Area events to mark state's bicentennial

By The Examiner staff
Missouri's bicentennial quilt, with one block for each county, has been on display around the state and will be at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia in mod-August.

Missouri’s bicentennial is coming up on Aug. 10, and citizens have various ways they can get involved to mark the day or commemorate the year. Some completed projects have includes efforts from around the state. 

Events around Missouri include: 

• Ice cream socials: “We are trying to get ice cream socials happening across the state,” said Michael Sweeney, bicentennial coordinator with the State Historical Society of Missouri.  

The gatherings, however large or small, ideally would happen the afternoon Aug. 10, though Sweeney said a few counties have still not registered an official event. 

In Jackson County, ice cream socials are scheduled for the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.), the Lee’s Summit History Museum in downtown (5 to 8 p.m.), Hawthorn Bank in Lee’s Summit (for bank customers, 11:30 a.m.), the Gillingham-Lewis Museum in Blue Springs (5 to 8 p.m.) and the Independence Chamber of Commerce (4:30 to 6 p.m.).

• The American Solar Challenge starts Aug. 3 on the Independence Square. College teams are racing solar cars along the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. 

• The Francois Chouteau and Native American Heritage Fountain will be dedicated at 9 a.m. Saturday in Kansas City. It includes three bronze statues – Chouteau and two Native Americans in a trading encounter – and looking out over a representation of the Missouri River. The site is on the west side of Chouteau Parkway between Parvin Road and Interstate 35.   

Jackson County is represented in Missouri’s bicentennial quilt by a wagon headed west.

• The Missouri Explorers Program was designed to encourage travel across the state, as participants in various challenges visit site to receive merit badge buttons.  

The challenges are groups of sites around a particular theme or city or area, such as Forest Park in St. Louis, the City of Fountains (Kansas City), African American heritage, Wine Country, Traveling the Mother Road (Route 66) and Jackson County Parks + Rec. 

Participants can share their photographs via social media using the #MOExplorers hashtag. 

People can view the challenges, register as an individual or group and submit photos at: 

• A time capsule to be opened Aug. 10, 2046, the 225th anniversary of statehood. Businesses, local and state government agencies and other organizations are asked to submit items that are no bigger than a legal sheet of paper – 8½ by 11 inches – and no more than half an inch thick. Include these things: something from your organization’s past and something from its present, plus a letter to future Missourians.  

Send your packet to The State Historical Society of Missouri, Attn: Time Capsule, 605 Elm St., Columbia, Mo. 65201. 

• Bicentennial quilt: Made after a statewide callout, this will be on display at the State Fair in mid-August. The Historical Society, Missouri Star Quilty Company and Missouri State Quilters Guild asked for submissions from around the state, made their selections and stitched them together.  

“There’s a block from every county in the state,” Sweeney said. “It was a two-year process.” 

Jackson County’s square, created by Vicki Lynne Borer, depicts a covered wagon, a sun background and a sign with the names the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails. 

Other Jackson County submissions showed the Liberty Memorial and World War I Museum and Harry Truman out of the back of covered wagon waving a newspaper and a barbecue grill attached to the wagon. 

• Show Me Hooked Rugs 2021. More than three dozen hooked rugs made by Missouri artists are on display through December at the Missouri State Museum. All are hand-hooked and reflect a facet of Missouri history or culture. The museum is on the first floor of the state Capitol, 201 W. Capitol Ave., Jefferson City.