It’s coming! The biggest block party ever. It encompasses about 12 blocks around the Historic Independence Square filled with vendors, food, entertainment, carnival, and lots of parking lots. Yup. It’s the 39th Santa-Cali -Gon Days Festival, Sept. 2-5.

It’s coming! The biggest block party ever. It encompasses about 12 blocks around the Historic Independence Square filled with vendors, food, entertainment, carnival, and lots of parking lots. Yup. It’s the 39th Santa-Cali -Gon Days Festival, Sept. 2-5.

The festival is presented by the Independence Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors are the Missouri Lottery, the city of Independence, Nuts and Bolts Hardware and a host of other businesses. It gathers together about 250,000 people over the weekend. It’s a time to showcase our wonderful city. It’s a communitywide event benefiting businesses, organizations, nonprofits and the faith community.

The festival is far reaching. Last year’s festival was internationally recognized by National Geographic’s Travelers Magazine and ranked No. 9 in Sunshine Artist’s 2010 Best the premier arts and crafts show magazine.

Santa-Cali-Gon includes parts of the names of the three major trails that passed through Independence – Santa Fe, California, and Oregon.  

 “These trails had their beginnings right here in Independence. When the city wanted to celebrate this pioneer spirit as the ‘Queen City of the Trails’ with a festival, the name was derived from the trails,” said Teresa Freeland, vice president of the Chamber. Freeland, along with her assistant Terri Singleton, is responsible for the festival. Planning for the festival is a year-round activity.

New this year will be the Junior Service League Bingo tent and an official SCG mobile app sponsored by XFINITY powered by Comcast (also a sponsor). Monday will feature a “Fun Under the Sun” beach theme that will include a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, tropical drinks, beach balls and a potential world record attempt with the Macarena.



Festival trivia

How savvy are you? Try answering the questions without peeking below for answers!

1. What years were the two early festivals held?

2. What year does the Chamber use for the first consecutive festival?

3. Where can you ride a carousel?

4. How many vendor spaces? (arts and crafts, food)

5. How many volunteers run the festival?

6. How many portable restrooms are there?

7. Name the organization that presents the festival.

8. Who chairs the Festival Board?

9. Where can you buy festival T-shirts?

10. How many stages are there?

11. Who will lead the attempt at breaking the world’s Macarena record?

12. How many shuttle bus routes are there?



Answers to trivia

1. There were two early festivals. The first was in 1940, and the next one was not until 1947, with time out during and just after WWII.

2.  1973. It was called Three Trails Day that year.

3. Carousel and other rides and games can be found at Grand Carnival Midway starting Thursday evening.

4. There are 720 vendor spaces.

5. Approximately 150 volunteers run the festival.

6. There are 97 portable restrooms throughout the festival.

7.  The Independence Chamber of Commerce.

8. Terri Steele, owner of Evans & Steele Financial is chair and board member since 1998.

9. Festival T-shirts can be purchased at the information booth located on Main and Maple or at the Chamber of Commerce building on Truman and Liberty.

10. All stages are free. There are three stages, the Nuts  and Bolts Main Stage, featuring live band entertainers each evening; the University of Central Missouri Community Stage, hosting local entertainment, including dance groups, Karaoke Idol Show and lots of fun contests; and the Gospel Stage, bringing the finest gospel harmony courtesy of Gospel Music Promotion.

11. The Macarena Dance starts at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5 on the Main Stage led by MAC the Maverick mascot.

12. There are two shuttle routes and free parking. Shuttles run every 15 minutes  from William Chrisman High School, U.S. 24 (not on Friday) and from Community of Christ Auditorium 1000 W. Walnut St.



For more festival information call 816-252-4745, visit SantaCaliGon.com or access SCG Mobile app.

Hope to see you there!