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Moses Austin festival feels the heat

The 29th Annual Moses Austin Heritage Festival was held over the weekend in Washington County as a way to celebrate the town’s history. 

Potosi/Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Kris Richards said the event was started as a way to remind the community of the bicentennial celebration that Potosi held in 1963.

“The event has changed and taken some different shapes over the years, depending on interest and involvement of various groups,” Richards said. “This year the event had to endure some tremendous heat, although temps didn’t get quite as high as the forecast and a good breeze helped the day.”

According to the National Weather Service the area was under a heat advisory all weekend and at times felt like 101 degrees. 

Festivities started off the event on Friday night with a car show, cruise-in and music. Richards said the show was well attended with 30 cars, trucks and bikes on hand.

“Trophies were awarded and a beautiful evening was enjoyed,” Richards said.

The heat did not turn the crowds away as they lined the streets awaiting the annual parade on Saturday. Some participating in the parade chose to forgo the usual candy throwing and handed out Popsicles and bottles of water to the citizens enduring the heat of the day.

The Potosi Baseball Association held its tournament day during the festival and like previous years each team was represented and road in the parade.

Richards said a variety of vendors filled the Washington County Courthouse including crafts, retailers, independent sales, etc.

Just a few steps away at Heritage Park music could be heard and history could be seen.

“The music at the Heritage Park and the Banta House was very good, with Back Road Story spending the afternoon on the stage at the Banta House lawn,” Richards. “The Mine au Breton Historical Society sold fresh bread from the four ovens at Heritage Park and had their other properties, Lucas House, Austin Store-Banta House and the Presbyterian Church Museum open.”

Tours of the Casey Cabin were given by Becky Howell, an ancestor of the original occupants, with the cabin being dedicated to her mother. The cabin was originally located on her family’s farm and then relocated to the park.

“The historical society took it apart, they numbered all the logs and put it back together right here,” Howell said. “Even the stones are part of the original structure. It is pretty much how it would have been in the late 1800s. I’ve had fun being able to give these little bits of history. It makes it come alive for me, too.” 

Fun for the kids could be found throughout the festival as well with multiple bounce houses set up, pony rides in Heritage Park, and snow cones could be found outside the courthouse.

Amory Dudley, 4, shows off his riding skills at the pony ride in Heritage Park during the Moses Austin Heritage Festival on Saturday.

Amory Dudley, 4, shows off his riding skills at the pony ride in Heritage Park during the Moses Austin Heritage Festival on Saturday.

Becky Howell gives tours of the Casey Cabin in Heritage Park in Potosi.

Becky Howell gives tours of the Casey Cabin in Heritage Park in Potosi.

Jadie Smith, 4, enjoys the parade at the Moses Austin Heritage Festival in Washington County on Saturday.

Jadie Smith, 4, enjoys the parade at the Moses Austin Heritage Festival in Washington County on Saturday.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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