This time of year — and the crisp, cool air — always makes me think of my teenage years in Republic, going to bonfires on farmland and coming home smelling like woods, mud and ash. I thought of those dark, starry nights in rural Republic when I read Kathleen O’Dell’s story this week about the light pollution that’s dimming our view of the night sky. Springfield and the surrounding communities are growing so fast, and it’s our responsibility to think about what growth means — and what we need to preserve along the way.

Speaking of preservation, another must-read story this week comes from Kaitlyn McConnell, who writes about an old general store in Dora, Missouri that’s about as mom-and-pop as it can get.

You can buy fur pelts and pie all in one place! But those owners are about to get competition from Dollar General, and that will change the course of the small local business.

We have lots of stories this weekend to help inspire your day — a list of must-try meals at local restaurants that are trotting out autumn menus (pumpkin ravioli sounds amazing). Then there’s the latest Neighborhood Guide, which gives you five things to try out in South Springfield.

Don’t forget this weekend is Pumpkin Daze in Republic! Personally, I miss the years when it was on Main Street, and I could peer through the glass at Country Sunshine. Ah, but cities grow and so do their events! I’ll still be there, marveling at the giant pumpkins and sippin’ my cider.

Happy weekend!

WEEKEND READS

7 places to eat fall-inspired dishes right now in Springfield

From pumpkin dishes to caramel apples and soups, here are seven fall dishes you can’t […]

Dollar General soon competition for legacy, small-town store in Dora

In Ozark County, a longtime general store is adapting as a Dollar General is set […]

Springfield’s light pollution is getting worse. Why we can’t see the stars

Light pollution has cast a dome of illumination across Springfield, Mo., obscuring stars and the […]

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND

Things to do this weekend in Springfield, MO

Shannon Cay Bowers peruses hundreds of event listings all week, then picks out her favorite […]

Bryant Creek State Park now open

On Sept. 23, Bryant Creek State Park opened to the […]

Fall road trip guide: From Springfield to Petit Jean State Park

Springfield-area Ozarkers live in the best basecamp location for one-tank […]

5 things to do in South Springfield — your neighborhood guide

What’s there to do in South Springfield? Find out in […]

Enjoy free Gigs in the Garden during October

The Springfield Sister Cities Association and Springfield-Greene County Park Board […]

CALENDAR

Not enough ideas? Visit our full calendar, which includes events of all types for this weekend and beyond.