What better way to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave than a star spangled Fourth of July celebration? We know what you’re thinking – another crowded fireworks show at the local park that lasts maybe ten minutes at most. Not even close. We’re talking about a full-fledged patriotic celebration. Jefferson City’s Annual Salute to America Celebration is far from ordinary, boasting an extravaganza of concerts, live shows, delicious foods, and to top it all off a fireworks spectacular that leaves you speechless.
Here are the top 10 things you shouldn’t miss at Salute to America:
In true patriotic fashion, Salute to America kicks off with an opening ceremony honoring our heroes. The event features a wreath laying ceremony led by Jefferson City’s Veteran’s Council, and we welcome home some very deserving veterans.
2. Salute to America Parade
As the marching band fires up, prepare for one highlight of this Fourth of July celebration – the parade. Crowds gather along the route that winds through Jefferson City’s picturesque, downtown streets. The hometown flair of this parade makes it unique to the community and offers excitement for all ages.
3. Eagle Show
When you think of America you may think of freedom, red, white and blue, stars and stripes and of course America’s symbol, the bald eagle. This majestic bird joins the festivities as the World Bird Sanctuary brings an educational program to the capital city.
4. Little Mr. and Miss Independence Pageant
Prepare for cuteness overload as pageant contestants ages 4-6 compete for the crown in the annual Little Mr. and Miss Independence Contest. Winners receive a savings bond and become the ambassador of the next year’s celebration.
5. Absolute Sports Extreme Stage Show
The Absolute Sports Show is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. It is an exciting combination of booths, exhibitions, edgy live music and hair raising stunts. Performed by amateurs and professionals, the event features skateboarders, motorcycles, martial arts, roller derby, bicycles and many other attractions.
6. Seven Music Stages
Seven music stages are placed throughout downtown, pumping out energetic tunes that can be heard virtually everywhere you go. An eclectic mix of local and national acts offers the perfect background for this patriotic celebration.
7. 17 City Blocks of Vendors and Exhibits
Stroll through seventeen city blocks of vendors offering everything from arts and crafts to corn dogs, kettle corn and funnel cakes. Purchase items to take home and indulge in a flavorful snack as you revel in the surrounding festivities.
8. Carnival Land and Midway
Come one, come all to Carnival Land – a fun, family friendly atmosphere for children and parents alike to spend the afternoon. Take a break from meandering through the crowds and enjoy the miniature carnival, located at the heart of the celebration.
9. Budweiser Beer Garden
Make your way to the beer garden, where those 21 and older enjoy drinks, live music and free entertainment. The beer garden stage is a must-see stop along your route.
10. Red, White and Boom Sky Concert
At last, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the pièce de résistance, drumroll please … the Red White and Boom Sky Concert! Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and relax as the capital city proudly presents one of the largest fireworks displays in the state. Spectators “ooh and ah” over the spectacle as brilliant lights soar high above the Missouri State Capitol dome, before dissolving into the night sky.
Visitors can take advantage of special hotel rates when they ride Amtrak. Click here for details.
Written by Jordan Rowles, Office Coordinator, Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau.