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Neighborhood festival celebrates 30 years

The Southside Fall festival draws crowds to Hyde Park as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Posted: Sep. 16, 2018 7:34 PM
Updated: Sep. 17, 2018 8:50 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  Crowds gathered at Hyde Park for a 30th annual neighborhood Fall Festival. 

The Southside hosts a festival celebrating history and heritage each fall. The 2018 Fall Festival was held Sept. 14-16 and included music, food, games, vendors, and a parade. One of the festival organizers, April Baldwin, said the event attracts first-timers and those who come year after year.

"The weather's great, the food's good, the crafts are great, the kids are fun," Baldwin said.

The festival made its return to St. Joseph for the 30th year, and those behind it said the atmosphere is what keeps it going strong.

"It's just a time to get out and have a good time meet new people, see old friends," Baldwin said.

One of the new people to the festival was Mama Lively, of Mrs. Lively's Southern Cuisine from Dallas, Texas. Lively and her family are originally from Louisiana, and brought her Cajun dishes to the festival.

"We have Cajun fried catfish, Cajun fried pickles, seafood baskets straight from the coast of Louisiana," Lively said. 

The festival is also a season favorite for vendors who have been before. Tammy Shirk and her husband are behind T-N-T's Grilled Tenderloins and Rib-eye Philly Cheesesteaks. Together, they've been grilling for 20 years, but Shirk said she and her husband only do three shows a year.

"We have been coming to [the] Southside Fall Festival for about 20 years in the same location," Shirk said. 

The tight knit community of the Southside neighborhood is something visitors have embraced, and regulars have cherished.
"The people are wonderful, friendly, warm, have accepted us, and we're just so grateful to be here." Lively said.

"Everyone behind this festival is great," said Shirk.

The festival kicked off Friday night and wrapped up Sunday at 5 p.m.

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