Boonville celebrates largest ever Heritage Days

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BOONVILLE - Hundreds of mid-Missourians lined Main Street in Boonville Saturday morning to celebrate the history of the city with the Heritage Days festival.

Organizers said about 50 groups usually participate in the Heritage Days parade, but almost 80 organizations walked in the parade this year.

Jim Niederjohn is a long time Boonville resident. He said Heritage Days helpers noticed a spike in participation in other activities too.

"Last year we had 90 entries in the car show, but this year they are expecting more than 100 by the time it's all over," Niederjohn said.

He said the wine garden has also been a big hit.

"I think they served around 90 wine dinners on Friday last year and last night we served almost 200 dinners, so the turn out was much higher this year despite the hot weather," he said.

Many people stepped inside to take a break from the heat and appreciate local art. More than 70 handmade quilts lined the pews of one church in Boonville.

"Our featured quilter is Carol Nauman and she was a member of our group, she died last year just before the show last year. So this year we wanted to honor her. We have a number of her quilts the family has shared with us that are things that she made," said quilter Mona Stevens.

Stevens said her quilting group helped finish Nauman's unfinished quilts for her loved ones. But these ladies aren't just quilting for friends and family. They are quilting for freedom, too.

"They're working hard on World War II veterans and they all have quilts if they're still alive to enjoy them and also Vietnam vets and Desert Storm vets. Men, women, we all want to make sure they have a quilt from this organization," Stevens said.

Locals are also celebrating their heritage with a carnival, craft booths and a dog show.