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No Place Like Home: East Prairie

East Prairie is just off Highway 80 in Mississippi County, a town with fewer than 3,000 people, but a lot of heart
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 8:50 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 3:38 AM CDT
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EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. (KFVS) - In a town with fewer than 3,000 people, just nestled along Highway 80 in Mississippi County, you’ll find East Prairie.

“We love the little town,” said Crystal Johnston, owner of Sassy N Classy Boutique.

The town known for its charm and friendliness and annual events like the Sweet Corn festival.

“I can remember as a kid having the sweet corn festival. They started it years ago and it’s just been a tradition every year since,” Cyndi Norton, director of East Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

And the Tour De Corn bike race.

“It’s just a big party,” said Norton.

It’s a big family reunion, as the locals like to call it.

“And if you think you’re not part of it, come visit, you’ll fit right in,” said Norton.

But don’t let that be the only reason you come to East Prairie, how about making a trip for some good eats.

“Sandy Ridge is about three and a half to four years old,” said Joe Sorrells, co-owner of Sandy Ridge Smokehouse.

And the meals are practically picture-perfect at Sandy Ridge Smokehouse.

Sandy Ridge Smokehouse
Sandy Ridge Smokehouse(Alayna Chapie/KFVS)

As you’re making your way into town, this is an eye catcher, the restaurant is built with local wood from Cairo, Illinois.

Sandy Ridge Smokehouse
Sandy Ridge Smokehouse(Alayna Chapie/KFVS)

“So, all of our materials inside came form that sawmill. So we are able to actually tell you where these trees were cut,” said Sorrells.

With this as a destination restaurant, they are sure to send people into downtown.

“We kind of tend to go hand in hand with them. They will send customers our direction and we send customers their direction as well.”

Johnston said you can get a nice taste of southern hospitality.

“I just think it’s welcome. I mean everybody comes, they’re friendly. They are definitely loving, welcome bunch,” she said.

Sassy N Classy Boutique
Sassy N Classy Boutique(Alayna Chapie/KFVS)

And if you visit on a Friday night during football season, that might be the one time it’s a ghost town.

“Friday nights, you don’t dare schedule anything other than you know it’s football night,” said Norton.

The East Prairie Eagles don’t play around when it comes to their sporting events.

“If you have kids, you know,” said Norton.

So, make the trip down to East Prairie, you may just end up with a new family member.

“Everybody knows everybody and if you don’t, you find out and that’s where that big family reunion comes in,” said Norton.

For more information about East Prairie check out this website.

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