The Black Walnut Festival

Stockton, MO 65785


Welcome to Stockton, Missouri and the 2018 Black Walnut Festival!   As the Black Walnut Festival reaches its 58th year, you can bet it has seen several changes over the years.  

The festival originated in the 1930’s and was known as “The Fiesta”.  The Fiesta was a celebration used to raise funds to maintain the local cemetery.  Locals provided items such as eggs, produce, fresh and canned vegetables, honey, sorghum, and any other items to be sold at the “Country Store”.   There was only one food stand and all food items were prepared by members of the community.   Bingo was a popular event at The Fiesta and drew a large crowd, but due to a change in legislation, bingo was prohibited and attendance and profits began to decline.   

It was at this time that a Hammons Product Company employee suggested changing the festival to revolve around the black walnut crop.   Many members of the community were interested and the Black Walnut Festival was born.   A few years later, another local business, the Stockton Cheese Plant, partnered up and the name changed to the “Black Walnut and Cheese Festival”. When a fire closed the cheese plant, the name went back to the “Black Walnut Festival”.   

For several years, the Stockton Lions Club Operated the festival.   The Organization of the festival then passed to the local Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce.   Today, it is operated and managed by the Stockton Lake Sertoma Club, a local, non-profit 

organization.   The Stockton Lake Sertoma Club was able to donate over 17,000 back to the community from last year’s festival proceeds alone.   Net proceeds from this year’s festival will again be financial asset to the youth in Stockton.   Plan’s are also in place to begin distributing financial assistance to entities in the El Dorado Springs Community, where youth would benefit.   

When the Black Walnut Festival was first established, it consisted of just a few produce booths.   Today, it has grown to over 130 crafts and produce booths, 15 bands, an amazing parade, numerous area schools participating

in the annual Queen Contest, a carnival, kiddie tractor pull and much more.   We have thousands of dollars in sponsorship, thousands of dollars in in-kind donations, and a great group of people dedicated to the continued success and growth the festival brings to our community.   We welcome you to the community of Stockton, Missouri, and hope you enjoy your time at the Black Walnut Festival.

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