Puddle Jumper Days takes place every year on the first weekend of August in downtown Odessa Missouri. It is a classic street fair with food vendors, music, crafts, junk, and music. However, over the past decade the annual event has been losing support from vendors and the residents of Odessa. The loss of support from the community is directly related to the decline in vendors showing up for the event, and while it would be easy to blame the economy for the decline of vendors, there has been some talk about costs to have a booth at this small event.
Regardless, 2017 started off slow, and unfortunately died a miserable death on Saturday when rain settled in and pretty much stuck around for the day. The forecast was for 3 to 4 inches of rain, starting on Saturday before noon (actually about 9am), and lasting through the day and into Sunday. With the forecast being very confident that it was going to rain, several vendors packed up and left at the end of Friday night, and never bothered to show up on Saturday morning. The rain would set in before the Annual Parade would get started on Saturday morning, inspiring many to simply back out. As soon as the Parade was over, the out of town vendors started to pack up. They were followed by many of the local vendors, and by one o’clock most of the events scheduled for Saturday were cancelled. It’s a shame, Saturday is generally the best day for the event.
So now we get to look forward to the 2018 Puddle Jumper Days event. 2018 will be the 40th Anniversary for the event and the committee putting on the event have already started working on bringing back some of activity booths that have been missing for the past few years. We will have to see how things shake out.