Heritage Days Is Sensationally Successful

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Despite the rainy conditions on Saturday, thousands of visitors flocked to Warsaw over the weekend to attend the Thirty-ninth annual Heritage Days celebration at the Truman Dam Visitors’ Center on Kaysinger Bluff and on Drake Harbor.
According to Kaysinger Bluff Pioneer Heritage Association Board president Scott Mills 5,700 wrist bands were sold to visitors riding the buses up to the Kaysinger Bluff area. That number is down from last year which was 5,773.
“The rain may have discouraged some people,” said Mills.  “I was sitting in a tent in the Mountain Men camp on the bluff during the rain, but we were soon out moving around again.”
Mills commented that while the rain did keep people inside for a while, visitors seem to be moving around and enjoying their visit to Heritage Days.   “We had to spend $31,000 for 15 busses to transport our visitors up and down from the bluff,” said Mills.  “Four years ago that only cost us $7,000, so we are doing all we can just to break even.”
TLC Catering out of Clinton sold lunch in the Heritage Days village.  Last year they ran out of food, but this year they were prepared and no one walked away hungry.
Mills was a volunteer with the Pioneer Heritage Days Association for several years before he stepped into the leadership role.  “We can always use more volunteers so send a message on Facebook,” said Mills.
Despite the rain, Heritage Days went off without any major problems. 
In the Hooper House, local baker Cindy Miller was making cookies and cinnamon rolls in an old time wood stove. “I love talking to the people who come through during Heritage Days,”  Miller said.
The Yoder family from Lincoln sold homemade fried pies they on the porch of the Hooper House.
Other artists at the Overlook included Dennis Clark and Victor Novotny who were displaying their art of scrimshaw and carving.  “Scrimshaw was developed by sailors who had long periods of dead time when the wind didn’t blow and they couldn’t go anywhere so they started carving on whale bone or pieces of stone,” Clark explained.  “I am going to be offering classes this winter.”  Contact Clark at scrim1us@yahoo.com.
Down at Drake Harbor, there were huge crowds.  The estimate was at least 10,000 people visited the downtown area.
“Vendors were telling me that they had an amazing weekend selling so much of their crafts,” said Chamber Assistant Khristina Brovelli said. “At least 34 of our vendors signed up for next year before they left.”
Benton County Tourism and Recreation Director Lynette M. Stokes was the Tent #1 Captain.  “Despite the rain, Heritage Days had a great turnout.  All the vendors in my tent were very pleased.”
Additional carts were added this year.  “I started taking people up and down the hill at 6:30 AM,” said volunteer Hadley Arnett.  “I didn’t stop driving the whole day until my shift was over at 5 PM.”
Natalie Pickens of Pickens Sweet Treats said that they had a great day on Saturday.  “We had a large crowd in the tent when the rain started so the people just stayed inside and bought more,” said Pickens.
Missouri Representative Warren Love rode his horse to the Overlook to deliver the Sunday Sermon during the Heritage Days celebration.  “Today was my eleventh year to deliver the Circuit Riding Preacher message at Warsaw’s Heritage Day.  The message was on Reconciliation.  About 45 in attendance contributed a goodwill offering of $200.36 that will go to the Benton County Gideon Camp.  The offering will be used to purchase Bibles to help spread God’s Word.  To God be the glory,” said Love.
Now the KBPHA members are busy preparing for Kaysinger Christmas to be held December 6 and 7.