The Annual SantaCaliGon® Days Festival in Independence, Missouri, commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails during the country’s great westward expansion in the 1800s by adventurous pioneers. Today more than 300,000 attendees celebrate family & fun over Labor Day Weekend. This year we celebrate 200 years of Missouri statehood and the 200-year anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail. This event honors and celebrates Missouri’s (and Independence’s) role in westward expansion. Attendees celebrate with food, music, arts and crafts, dance, etc. that reflect today and yesterday. There is no admission charge to festival grounds or for concerts. The 2021 Festival is scheduled for September 3-6.
Independence, Missouri, Queen City of the Trails, will be the starting line for Mule Power to Horse Power: 2021 American Solar Challenge. This year, the course will follow the Santa Fe Trail route (200th anniversary) to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is an annual competition for university students to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a time/travel rally. Join us on August 3, 2021, for Display Day, on the Historic Independence Square, to take a close look at the cars and talk with the design and build teams. We will also be celebrating Missouri’s bicentennial with a look back at transportation then and now. This event will celebrate Missouri’s role in the westward exploration and expansion of the country. In addition to the solar cars, we will have covered wagon rides (pulled by Missouri mules) and exhibits of other transportation (Steamboat Arabia for example). This is a free event on and around the historic downtown in Independence. It is provided with cooperation from Independence Parks and Rec, the Independence Square Association, and Innovators Educational Foundation.
KC Molière:400 in 2022 has commissioned playwright Philip Blue Owl Hooser (Choctaw) to write a one-act play for outdoor performance at the opening of the Chouteau and Native American Heritage Fountain scheduled for July 24, 2021. His comedy for three men (one First Nations) & one woman is an upbeat comedy in which the French traders attempt to explain French culture using Molière’s work as example. Hilarity ensues as they bungle their little performance into something that might be called “Tartuffenthrope.” Good will prevails in spite of their misguided efforts and cross-cultural bonding is achieved. The inaugural performance is open to everyone on site of the new Chouteau & Native American fountain. Later the play will be touring to schools.
There is no Kansas City without Black Kansas City. African American educators, activists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and athletes built a vibrant community that shaped the city and the nation. For the past 12 years, the Local Investment Commission, Kansas City Public Library, and Black Archives of Mid-America have celebrated this underappreciated history in annually published poster sets, booklets, and calendars that highlight the history of Black excellence in the metro. To commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial year, the 2021 Kansas City Black History project features a special edition publication with more than 50 biographies of notable Black citizens and a collection of essays on the African American experience in Kansas City. Print and electronic versions of the publication will be freely available to the public. Additional content – including lesson plans and other educational resources – will appear in early 2021 on a new website: kcblackhistory.org.
State of Stories is a series of free public programs developed by The Story Center at Mid-Continent Public Library and the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program. Programs will explore Missouri history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, book conversations, lectures, a publication, and other activities.
Missouri Mondays: Harry S. Truman’s Connections Across Missouri is a social media campaign that will focus each week on a different Missouri town and its connection to Harry S. Truman. The Truman Library will use photos, documents, and motion picture footage to illustrate the connections that Truman made across Missouri that helped him win election to the Senate in 1934 and 1940, and made him a viable vice-presidential and presidential candidate in 1944 and 1948. This campaign will promote understanding of different Missouri communities, and illustrate the different ways that Missouri’s only President made an impact throughout the state, and not just his home region. Follow the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on these social medial platforms:
Join Jackson County Historical Society and the Mutual Musicians Foundation for Bird’s 99th Birthday Bash to celebrate Charlies ‘Bird’ Parker’s 99th Birthday! The event on August 24, 2019, at 6:00 pm at the Mutual Musicians Foundation – 1823 Highland Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri – celebrated the history of Kansas City jazz and such jazz greats as Charlie Parker, Bennie Moten, and Count Basie – all who played and jammed at the Mutual Musicians Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The evening event included live performances with original and contemporary arrangements of their classics as well as food and drinks.
Will you survive the trail? Or die of dysentery? Test your luck at the Live Action Oregon Trail game!
Independence, Missouri, served as the launching point for many moving West. The game, a partnership between the Jackson County Historical Society and National Frontier Trails Museum, highlighted the challenges facing settlers moving out across the Oregon Trail.
Teams of 4 saw if they had what it takes to survive the Oregon Trail! There were 10 stops along the way with games, trivia, and relay races. Teams packed their wagon, “hunted” wild game, and much more! Each team had the chance to win points at each stop. The team with the most overall points won Live Action Oregon Trail! There was also a prize for the best-dressed team.
Kansas City Celebrates Missouri’s Bicentennial at the François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain
The François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain is the location for a special fun-filled event to observe Missouri’s 200th Anniversary!
Everyone is invited to join KC Parks on Saturday, July 24, to celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial at the François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain in the Northland. The free event will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the fountain site, 3904 Chouteau Trafficway, located between I-35 and M-210 Highway, just north of Parvin Road in Kansas City.
“The Chouteau Fountain site is a fitting location for the Bicentennial celebration,” says Dick Davis, Chouteau Fountain Founders chairperson. “French pioneer Francois Chouteau is widely acknowledged as Kansas City’s founding father having established the area’s first fur trading post on the bluffs of the Missouri River some 200 years ago.”
The festivities include Native American dancers, fiddlers and dulcimer players, fur trapping re-enactors, recognition of Missouri’s 200th Anniversary by state and local dignitaries, the unveiling of the fountain’s newest bronze sculpture, and the debut of a play, Tartuffenthrope! by Kansas City playwright Philip blue owl Hooser. Additional activities include horse-drawn wagon rides, food trucks, youth activities, and a Plein Air Quick Paint contest.
On site donations and a silent auction will help benefit the completion of the Chouteau Fountain. All attendees are also invited to sign the official Kansas City Missouri Bicentennial Registry and receive a commemorative “twig” pen.
The celebration is supported by the City of Kansas City, KC Parks, Northland Neighborhoods Inc., and Missouri’s Bicentennial Committee. For more information, visit www.kcparks.org/mo200kc.
BLUFFS STAGE SCHEDULE
9 a.m. Beyond the Circle Native American Dancers
9:30 a.m. Dennis Stroughmatt, Cajun fiddle
10:30 a.m. MO Bicentennial Program
11 a.m. Tartuffenthrope! by KC Molière 400
11:40 a.m. Beyond the Circle Native American Dancers
Noon Folk in the Flow
12:50 p.m. Plein Air Award Presentation
Interludes by Robert Roe, the Osage Wind Rider
ACTIVITIES TENT SCHEDULE
9:30 a.m. Robert Roe, the Osage Wind Rider
10 a.m. Starry, Starry Night puppet show
10:30 a.m. Workshop #1: Missouri Mule Mouth Puppets
11:30 a.m. Workshop #2: Paper Plate Puppets
12:30 p.m. Backyard Buggin puppet show
Ongoing chalk art, roving puppets, giant bubbles, hula hoops, jugglers
Legal parking is available on some streets and at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3800 NE Parvin Rd, Kansas City, MO 64117. The KCATA will provide complimentary shuttle transportation around the NE Chouteau corridor.
ABOUT THE FOUNTAIN
The François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain is currently under further development on the west side of Chouteau Parkway, south of I-35, north of Parvin Road. The first phase of the fountain bluff is complete and three heroic size bronze sculptures of Francois Chouteau and two Osage Indians are installed. A fourth sculpture of a Kansa hunter stalking a beaver will be unveiled at the Bicentennial celebration. The sculptures were produced by local artist Kwan Wu, who is ranked among the top sculptors in the world. The fountain’s next phase includes building additional bluffs and adding a water feature. More at www.chouteaufountain.org.
August 10, 2021, will mark the two hundredth anniversary of Missouri’s entry as the 24th state to enter the United States. A state with many different regional cultures, geographies, and industries, each Missouri community, county, and region has a story to tell about its people, their history, their commerce, and their culture. By celebrating the accomplishments and diversity of all these regions, we help create a better understanding of our one Missouri and the ties that bind us together. More at www.missouri2021.org.
JuneteenthKC returned in June 2019 with a series of events in Kansas City’s historic Eighteenth and Vine District celebrating the spirit of independence, freedom, and African American pride. The commemoration of Juneteenth has been a central part of African American life and culture in Kansas City since 1980. In 2019, this city-wide celebration of Emancipation included a diverse array of free family-friendly events, including the Juneteenth Cultural Parade on Saturday, June 1; the “JuneteenthKC Edition” of First Fridays on Friday, June 7; the Juneteenth Celebration at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Saturday, June 8; and the JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival on Saturday, June 15.