Mexico Soybean Festival Celebrates More Than Just Soybeans

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MEXICO - The annual Mexico Soybean Festival celebrated soybeans, agriculture and community Saturday. The festival is one of Mexico's traditions that was originally created to celebrate soybeans and local brick plants.

Festival activities began at 10:00 a.m. with the car and bike show and continued into the evening with live bands, a beer and wine garden and several contests. There was also a soy cook-off, little Mr. and Miss Soybean contest, parade and vendors.

One popular event is known as the "soybean dig." The soybean dig is a pool full of soybeans and money. Kids can jump into the pool and have 30 seconds to collect as much money as they can find.

Felicia Peck, advertising chair for the festival, said that the Mexico Jaycees have been planning for this year's festival since last October. The festival has been around for 50 years but was temporarily closed. Last year was the first year of the festival's return.

The turnout last year was approximately 2,000 people but this year the estimated turnout is 1,000 more than that at 3,000 and double the amount of entries to the car show.

Don Wingate, one of the vendors, has been coming to the festival for 20 years. He said his favorite part of the festival is eating the soybean doughnuts.

The money raised from the festival goes towards scholarships, youth agricultural programs, and 4-H.

"No other county in Missouri relies on the soybean as much as Audrain County," said Josh Hanley, President of Mexico Jaycees. "It is a staple for us and we are very proud to represent it."