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Our Pick of Springfield’s Top 8 Festivals & Events in 2022

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What would a city be without festivities to bring the community together? Fortunately, Springfield residents never have to worry about struggling to find an exciting way to spend the weekend, especially with our array of festivals. Throughout the year, you’ll find it’s difficult to find a weekend without some kind of event going on!

Since it would be nearly impossible to list every festival that goes on around the 417, we’ve provided an inside look at a few of our favorites. Take a look at our picks!

Springtime Festivals & Events

Central Film Festival

At the beginning of April, the Downtown Springfield Association and Central High School joined forces to put on an amazing event celebrating film and education in Missouri. The Central Film Festival is one of the top five largest high school film festivals in the country as a two-day event which includes a concert, musical special guests, a red carpet event, and more.

Between 600-700 short film applications come in each year, and the top films in categories like international films, drama, comedy, and documentaries are screened. Festival passes can be purchased online in advance prior to the event, so be sure to put the Central Film Festival on your calendar!


Taking place in late April or early May, you will definitely want to take  part in ArtFest, the largest fine arts festival in Southwest Missouri. As you make your way down Historic Walnut Street, you’ll encounter over 100 vendors ranging from local shops to artisans selling handmade goods. 

Each year, more than 20,000 people from across the region turn out to purchase local art while enjoying live music and food from area food vendors. Whether you’re an artist yourself or just an advocate of the arts, this festival is one of Springfield’s must-attend events of the year.

Summertime Activities in Springfield

Taste of SoMo

If you’d like to take a bite out of the city’s best fare, check out Taste of SoMo —  a yearly event held in Park Central Square held in June. During the festival, you’ll get to hear some great local music while sampling some of the area’s restaurants. Each year, more than 30 eateries show up to show off their latest cuisine innovations, ready to be enjoyed by festival goers. 

If you want the chance to earn some extra sampling tickets, and some SoMo swag, you can participate in SoMo Restaurant Week, a program where you’ll get to try different restaurants throughout the week to get stamps on your Foodie card.

Large group of people attending Route 66 festival

Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

Fans of the Mother Road flock from across the country in August to make it to the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival. The Route 66 festival in Springfield, MO has it all: a car show, parade, a 6.6K run/walk, local musicians and Route 66-inspired artists, authors and collectors. 

If you want to celebrate Route 66, there’s no better place to be than the location where the famous Mother Road was conceptualized. Best of all? This festival is totally free to anyone who wants to visit!

Route 66 classic car parade

Fall Festivals in Springfield MO

Springfield Jazz Festival

Jazz groups come from around the region in September to perform at the Springfield Jazz Festival. This event is free to the public and provides jazz music both from area musicians and local college jazz groups. 

Each year, the festival works to bring in a headliner to the Gillioz Theater who is known for their contributions to jazz, including names like Bruce Hornsby, Ramsey Lewis, and Pat Metheny. If you’re a fan of jazz, this is an event you won’t want to miss out on.

Japanese Fall Festival

Each year in September, Springfieldians gather to celebrate our sister city of Isesaki, Japan at the Japanese Fall Festival. Locals are encouraged to take part in traditional Japanese experiences like tea ceremonies, kimono try-ons and top spinning (koma-mawashi). Dozens of performers show off their talents each year, including cosplay demonstrators, drummers, folk dancers, judo performers and storytellers. 

Since the festival is held in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, you can also take some time to view the koi lake, moon bridge, and meditation garden there.

Children enjoying Springfield Fall Festival

Cider Days

Got a craving for some apple cider? Get your fill of fall treats at the annual Cider Days on Walnut Street. Each year in September, vendors line up across this historic street to share fun fall activities and sell artisan crafts. 

You’ll also want to stop by the Scarecrow Village, where local businesses compete to decorate the best scarecrow that matches their store. This festival runs for two days, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it!

Cool Weather Events

Festival of Lights

The holiday season in Springfield doesn’t start until the Festival of Lights. Each year in late November, Springfield residents gather to celebrate the lighting of the tree downtown while enjoying musical performances, free carriage rides and free ice skating.

Santa also makes his debut for the season, along with various other costumed characters ready for the holiday season. The festival hosts other activities throughout November and December, including holiday productions, a Christmas parade and more.

Christmas in downtown Springfield Missouri

Do you want to discover even more of the fun activities Springfield has to offer? Download our relocation guide and take a look at all of the amazing amenities you can find right here in the 417.

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