Alton, Mo. – What a beautiful day for the annual Black Gold Walnut Festival held on the square in Alton, MO. Vendors arrived early, often before 7 am, to set up their booths on the square. Patrons and shoppers looked slowly around the square at bargains that attracted the eye. By 9 am the annual Black Gold Walnut Festival activities had begun.
One of the first eye-catchers is the pumpkin carving contest. Always a favorite for adults as well as children, bright orange pumpkins greeted artists on the courthouse lawn waiting for a carver to come along. It wasn’t long, and families lined up to try their hand at making a face, or something, on the pumpkin. Afterward, these same pumpkins lined the wall for all to view as they walk by.
Just visiting the square brought hunger pangs. The smells of barbecues, popcorn, fresh desserts, and more tantalized the nose. Entire meals from breakfast through lunch and dinner were all around the square. Even as booths came down late in the afternoon, the boy scouts walked the square calling out, “Popcorn for sale; 25 cents.”
Besides the pumpkin carving, more of the Walnut Festival activities included jump houses and carnival games. The corn hole tournament eliminated entrants on Friday night. Various raffles, as well as candidates for the next elections, showed their faces. Booths encircling the square sold assorted wares. Candles and clothes, jewelry and face and hair paintings gathered crowds with the participants displaying their colors, literally.