MOKANE, Mo. — Friday night’s demolition derby was just the beginning for people who spent their Labor Day weekend in Mokan.
The 74th annual Mokane World’s Fair continued Saturday with its parade, a performance by the South Callaway High School marching band, a raffle and the Missouri Farm Pullers midway tractor pull. Today at 7 p.m., a raffle of vintage cars and tractors is planned.
According to Terry Howard, club president, the fair is the only fundraiser for the Mokane Lions Club. With the money collected, the club helps organize next year’s fair, as well as for fires and eye care.
Howard said that even after helping out at the fair for 25 years, he doesn’t have it all figured out. Huge crowds — close to last year’s 7,000 visitors — returned to the fair on opening night.
“We sold over 1,200 hamburgers,” he said. “We ran out.”
Volunteers were scrambling Saturday morning to replace burgers and buns and prepare for another big crowd, he said.
“It doesn’t happen every year, but we’re getting bigger,” Howard said. “It was very crowded last night.”
Bryan Rogers, the club’s treasurer, said the crowd was bigger given how much change he had to make Friday night. He explained that he knew how many $1 bills he had to have on hand for change compared to 2022. And he said he ran out and had to send a runner to collect more bills from a local business to get more.
“(Part of it is) the weather,” Howard said. “There are no other carnivals. And this has been happening for years and years.”
Barbara Williams, whose late husband was from Mokan, said she now has a large extended family in Mokan.
“We come every year,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of people and food. And it’s like a big family reunion.”
As she waited for the parade Saturday, Williams said her family attended a demolition derby the night before. It was loud, she said, but it didn’t bother her.
At least it was dry so that the participants did not get stuck. Other members of her family said they preferred the mud, as some drivers appeared to deliberately throw mud at spectators.
The event has something for everyone, Williams said. Kids can ride the rides, adults can watch the tractor pull, and old ladies play bingo.
Libby Cox, 10, of Fulton brought a bucket of ice cream to the parade. She said she does this every year. The candy is her favorite part, she said.
Six-year-old Jordan Adams doesn’t know that. But he knows he likes sweets. Last year, at five, he filled a plastic grocery bag with candy from parade rides and participants.
He was ready this year too.
“I love it when they come by and throw candy,” Jordan said. “I try to catch it. I try to catch it every year. I got like a sack last year – a sack and a half.”
“Alcohol scholar. Hardcore tv junkie. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Twitter fanatic. Subtly charming travel guru. Pop culture specialist.”