The Tradition of Cow Days
Country festivals and weekend excursions to town have always spiced the otherwise harsh lives of generations of local citizens who have made their living off the land. During a time of severe economic hardship nationwide, in the late 1920s, the Dixon area was feeling the most crushing effects of the Great Depression.
Area merchants, for a few months in 1929 and 1930, began a promotional program to attract customers to the city. The drawing card was the award of a live, healthy adult cow to some lucky winner. In addition, merchants and store keepers made special efforts to offer their merchandise at reduced prices to make their businesses more attractive to skittish comsumers.
Held usually on the first Saturday of each month, Dixons Cow Days was known as "the" community event for the south-central Missouri area. Dancing, cow-trading, in-town dining, window shopping, parades, sales - all these activities attracted literally thousands to this small city.
Although the original Cow Days celebration only lasted for a few short months, Dixon merchants of the 1980s saw an opportunity to improve the commercial atmosphere in their city while expressing appreciation to their many local customers. The concept of Cow Days was reborn as a 2-day festival featuring arts & crafts booths, street dances, stage entertainment, parades, beauty pageants, food stands, and good, clean family fun. The new festival is highlighted by a free drawing for a live healthy adult cow donated by local businesses.
Held in September each year, the Cow Days Fall Festival will celebrate it 18th anniversary in 2001. The Dixon-area Chamber of Commerce now supervises the annual event.
The Charm of Hometown Life