On August 10, Missouri was admitted to the Union as the 24th state. Since then, the state has been split by a Civil War, served as the Gateway to the West, and witnessed many historic moments.
This year local and regional events are planned to celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial on August 10, Statehood Day. Events will take place leading up to and even after Statehood Day. These events include:
- In Plattsburg (approximately 3 hours northeast of Jefferson City), the local artist coalition is hosting a quilt show featuring 200 quilts representing the past 200 years of Missouri history along with the Missouri Bicentennial quilt. The Bicentennial quilt features squares submitted by each county in the state. The show will run July 19-21 and would be a great road trip.
- On Saturday, July 24, Kansas City will unveil the Francois Choteau and Native American Heritage Fountain to honor those who first settled and traded in the area that would become Kansas City. The same year Missouri became a state, Chouteau established a trading post along the Missouri River on its western front. The event will feature Native American culture dance, period fiddler and banjo players, horse-drawn wagon rides, food trucks, youth activities, and more.
- The Bicentennial Bash in St. Charles will take place on August 7. Attendees will be able to visit the First State Capitol Building and participate in several activities.
Closer to home, the State Historical Society of Missouri and the University of Missouri will commemorate the bicentennial with the Together for ’21 Fest on August 5-8. The festival will include live music, folk art demonstrations, children’s programming, talks/lectures, documentary film screenings, and several exhibitions, including the My Missouri 2021 photograph exhibit.
The Bicentennial Bike Ride will take place a few days before Statehood Day. One group of 100 cyclists will depart from St. Charles and ride to North Jefferson (103.7 miles). A second group of 100 cyclists will depart from Windsor and also ride to North Jefferson (104.8 miles). Both groups will camp in Memorial Park in Jefferson City and have an opportunity that evening to enjoy live music at Jefferson Landing and dinner in downtown Jefferson City. On Sunday, they will resume their ride so that the 200 riders will have rode 200 miles by the end of the day!
You can celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial at the Missouri State Capitol on August 10. Events throughout the day will include the formal recognition of the Missouri Bicentennial, the reveal of the Missouri Bicentennial stamp and mural, and exhibits in the Capitol and a US Naturalization Ceremony.
For decades, communities have come together during the summer for ice cream socials. Since the ice cream cone is the official state dessert, it seems appropriate that the entire state celebrate Statehood Day with a scoop! Missouri 2021 is encouraging communities throughout the state to host ice cream socials on August 10.
In celebration of Missouri’s Bicentennial, Central Dairy in Jefferson City will provide the first 200 customers in line at their parking lot ice cream trailer with a free Birthday Cake flavored sundae. There will also be $1 ice cream cones available for everyone. The event will occur at 610 Madison Street on August 10 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. or until the handouts are gone!
If you prefer to avoid the hot Missouri summers, plenty of online activities are available to keep you busy. The Rolla Public Library has several virtual presentations by a variety of authors over the next month. Topics include “D-Day and Missouri Generals,” “Missouri Animals and the Overland Trails,” and “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
The Missouri Legislative Library has an interactive online display, The Many Missouri Capitols, which allows users to journey through the many buildings that have housed the Missouri Legislature over the years. The presentation includes information on Jefferson City’s first Capitol Building, which was located where the Governor’s Mansion now sits. A fire destroyed the building in 1837, and many of the original state documents and records regarding the beginnings of our state. This experience can be viewed at www.senate.mo.gov/LegislativeLibrary/Capitols.html.
However you choose to celebrate Statehood Day, take a moment to stop and consider the millions of people who have contributed to Missouri’s history in some way. Missouri has come a long way over the past two hundred years, but we’ve got an even brighter and better future ahead.
For more information about any of these events, please visit www.missouri2021.org/events.