
Elisha Wells Stroupe
Each school in Howard County has their own Parents as Teachers organization. If you’re not familiar with PAT, they are an amazing group of educators who focus on early childhood development by working with parents and caregivers. They do so many things for local children and families that I’m not sure I can accurately make a complete list because I’m always learning something new.
Just to be clear, I’m on the Fayette PAT Community Advisory Board, so I hear about the wonderful things going on with PAT through that group, and that might make me a little biased about all the great things that PAT can do for a family, but they are honestly doing great things for our community. Different PAT’s do different things, but that includes personal visits with families to assess development, health, and the needs of families that participate in PAT. They also hold special events for children and parents, provide support and local resources that parents might need, and provide educational toys and books for young children. And sometimes, when the need is great, they provide diapers for families, and if you’re a parent, you know how fast you can fly through diapers.
Recently, with budget cuts, some grants that provide these resources for local PAT’s have been drying up or limiting their support. After hearing about this, that’s when I thought it would be a good idea to create a little competition to see how many diapers we, as a community, can get for our local PAT directors. There are boxes set up to drop off donations of diapers. They’ve been out since December 8th and in two days the drive will wrap up on December 20th at 8:00 A.M. Winner gets bragging rights (and hopefully a lot of diapers to better serve the needs of families in our communinty). While you’re out shopping this week, grab a few diapers to show your support for Parents as Teachers and all the hard work they put into educating our young children and parents.
Daly Elementary Office
Glasgow Elementary Office
Charlie’s Quik Chek
New Franklin Elementary Office
If you don’t have a chance to stop by one of the drop-box locations, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a pick up time. I’d be happy to help!
If you’d like to contact our local PAT directors for more information about their programs, there emails are listed below:
Fayette - Nancy Holtwick - email@example.com
Glasgow - Mellissa Frevert - firstname.lastname@example.org
New Franklin - Marsha Stewart - email@example.com
Now, let the games begin and let those old sports rivalries do some good. Don’t let another town show you up! But for the good of all our Howard County families and our wonderful PAT directors, let’s make a mountain of diapers to show how much we care.