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It’s someplace you’ve probably been told by detractors you’re “going in a handbasket,” but if you’ve ever wondered about what you’ll find when you get there, Sept. 22nd is your chance to find out. Oh, and you do have the option to leave at any time.

On that Sunday, Zell, Missouri is extending an invitation to visit for the day. They’re pulling out all the stops with a Zell St. Joseph Parish Fall Festival at 11822 Zell Road in the St. Joseph School where doors open at 10 a.m.

For those who are natives of this area, you’ve probably already visited there once or twice, but for newcomers who are now rolling their eyes, take heart! A visit to Zell is something you should experience. The trick is knowing how to get there…which doesn’t involve breaking any of the Ten Commandments, or even bending one or two.

Follow Highway 32 east from Farmington (as though you’re going to Ste. Genevieve) and, after passing New Offenburg, watch for the signs on the left-hand side of the highway that say “Zell” and “Zell Golf Course.” Follow the winding country road that takes you past the golf course, several miles over hill and dale, and under Interstate 55 until you come to the Zell St. Joseph Catholic Church and School hosting the festival. If you reach Bauman Road, you’ve gone a tad too far. Just watch for Zell Fall Festival signs and a whole lot of tractors!

One of the big draws will be the annual antique tractor show. (Denny Herbst start your engine now!) For those who don’t find your personal engines kicking over at the sight of a bunch of hot tractors, there will be delicious chicken dinners served from, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and carry-outs are available beginning at 10. Besides chicken, ham and yummy sides and desserts, the dinner includes liver dumplings! Liver dumplings are an experience all their own, on the order of Zip Lining, and must be tried to be appreciated, or at least to say, “Been there, done that!”

Other activities will be available with a Classic & Antique Car/Truck show, live music, a poker stand, raffles, games for kids, a country store and other enticements. If that’s not enough to get you in your car and heading to Zell, well, it really is a beautiful scenic and serene rural area worth the drive just to visit, admire the view and breathe the clean country air.

For those who like a little history and facts mixed in with their exploring, Zell is an unincorporated community located in Ste. Genevieve Township, approximately six miles northwest of Ste. Gen. It was first settled in 1798 when Pierre Charles Dehault Delassus Deluziere was granted the land. In 1837 German Catholics arrived, at which time the location was known as Nouvelle Alsace and was renamed Zell in 1840. The Catholic Church of St. Joseph was built between 1845 and 1847.

Take advantage of enjoying and joining in on a true rural fall festival. Besides the tractors, food and fun, think of how much you’ll enjoy it when you tell your distant friends where you spent the day. Better take lots of pictures, too.

Around Town:

Amazing and unique gift on view — A pair of beautiful art nouveau bathtubs that came from the 1904 World’s Fair were recently donated to the Farmington History Museum by owners Denzel Jennings Sr. and Bruce and Melissa Workman of Farmington. The special exhibit is on display in the Farmington Library for the month of September and was arranged with special help from Travis Trokey, director of the Farmington Public Library and his staff, along with Greg Beavers, city administrator. The one-of-a-kind detailed artistic tubs were made by German artist Gustav Lind and exhibited at the 1904 World’s Fair.

The entire story of the history and journey of these two rare pieces from the St. Louis Fairgrounds to where they were found buried in a St. Francois County field by Jennings and his wife, Joann, in the 1970s is detailed in the display and makes fascinating reading. The tubs were taken to the Antiques Roadshow event in St. Louis by the donating owners a year or two ago, where the artist and his connection to the World’s Fair were confirmed by an appraiser. Make it a must to see this display now at the library.

Keith Evans of Georgia and formerly of Farmington, attended the Missouri Western State University All-Decade Griffons Football Celebration in St. Joseph, Missouri last weekend with his former Griffon teammate, Kenny Redding, and Farmington hometown football teammate, Rick Ragsdale, among many others! Evans was honored as one of the All-Decade Griffon football players from the 1970s. Keith was selected for the 1970s defense team and played left back from 1974-1977. During that period, he was named the 1975 Mineral Water Bowl Outstanding Lineman of the Game, in 1977 1st team All-District 16, 1st team All-CSIC and Honorable mention All-American. He was inducted into Missouri Western Hall of Fame in 2003. The teams were selected by a committee comprised of Missouri Western Football alumni and former Griffon Athletics support personnel. Keith plans to be in Farmington for a visit home later this fall.

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P.S. Farmington High School football teammates of Keith’s are being sought in hopes of arranging a group photo shoot at Haile Stadium during his visit. Get in touch if you are one or know how to locate someone who was to get further information on the date, etc.

The FHS Class of 1994 is having a reunion on Sept. 27 and Sept 28th during Homecoming weekend. For information contact Jessica Klemp Dietrich or Sarah Carrico Buerck. The group will meet on the 27th at the football game and then on the 28th from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Farmington El Tapatio Restaurant. There will also be a tour of FHS on the 28th at 10 p.m. Cost for a Taco Bar at El Tapatio is $12. Make checks to Class of 1994 and mail to Sarah Buerck, 730 Valley Brook Road, Farmington. If you know a member of the class of ’94, please be sure they are aware of the reunion!

Coming Up

Friday, Sept. 13 is your lucky day — The Holiday Park Garage Sale will be held with at least 17 homes taking part in the annual event throughout Holiday Park from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Saturday, Sept. 14 is “Meet me on the Plaza” — Taking place on the newly bricked space on Jefferson between Harrison and West Columbia streets. The Ophelia Boutique invites friends to check out some fun plants and make your own planter with Drummond’s Nursery, do some shopping and enjoy a meal at one of the downtown restaurants, including the newly opened Old No. 102 Tap House.

Fri-Sat, Sept. 20-21 A weekend of fun! — Check out the BBQ contest, sanctioned by the St. Louis BBQ Society, 10 blues bands on 2 stages, craft beer garden, food, games, blacksmith, chainsaw demonstrations, craft vendors and more!

Sat, Sept. 21 is The Plein Air Art Show — Taking place from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., artists who participated in the Plein Air Historic Homes Tour will display their drawings and sketches from the historic tour event, along with their other work in the basement (council chambers) at city hall for judging, viewing and for sale. A special event at Blues, Brews & BBQ, admission is free. Winners will be announced at 8 p.m. and prizes furnished by Parkland Health Center awarded.

Saturday, Sept. 28 — Be sure to join the Kiwanis Club for their annual Radio Days on KREI, 800 AM. The club members will be serving as the newscasters, sportscasters and weather gurus, in between interviewing various guests all day from early morning to late afternoon. This special KREI radio day has been a part of the Kiwanis Club history for nearly 70 years!

A final reminder from the Farmer’s Almanac: The best days to get rid of weeds and pests are Sept. 15, Sept. 16, Oct. 12, Oct. 13, and Nov. 8. This is when you should be out there destroying pests and weeds. Why these dates? The good old 2019 Farmer’s Almanac has an explanation.

"To determine the best days we look at several factors, including the position of the Moon in the 12 signs of the Zodiac, as well as the lunar phase," the Farmer's Almanac website explains. "Planetary relationships may also be considered. When positions and/or phases are suitable, tradition says that activities are more likely to yield favorable results."

Wonder if the “pests” include hackers and annoying “phony” callers?

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