Schedule of Events - Charleston, Missouri's, 48th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival

Dogwood-Azalea Festival Schedule of Events - April 14 - 17, 2016


38th 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 TBA, 2015.  USATF Certified Course.  Chip timing by CAPE ROAD RUNNERS.

For further information:



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

View Historic 5K Race Individual Times!

The 38th Annual 5K Race registration form will be linked here in late winter of 2016.

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 7:00 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

You can make a difference!
image of pink breast cancer ribbon
The wealth of warm luminarias lining the sidewalks Saturday evening, refulgent in the twilight, are an outright delight to the senses.  Please support the American Cancer Society in its luminaria project aimed at increasing cancer awareness and funding for a cure.

Luminarias marked "Relay for Life" may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce tent located in Rolwing Park or at the Chamber of Commerce office downtown.  Advance purchases may be made through the Chamber of Commere or through Citizens Bank of Charleston.

Cost per luminaria is only $5.  You may dedicate your luminarias in honor, or in memory, of someone who has battled cancer.

Participation in this program will be well received.  The marked luminarias will be interspersed among the plain white ones as volume dictates.

Please click the Relay for Life icon below if you wish to purchase these special luminarias immediately.

Thank you!

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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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A Step Back in Time Pioneer Days

Photo of working craftsmen in a tent dressed in 19th century apparel

Here's your opportunity to step back in time by visiting with folks from a by-gone era.  Learn about fur trading and frontier skills, and observe useful crafts of the day.

See a blacksmith in action!  Enjoy a homemade sarsaparilla!  Touch real pelts and hear about fur trading as you enjoy visiting with those camped in our "A Step Back in Time Pioneer Days Encampment."  The exhibitors will be outfitted in period garb working with period tools and equipment.  See interesting and practical crafts of the day demonstrated in camp at Gordon Galemore Park during our Dogwood-Azalea Festival!

Friday from Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission:  Free


Gordon Galemore Park
700 East Cypress Street

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Miss Dogwood-Azalea Pageant

Our Beautiful 2015 Dogwood-Azalea Queen, Miss Courtney Todt, attended by her Royal Court

Photo of our Reigning Dogwood-Azalea Queen and her Royal Court
Photograph courtesy of The Mississippi County Times

Miss Courtney Todt of Oran, 2015 Miss Dogwood-Azalea
Miss Audrey Keller of Sikeston, 1st Alternate;  Miss Sunnie Underwood of New Madrid, 2nd Alternate


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: Date to be announced in early Spring 2016
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 2016.

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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 TBA for adults and TBA for children.

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 Museum)

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:  $4.00


403 North Main Street

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Private Home Tours

Photo of a lovely Charleston home

Tour a private residence Thursday and Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission:  $15.00 (includes the Moore Home listed above)

Please Note:
The home pictured here is only one example of the many fine homes in Charleston which may be open this season.

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Missouri Knights on Bikes - Bike Fest 2016

Photo of the Missouri Knights on Bikes flyer

In conjunction with Special Olympics Missouri and Missouri Knights of Columbus, the Missouri Knights on Bikes team has offered its assistance in helping in the cause of supporting our $1,000,000.00 (Million Dollar) Challenge with the goal of the building a new Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Click here for more information and a Bike Fest 2016 registration form!

Please join us in Charleston for our Inaugural Bike Fest!  We'll be here all day Saturday!


K. C. Hall
303 South Sixth Street
(Marshall Street between Fifth and Sixth)

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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:  $4.00 per person


The Masonic Lodge
301 South Center Street

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Dogwood-Azalea Parade

Photo of a float and its attendants in the Dogwood-Azalea Parade

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.


Please register by April 13, 2016, 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, 2016.

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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, 16 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

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.


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.