Schedule of Events - Charleston, Missouri's, 49th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival

Dogwood-Azalea Festival Schedule of Events - April 20 - 23, 2017


39th Annual 5 K Race, Youth & Toddler Race

Photo of the start of the 5K Race

Race our beautiful, scenic route in the oldest foot-racing event in southeast Missouri on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.  Youth & Toddler Race begins at 1:30 p.m.  Check-in opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 1:00 p.m.  High quality T-shirts are guaranteed if registered by March 30th.  USATF Certified Course.  Chip timing by CAPE ROAD RUNNERS.

For further information:



Pre-registration is $15.00 with a March 30th or earlier postmark; race day registration is $20.00.

View Historic 5K Race Individual Times!

The 39th Annual 5K Race registration form will be linked here in late winter of 2017.

Visit us on Facebook at!

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Arts & Crafts Bazaar

Photo of the Arts & Crafts Bazaar

Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park will be filled with arts and crafts, food booths, and live entertainment.

Park events run Friday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park
1100 block of East Commercial Street

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Candlelight Tour

Photo of the beautiful Candlelight Tour
Photograph by Jimmy Sisk.

The Saturday evening Candlelight Tour is exquisitely enchanting!  As day turns to dusk volunteers line the sidewalks along the Dogwood-Azalea Trail with beautifully glowing white luminarias.

Residents cast spotlights on banks of brilliant azaleas and dazzling dogwoods as softly suffused candlelight blazons beckoning footpaths beneath the foliage festooning the thoroughfares.  Many enjoy the Candlelight Tour while trundling in the repose of their motor cars.  Others see fit to saunter along the sidewalk betwixt the lambent luminarias - finding friends old and new while celebrating the sights and sounds of merryment emanating from private porticos overlooking the Trail.  Featured entertainment here and there along the way extends to the Candlelight Tour an aura even more agreeable.


Along the Dogwood-Azalea Trail

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Photo of the Carnival Rides

Bring the children and enjoy all of the rides and games!  The carnival runs on Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


East Marshall Street

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Carriage Rides

Photo of a horse pulling a fancy carriage

Tour the lovely tree lined streets in a horse-drawn carriage.  Rides begin at the corner of Cypress and Smith Street.  Saturday Noon 'til 8:00 p.m.

Price:  $6.00

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Miss Dogwood-Azalea Pageant

Our Reigning Queen

Photo of our Reigning Queen
Photograph courtesy of The Mississippi County Times

The Stunning Miss Kaci Byford, Miss Dogwood-Azalea 2016


Little Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 3-4 Years
Little Petite Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 5-6 Years
Petite Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 7-9 Years
Pre-Teen Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 10-12 Years
Junior Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 13-15 Years
Miss Dogwood-Azalea: Girls Ages 16-18 Years


OPEN TO: Residents of All Communities
LOCATION: Clara Drinkwater Newnam Auditorium
DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
TIME: 6:30 p.m. (Doors will open at 5:45 p.m.)
DOOR ADMISSION: $5.00 per person (Contestants & children under 2 free)
SPONSORED BY: Charleston Chamber of Commerce

A Pageant Entry Form will be linked here in Winter 2017.

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Fish Fry

Photo of Kiwanis Club Fish Fry

A scrumptious fish fry with all the trimmings is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Admission is $12 for adults.

Reservations are required for groups and bus tours.


Student Commons
Charleston High School
606 South Thorn Street

Dog Show

Certainly, no proper Dogwood-Azalea Festival would be complete without the Kiwanis Club Dog Show!

What is Fido's finest feature?  You'll find out as Blue Ribbons are awarded to each family pet.

Be there Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to witness the most entertaining canine competition to be found anywhere between Poplar Bluff and Paducah!

Admission:  Free


On the Tennis Courts
Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park

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Warren E. Hearnes Museum

Museum photo of Missouri Governor Warren E. Hearnes and wife Betty.

View items and memorabilia from Charleston's native son Missouri Governor Warren E. Hearnes' 22 year tenure in elected office Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. 'til Noon.

Free Admission


109 South Main Street

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Joseph Hunter Moore Home (Mississippi County Historical Society)

Photo of the Moore Home

Built in 1899, the Historical Society's Moore Home is a lovely three story home furnished with pieces authentic to the period.  In 1977 the generous heirs of Joe and Carrie Moore gifted this beautiful Victorian country home to the benefit of the Society.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the seventeen room house contains seven fireplaces, and is fully furnished including the original dining room furniture and gas chandelier.

Learn more by visiting the Society's web site.

Tour the Moore Home and Museum

Tours are available Thursday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Admission:  $5.00


403 North Main Street

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Fried Pie Eating Contest

Photo of a fried apple pie.
Image provided by Original Fried Pie Shop.

How fast can you eat three fried apple pies?  If faster than everyone else you'll win a yummy fried pie supply to last the whole year!

Time:  Saturday - High Noon


Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park
1100 Block of East Commercial Street between Commercial and Cypress
On the Tennis Courts

Registration Fee:  $15.00

Registration Deadline: 

Paid entries must be received by April 17, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

A Contest Entry Form will be linked here in Spring 2017.

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Ice Cream Social

Enjoy our old fashioned ice cream social at the Masonic Lodge, Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Admission:  $5.00 per person


The Masonic Lodge
301 South Center Street

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Dogwood-Azalea Parade

Photo of a mother and child watching the Dogwood-Azalea Parade
Photograph courtesy of Justin Drinkwater

The Dogwood-Azalea Parade is one of the largest in the area!  Find your viewing place downtown or along Commercial Street Saturday morning before the 11:00 a.m. start time.

The Parade begins at City Hall.  It will process southward on Main Street to Commercial Street then turn to march eastward on Commercial Street - all the way to the Bazaar at Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park!

Limited group seating in a special viewing area downtown is available for charter groups.

Special Parade Seating:  $5.00 per person.

Photo of a clown handing two young boys some candy during the Dogwood-Azalea Parade
Photograph courtesy of Warren Hearnes II


Please register by Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., to save your place in the parade!

There is no fee to participate in the Dogwood-Azalea Festival Parade.
We encourage and appreciate your creative involvement!

The parade registration form will be linked here in March, 2017.

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Musical Entertainment

Enjoy the sweet sound of music in the park on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m.

On the Sound Stage at Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park

Sponsored by McDonalds Restaurant of Charleston

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Piano Praise Concerts

Photo of the Piano Praise Concert inside the First Baptist Church

Seating is limited!  Charter groups should reserve early!

Piano concerts with eight pianos, 12 pianists, and one organist will take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.  The lovely music is sure to capture the attention of young and old alike.  Truly magnificent!

Free Admission


First Baptist Church
301 South Main Street

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Phillip's Exotic Animal Petting Zoo and Swine Races

Photo of some pigs racing around a fenced oval track
Photograph by Karen Teeters

Young and old alike will enjoy the petting zoo!  Watch the swine races, and cheer on your favorite to win!

Open Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Across the Street South of Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park

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Plant Sale

Photo of the Garden Club Plant Sale

Since 1952, the Molly French Garden Club has been supplying area gardeners with azalea varieties hardy to the region.  The sale will be held Thursday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m.


Home of Mr. & Mrs. G. Clay Shelby
307 North Main Street

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St. Henry Church Tour

Pen and ink image of St. Henry Church.
Image courtesy of St. Henry Parish.

St. Henry Parish has occupied its property along Court Street since 1873.  The Parish began construction of the current Romanesque edifice in 1905, replacing a frame structure that had existed earlier.  Archbishop John J. Glennon dedicated the church on June 4, 1907.

Of particular interest are the beautifully life-like stained glass windows, created by the Jacoby Art Glass Company of St. Louis, which were installed circa 1910.  Three new bells, cast by Struckstede and Brothers of St. Louis, were positioned in the bell tower during the summer of 1924.  A two-manual pipe organ, built by the Wicks Organ Company of Highland, Illinois, was installed in 1936 framing the rose window of St. Cecilia.

Learn more by visiting St. Henry's web site.

Admission is free.  You may leave a love offering if you choose.

Time:  Thursday and Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


St. Henry Catholic Church
304 East Court Street

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Quilt Show

Photo of fantastic quilts on display

A beautiful selection of quilts will be on display at the Clara Drinkwater Newnam Library.  Come see what true needlework craftsmanship, symmetry and hand-made beauty are all about!

This exhibit runs Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Location:  Clara Drinkwater Newnam Library, 105 East Marshall Street

Admission:  Free

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Photographs courtesy of The Enterprise-Courier except where otherwise noted.