Portageville keeps tradition going with 73rd Annual Soybean Festival

Friday, October 2, 2020
Clint Klipfel, Portageville Chamber of Commerce president, prepares for the 73rd Annual Soybean Festival that kicks off today with the Miss Soybean pageants and continues through the week.
Jill Bock/Standard Democrat

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. - For Tonya Vannasdall, the Portageville Soybean Festival is a family tradition. She can’t remember a time when she hasn’t attended.

The Portageville Chamber of Commerce is determined to keep that tradition going for Vannasdall and others. The 73rd Annual Soybean Festival is set for Oct. 4-10 complete with pageants, parades and plenty of fun.

Clint Klipfel, Chamber president, said after looking at how school was progressing, what other communities were doing and the spread of COVID -19 they decided to conduct the event.

“We believe we could still host it in a safe way while continuing the longstanding tradition. This is something fun for residents to do without having to get too far out of their safe zone,” he said.

The public apparently agrees. Klipfel said since announcing the plans in early September he has received only positive feedback.

“People say this is something they look forward to every year,” Klipfel continued. “It is good to know we have the town’s support and people are excited.”

Klipfel said in choosing this year’s theme, “Let the Sweet Times Roll,” they wanted a theme that gave the public lots of options for the parades.

“Also we thought it played off the idea that even though this has been a hard year, there are still good things in life,” he added.

Kicking off the festival will be the Soybean pageants at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Main Street stage.

Age divisions are: Young Miss Soybean for 6-8 year-old girls, 9-12 year olds will compete for the title of Junior Miss Soybean, 13-15 year-old girls will vie for the Teen Miss Soybean and the Miss Soybean title will be awarded in the 16-19 year-old category. Attire for the 6-8 year-old group is “Sunday best” while the attire for the older girls is pageant wear.

Forms for the pageants are available at Health Connection Chiropractic, Tis the Season, Portageville Library, Gator’s Pizza and Southern Loop. Forms may also be downloaded from the Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Page or a request for a form can be made by emailing info@portagevillechamber.com.

Early registration is $30. Forms and the entrance fee may be mailed to P.O. Box, F, Portageville, MO, 35873 or dropped off at Health Connection Chiropractic or Gator’s Pizza by Saturday. Registration on the day of the pageant is $35.

This year’s talent show will be virtual with the winners announced live via Facebook at 7 p.m. Oct. 5. The winner of the talent show receives $100 with $75 awarded for second prize and third place to receive $50.

Rules, entry forms and information about how to upload videos are available on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Also more information is available by contacting Marie at 573-391-0184.

The Kiddie Parade for children up to age 12 begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 with lineup starting at 6 p.m. at the community center parking lot. Categories includes floats of 10 feet or less, walking, wheels and pets. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 5.

At 6 p.m. Oct. 7 there will be a Community Church service.

The Grand Parade will feature marching bands, floats, vehicles and political candidates. Line up will be from 6-6:45 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Community Center parking lot with the parade at 7 p.m.

Oct. 9 is set aside for residents to take in Portageville High School’s homecoming football game against Malden. The homecoming crowning ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. prior to the game.

Vannasdall and Klipfel agree that one of their favorite events is Main Street Madness, which occurs as the Soybean Festival is coming to an end.

Klipfel described Main Street Madness as a day that is more relaxed and gives him an opportunity to talk with the many vendors who set up booths along Main Street. Items offered typically include baked goods, arts and crafts, jewelry, raffles, fundraisers, beauty products and home items. There will also be informational booths and food booths.

Main Street Madness is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10.

There is a $10 charge to set up a 12 by 12 booth. Those wishing to reserve a spot should call Lori at 573-379-0515 or email info@portagevillechamber.com.

Bringing the 73rd Annual Soybean Festival to a close will be the Bean Bash from 8 to midnight on Oct. 10. Live music will be provided by the Jake Lung Band. Food and beverages will be available.

Klipfel said the 2020 Soybean Festival will be different with precautions for the coronavirus continuing. However, he emphasized, the Chamber is excited to host it again.

“We look forward to another great event,” he said. “We hope everyone will still find a way to be involved. We appreciate everyone’s support.”

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Links to more information and entry forms can be found on the Portageville Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/portagevillechamber/

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