UPDATE: The 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival is over but here are a couple of pictures:
This is the Waltons cast who came to the Cherry Blossom Fest.– what they look like today. John-Boy and Michael Learned on the right end.
This is Christmas ornament artist Christopher Radko surrounded by stars from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Carol Combs Mueller ( the oldest daughter,Janie Bailey), Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu Bailey) and Jeanine Roose (Little Violet in the drug store scene).
That shows the diversity of people who attend the Cherry Blossom Festival. Be sure you look for the date of next year’s fest. It’s a lot of fun.
It’s that time of year where television stars, descendants of presidents and other important historical people, as well as pop culture people– and regular folks who want to see what’s going– on all descend upon Marshfield, Mo. for the Annual Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival. Marshfield is a tiny town about 20 minutes from Springfield. It’s an easy drive down highway 44, and for history buffs or TV fans it’s a festival like no other.
Don’t be expecting big signs all over town and a lot of hoopla. The events are held in church basements, the Community Center, the local high school and other unassuming venues. But if you don’t watch out you might bump into Lorenzo Lamas– the ’70’s heart throb who was on Dynasty and played Sandy’s “other” love interest in the movie Grease.
If you see someone who looks like John Boy Walton– it just might be Richard Thomas who is making the trip to be with many of the cast members. They will be staying at one of the local bed and breakfasts and we wonder if they’ll do the “Good Night Erin, Good Night Mary Ellen, Good Night John Boy..” routine from their respective beds just for fun. This year’s festival will be all about The Waltons.
Festival organizer Nicholas Inman’s family– and his daughter Reagan in particular– are big fans of the show. They ran a Facebook campaign with Reagan holding a picture she had drawn on a sign that read something like “Bring Richard Thomas to the Cherry Blossom Festival.” It took them a few years of working on it but he will be there, joining Michael Learned who played his mother, and on-screen siblings, Mary McDonough, Kami Cotler, Eric Scott and Judy Norton.
There are other TV stars coming, listed below as well as what started out as the bread and butter of the festival– descendants of presidents and others. Various people who are related to the important historical figures will be there and many will appear on panels to discuss them. It is billed as the largest gathering of U.S. President descendants in the country. Regular festival goers have gotten to see and meet Laura Bush as well as her daughters, Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager.
Lynne Jackson the great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott will be doing a panel, and a group of school children from St. Louis will be traveling to Marshfied for that panel.
Visitors can take a cooking class from former White House Chef Roland Mesnier, or meet Lulu Roman from Hee Haw; Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu, in It’s a Wonderful Life; and Joe Yakovetic, the Disney Artist who was a finalist on the Food Network’s Halloween Wars.
The Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival features a Quilt Show, Cherry Pie Baking Contest, an autograph session where the stars will sign pictures and sell their books. Richard LaMotte, SMSgt USAF will be there as he has for the last several years, bringing the house down with his singing and he will emcee the Hubble Dinner Friday Night.
Randy Travis will even be there. He will not be singing because of health complications due to a stroke, but he and his wife Mary attended last year and will be speaking at the Prayer Breakfast and are scheduled to be at the Hubble Dinner.
Many of the events are free, but some require a ticket. Check out their website to see all the festival has to offer. Those who make the trip once seem to return each year. The people of Marshfield are very welcoming and it is definitely worth attending some of the events.
These are the special guests that the festival is promoting, with the schedule below.
Lorenzo Lamas (Falcon Crest)
Richard Thomas (The Waltons)
Michael Learned (The Waltons)
Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie)
Dean Butler (Little House of the Prairie)
Eric Scott (Ben, The Waltons)
Mary McDonough (Erin, The Waltons)
Judy Norton (Mary Ellen, The Waltons)
Kami Cotler (Elizabeth, The Waltons)
Darby Hinton (Israel, Daniel Boone)
Conni Marie Brazelton (ER)
Lulu Roman (Hee Haw)
Charlotte Stewart (Little House on the Prairie)
Ginger Alden (Elvis Presley fiancée)
Wendi Lou Lee (Little House on the Prairie)
Chef Roland Mesnier (Former White House Pastry Chef)
Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life)
Jeanine Roose (It’s a Wonderful Life)
Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Andy Griffith Show)
Joseph Yakovetic (Disney Artist)
Mary Eisenhower (Granddaughter of President Eisenhower)
Ronnie Schell (Gomer Pyle USMC)
Chris Noel (Girl Happy)
Clifton Daniel (Grandson of President Truman)
Lynne Jackson (great, great granddaughter of Dred Scott)
Margaret Kerry (Tinker Bell)
Tammi Bula (The Waltons)
and many other historical VIP guests.
Schedule of Events– Come for any or all
4 PM- Zuzu’s House Dedication and Open House- Speakers will include Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life) and Dr. Jeanine Roose (Violet Bick, It’s a Wonderful Life)- 602 E. Washington
7 PM – Dear Mrs. Lincoln, a theatrical production starring Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Learned and Conni Marie Brazelton. Tickets: $35 General Admission, $100 VIP seating with photo op. www.eventbrite.com – Carl and Glessie Young Community Auditorium
10 AM to 5 PM- Cherry Blossom Quilt Show, sponsored by the Cherry Blossom Auxiliary- Marshfield Assembly of God
9 AM- Bobby G and Lily Garst History Series: “Reflections of the Vietnam War” Panel, featuring Vietnam veterans and a USO performer. Moderator, Mary Achor- Marshfield Assembly of God
10:30 AM- 10:30 AM- “Dear Mrs. Lincoln” Panel, featuring cast members from the historic production: Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Learned, Conni Brazelton – Marshfield Assembly of God
11:30 AM- “The American Civil War” Panel, featuring panel members whose relatives were involved in the Civil War. Including Bertram Hayes Davis (Jefferson Davis descendant), Margaret Clark (great granddaughter of President Rutherford Hayes), Mary Todd Lincoln family member and others- Moderator, Tim Pletkovich – Marshfield Assembly of God
11:30 AM – 1 PM- Enchilada Dinner benefiting the Fordland Memorial Library- Marshfield Assembly of God Fellowship Hall Tickets: $9, pay at the door (Brochure has a mistake on the cost.)
1:10 PM- Cherry Blossom Tea, Memories of Elvis from Diana Goodman McDaniel, Chris Noel & Charlotte Stewart – Marshfield First Baptist Church (Donations accepted)
3:10 PM- “Remembering WW II” Panel, featuring WW II veterans, including: Jack Hamlin, James Shipley (Tuskegee Airmen) and others. Moderator, Myra Miller- Marshfield Assembly of God
4:30 PM- Ella Dickey Literacy Awards, Honoring: Pamela Smith Hill, Gunther Skaletz (Holocaust Survivor), Louis Picone, Chris Noel (actress), Geraldine Hawkins, Resa Willis- Marshfield Assembly of God
4:30 PM – 7:30 PM- Fish Fry to benefit the Vivian Stuber Memorial Library of Niangua- Marshfield Assembly of God Tickets: $9, pay at the door
5:45 PM- Louis Picone, presidential historian and author will speak about our U.S. Presidents- Marshfield Assembly of God.
7:30 PM- Clifton Daniel (grandson of President Harry S Truman) brings to life his late grandfather in a one-man production on his life and career- Tickets: $25 (general admission)- Marshfield Church of the Nazarene
*Vendors on the historic Marshfield square from Noon-6 p.m.
*Nostalgia Fest Autograph Show will take place from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Marshfield Community Center. Featuring the VIP guests of the Cherry Blossom Festival, complete with a reunion of The Walton and Little House on the Prairie cast and numerous other VIPs. (Free Admission)
9 AM- Robert and Edith Garst History Convocation with Ed Asner (actor) being interviewed on stage- Carl and Glessie Young Community Auditorium
10:15 AM- Annual Missouri Walk of Fame Ceremony, Honoring six famous Missourians with stars on the historic Walk of Fame. Honorees include Daniel Boone, Conni Brazelton, Paul Hennings, Ed Asner, Rose Wilder Lane and Wayne Schroder – Marshfield Assembly of God
11:30 AM- Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum Luncheon- Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the television show, “Little House on the Prairie” with a panel of cast members. Moderator, William Anderson. The luncheon will benefit the fundraising efforts of the Wilder Home and Museum- Marshfield Assembly of God Fellowship Hall -Tickets: $25, www.lauraingallswilderhome.com or 417-924-3626
1 PM- Larry Cook, presidential memorabilia collector and historian will speak about “Presidential Children” along with special guest, Jan Williams – Marshfield Assembly of God
2 PM- Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson will ceremoniously plant a Cherry Blossom tree at the Marshfield Assembly of God
2:20 PM- 9th Annual Dred & Harriet Scott Reconciliation Forum- Hosted by the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation of St. Louis- Marshfield Assembly of God
2:30 PM- Demonstration Cooking class with Chef Roland Mesnier (former White House Pastry Chef)- Marshfield Assembly of God – Tickets: $50, www.eventbrite.com or 808-345-4975
3:10 PM- “Remembering Ronald Reagan” Panel, featuring personal memories from those who knew the 40th President throughout his life and career, including: Charles Patterson, Dr. James Broaddus (Commanding Officer at Camp David), James Kuhn (Assistant to the President), Betsy Koons Robertson (Deputy Press Secretary to Nancy Reagan), Rear Admiral James Symonds (First Commanding Officer of the USS Ronald Reagan), Hon. John L. Harmer (Former Lt. Governor of California). Moderator, Kevin Abney- Marshfield Assembly of God
6:00 PM- Edwin P. Hubble Medal of Initiative Dinner presenting Marshfield’s highest honor to several outstanding Americans. Honoring: Eric Scott (The Waltons), Christopher Radko, Ronnie Schell and Carol Combs Mueller – Richard LaMotte will serve as master of ceremonies- Marshfield Assembly of God – (SOLD OUT)
***Annual Cherry Pie Contest & Auction will be held in conjunction with the Hubble Dinner. – Drop off pies from 1 PM to 4 PM at the Marshfield Assembly of God***
7:30 PM- “The Secret Veil”, a theatrical reading of the play based on the life of the last living Civil War widow – featuring Margaret Kerry, Lulu Roman, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Reagan Inman and others – Benefiting The Randy Travis Foundation – Marshfield Assembly of God
Tickets: $20 available at Eventbrite.com
*Vendors on the historic Marshfield square from 9 AM-3 p.m.
*Nostalgia Fest Autograph Show will take place from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Marshfield Community Center. Featuring the VIP guests of the Cherry Blossom Festival, complete with a reunion of The Walton and Little House on the Prairie cast and numerous other VIPs.
8 AM- Randy and Mary Travis will share their testimony at the 9th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the Elkland Independent Methodist Church- Marshfield Assembly of God Fellowship Hall (Donations accepted for Zuzu’s House)
9:30 AM- Geraldine Hawkins, Presidential historian and author will speak about the relationship between Elliott and Eleanor Roosevelt—Marshfield Assembly of God
10:30 AM- “Camp David” Panel, featuring personal memories from those who have worked at or visited the famed presidential retreat. Moderator, Kevin Abney – Marshfield Assembly of God
11:30 AM- “Legends of Television and Screen” Panel, featuring actors and actresses from several classic television shows and cinema classics- Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone), Chris Noel, Ronnie Schell (Gomer Pyle show), Linda Kaye Henning (Petticoat Junction), Conni Brazelton (ER) and several others. Moderator, Richard LaMotte- Marshfield Assembly of God
12:00 PM- Marshfield High School Alumni luncheon- Marshfield Assembly of God Fellowship Hall
Advance tickets: $12, Available by calling 417-839-3560
1:20 PM- “Remembering Mamie Eisenhower”, Speaker Mary Eisenhower (granddaughter of President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower)- Marshfield Assembly of God
2:20 PM- “Memories of President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush”- Personal remembrances from those who knew the 41st President and First Lady- Marshfield Assembly of God
2:30 PM- Cherry Blossom Cookie Decorating class with Desi Becht (Cherry Blossom committee member)- Marshfield Assembly of God Fellowship Hall-Advance tickets: $20 per person www.eventbrite.com or 808-345-4975
3:20 PM- “Presidential Family Forum” Featuring descendants of many of the American Presidential First Families. Moderator, Larry Cook- Marshfield Assembly of God
10 Annual State Dinner
with Richard Thomas (John Boy, The Waltons)
5:30 PM- Doors open
6 PM- State Dinner will begin
Marshfield Church of the Nazarene
Tickets: $60 per person (SOLD OUT)
Marshfield Community Center 110 Commercial St Marshfield, MO 65706
Marshfield Assembly of God 1538 West Washington Marshfield, MO 65706
Marshfield First Baptist Church 1001 South White Oak Marshfield, MO 65706
Marshfield Lion’s Club 210 West Maple Street Marshfield, MO 65706
Marshfield Church of the Nazarene 266 Church Street Marshfield, MO 65706
Carl and Glessie Young Auditorium (Marshfield High School) 240 Cherry Blossom Way Marshfield, MO 65706
Webster County Museum 219 South Clay Marshfield, MO 65706
Elkland Independent Methodist Church 121 Elkland Road Elkland, MO 656
Cherry Blossom Festival– For more info CLICK HERE