Founder's Day Picnic

JULY 22, 23, 24


The City of El Dorado Springs was incorporated on July 20, 1881. Each year in July, on the weekend closest to the 20th, the town holds a Picnic in the downtown to celebrate the founding of the community. It is believed that this celebration began in July 1882 and has been held every year since that first picnic.

The Picnic features a wide variety of children's games. The games take place in the mornings in the Park. Typical games include turtle races, sidewalk art, frog jump, hula-hoop contest, tennis shoe and water balloon toss. There is also a lip-sync contest on Saturday afternoon. On Thursday evening, there is a talent show contest.

The Picnic is more than just a celebration of the founding of El Dorado Springs. It is a community event that brings the town together. People that have moved away plan their vacations around that date. During the Picnic, there are numerous high school classes that hold their reunions that weekend. Everyone comes together for the largest social event of the year.

On Monday, June 29th, a special City Council meeting was held to solely discuss whether or not to have the 139th Picnic. About 80 citizens were present and voiced their opinions, both for and against. After 90 minutes, the meeting was adjourned without taking action to cancel the event.

Special considerations to protect the public and city employees that are planned are: the city will encourage social distancing and implement a number of safety and health procedures. The carnival has disinfecting foggers and will wipe rides off regularly. Carnival employees will have temperatures checked each day prior to their shift and wear masks. The city and carnival will also have additional hand washing and sanitizing stations at rides and other strategic locations along with signs recommending social distancing.

2021 Signed Entertainment

Jason Pritchett

Jason Pritchett, a REAL cowboy from Independence, Missouri, who is putting WESTERN back in country music, has wanted to be a Country star since he was a little kid. He rode PRCA ranked bulls for several years until he found his true passion of country music. He believes he has the determination and will to keep striving for his musical goals. He was a singer and guitarist act from Season 2 of America's Got Talent. He was eliminated in the Final 8. He has also performed in Branson for 13 years. Pritchett will perform at the Picnic on Saturday, July 24.

The information listed below is for 2020.

2021 information will be added as it becomes available.

Saturday Headliner


10pm Park Bandstand

Thursday, July 16 Events

10 am Tennis Shoe Toss

11 am Water Balloon Throw

12 pm Sidewalk Art-bring own chalk

6 pm Lydia Eason-Voice of American

6:15 pm Jordanne Steuk-Voice of America

6:30 pm Dederick Christian Youth Group


7 pm El Dorado Springs Municipal Band

8 pm Past Picnic Talent Winner

8:30 pm Talent Contest (registrations begin July 5th and cease once 25 entries have been received, call 417-876-2691)

10:30 pm Tiffany McGuirk

Friday, July 17 Events

10 am Hula Hoop Contest (bring own hoop)

11 am Water Balloon Throw

5:30 pm Kassy Wynes-ALexander

6 pm Paula Newman & Linda Brewer-Smith


7 pm El Dorado Springs Municipal Band

8 pm Dave Perryman Band

10 pm Members Only

Saturday, July 18 Events

6:30 am Registration for Run for a Reason

7:45 am Children's Run

8:00 am Run for a Reason 5k & 2 mile walk (Benefits St. Jude Children's Hospital. Location: El Dorado Springs Community Center, 201 W Spring. Registration from 6:30-7:30am, Kid 1/4 mile walk begins at 7:45am. Register at or contact 417-876-7664)

8:00-10:30am Optimist Club Benefit Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center. Minimum donation is $5 and proceeds to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.

10 am Optimist Horse Shoe/Corn Hole Tournaments

12 pm Sam's Scavenger Scrimmage (meet at the Bandstand in Spring Park)

6 pm Ginelle Esry

6:30 pm Carrie Estelle McWilliams

7 pm El Dorado Springs Municipal Band

8 pm Lori Rains Sifford & Friends

9 pm Mr. A's Blue Dudes

9:30 pm Picnic Committee Introductions/Drawings

10pm Spring Park Bandstand-Wade Hayes


The EHS Alumni Association Annual Meeting that is usually held on the Saturday of the Picnic has been cancelled due to pandemic concerns. For Dues and donations contact Dwain Steward at (417) 876-7926, 502 Twyman El Dorado Springs, MO, 64744. Don't forget to pay your dues or donate freely to keep our Association strong.

Class of 1953 Reunion-Cancelled

Wednesday, July 15

6 pm Picnic Set Up

8 pm Dance in the Park-Rekoil



Remember to: * Wash hands frequently * maintain 6 foot social distancing from non-family members * Wear a mask if you prefer * do not attend if you or a family member feels ill.

The carnival company has safety procedures in place to clean rides regularly, workers will have their temperature taken prior to each shift and will be wearing masks, there will be hand sanitizer stations near each ride, with signs to remind you to social distance. Ride wait time may be a bit longer due to the cleaning procedures.

The city will have additional hand sanitizing stations located throughout the picnic area.