Schedule of Events - Charleston, Missouri's, 53rd Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival



The Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Tourism continues to plan
the 53rd Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival !!!

Please keep yourselves and your families safe by observing all safety and hygiene precautions advised by the medical community, or mandated by federal, state, or local government.

First published:  March 21, 2020 at 17:42 CDT
Last modification:  February 12, 2021 at 09:05 CDT

The Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Tourism welcomes you to the 53rd annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival!  The Chamber wishes you and your family the best of times in Charleston this April, and we thank you for coming.  While you are here we invite you to visit the merchants in our community.


42nd Annual 5 K Race, Youth & Toddler Race

ALERT!  This year the race will start and finish catty-corner across the park at the Scout Cabin.

REGISTER ONLINE for the 2021 42nd Annual 5K 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 1:45 p.m.  Check-in opens at 11:00 a.m. and closes at 1:30 p.m.  High quality T-shirts are guaranteed if registered by March 30th.  Jackson L. Burke and Corse Cup to first male and female with 63834 address, respectively.  Bill Bullard Trophy to the youngest 5k finisher.

USATF Certified Course MO20001DG. 
Course Records:  Male 14:33  Female 16:47

$500 Cash Prize to an individual who breaks the course record for their sex.

Start/Finish Location: 

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

For further information:



Pre-registration $15 March 30 and earlier, $20 March 31 through Race Day.

REGISTER ONLINE for the 2021 42nd Annual 5K Race!

View Historic 5K Race Individual Times!

Visit us on Facebook at!

Back to Top


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

Back to Top


Candlelight Tour

Image of Dogwood-Azalea After Dark logo.

For years we've seen the description of the amazing candlelight tour here on this page.  Starting in this new decade of 2020, though, you won't find it on this page anymore.

The logo shown here represents a new part of the Dogwood-Azalea weekend festivities known as Dogwood-Azalea After Dark!  Here's a link to view our new after dark activity page!

Back to Top



Photo of the Carnival Rides

Bring the children and enjoy all of the rides and games!  The carnival runs on Thursday and 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.  PLUS the carnival will be open the following weekend, too, for all your wholesome fun and excitement!


800 East Marshall Street

Back to Top


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:  Adults - $10.00  Children - $5.00

Back to Top


Miss Dogwood-Azalea Pageant

Our Beautiful 2019 Dogwood-Azalea Queen

Photo of our Gorgeous 2019 Dogwood-Azalea Queen
Photograph courtesy of Kandi Staples

Miss Khrystionna Swann of East Prairie
Miss Dogwood-Azalea 2019


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


They are going VIRTUAL this year!

Register online by the following link:

Please study the Pageant Information Sheet linked below:
CLICK HERE to download and print the Pageant Information Sheet!

ATTENTION ALL PAGEANT PARTICIPANTS:  The Miss Dogwood-Azalea Pageant is again cancelled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  While we are dismayed, we believe this will undoubtedly confirm our lovely Miss Khrystionna Swann as being the longest-reigning Dogwood-Azalea Queen in the 53 year history of our Dogwood-Azalea Festival.  Her Royal Highness is now beginning the third year of her reign!  Yay Miss Swann!  Boo pandemic.

Back to Top


Ice Cream Social

Enjoy our old fashioned ice cream social at the First Baptist Church.

Free ice cream treats during the Candlelight Walk!

The First Baptist Church
301 South Main Street

Back to Top


Car Show "Cruising Back to Spring"

Car Show Image

First Assembly of God is sponsoring a car show!  See photo for participation criteria.  Shhhh... Don't say anything, but we hear there will be a surprise famous automobile showing at this car show!

Saturday 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Admission:  Free


Knights of Columbus Yard
East Marshall between 5th and 6th Streets

Back to Top


Kiddie Car Show

Kiddie Car Show Image

This will, undoubtedly, be cardboard at its best!

Decorate a cardboard box to look like your favorite vehicle, and win a prize!

Participants may be age 3 through 5th grade.  Boxes should be no larger than 24 inches along any side.

Sunday at 12:30 p.m.


At the Tennis Courts
Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park

Back to Top


Dog Show

Certainly, no proper Dogwood-Azalea Festival would be complete without an official Dogwood-Azalea Dog Show!

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

Admission:  Free

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


On the Tennis Courts
Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park

Medlin Equipment logo image

Back to Top


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 Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Free Admission


109 South Main Street

Back to Top


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, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission:  $6.00


403 North Main Street

Back to Top


Private Home Tour

Photo of a lovely Charleston home

Tour a special private home Thursday or Friday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Admission:  $10.00 (Price includes the Moore Home listed above and one private home!)

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

Back to Top


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!

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


Please register by Monday, April 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., to save your place in the parade!

We encourage and appreciate your creative involvement!

CLICK HERE to access the Dogwood-Azalea Parade Registration Form!

Back to Top


Musical Entertainment

Enjoy the sweet sound of music in the park on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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

McDonalds Restaurant logo image

Back to Top


Strong (Wo)Man Competition

Strong (Wo)Man Image

Are you strong?  Show us!

There will be five events:
Car Pull     
Dead Lift     
Tire Throw     
3 Stage Lift & Carry     

All contestants must sign a waiver.
Follow this link to download the waiver document.

Sunday 2:30 p.m.

Entry Fee:  $20.00


E. Charles Rolwing Park

Back to Top


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

Back to Top


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 and Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Clara Drinkwater Newnam Library
Corner of Main and Marshall at the stoplight

Back to Top


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 4:00 p.m.


St. Henry Catholic Church
304 East Court Street

Back to Top


Quilt Show (and a Book Sale!)

Quilt Show

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

The Quilt Show runs Thursday and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Book Sale

Have a little book worm in you?  Truth is, books make wonderful companions!  Come hunt your favorite author or genre in this year's sale selections.  You are sure to find great books here at the library.  Help us make room for new adventures!  Prices start as low as 50 cents per book.

Books will be on sale Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where's all this?

Location:  Clara Drinkwater Newnam Library, 105 East Marshall Street

Admission:  Free

Back to Top


Professor Farquar & Miss Polecat Annie

Photo of Professor Farquar & Miss Polecat Annie
Image courtesy of Sanford Lee & Associates.

This live show of music, magic, mirth & more combines historic narratives, comic chronicals, tall tales, & unabashed balderdash with toe tapping tunes & droll ditties of the 19th century.  A truly unforgettable spectacle which will—most assuredly—astonish audiences of all ages.

Saturday afternoon

Location:  Dr. E. Charles Rolwing Park, weather permitting

Admission:  Free

Back to Top


Southside Luncheon

Southside Baptist Church will offer a hearty luncheon on Thursday and Friday.  Lunch will consist of Broccoli & Cheese Soup, choice of Turkey or Ham Sandwich, Coffee, Tea, or Lemonade, and Homemade Dessert.

Serving Friday between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Location:  Southside Baptist Church, 902 School Street (right behind Charleston Middle School off South Main Street via Tom Brown Street)

Price:  $8.00 per person

Tickets are available ahead of time from the church or the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office, or you may pay at the door when you arrive.  Bon appétit!

Back to Top


A Taste of the Festival

This small hand-selected group of food vendors will offer tasty fare for those wanting something different or after hours.  Yummy!

Thursday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. until ???

Location:  1100 East Marshall Street

Back to Top


Historic Downtown Showcase:  Upscale Vendors and Unique Food Trucks

Logo image of the Historic Downtown Showcase
Sponsored by
Charleston Economic Development Group

Enjoy shopping unique vendors and eating delicious cuisine in downtown Charleston.

Saturday 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Location:  City Center

Back to Top


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

Last page modification:  April 09, 2021 13:57:10 CDT