Welcome to Historic Jefferson City-
You're Invited to Feel the History
and Join in the Fun
For Immediate Release:
May 30, 2012
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. - Over two hundred years of American heritage is wrapped neatly in the hospitable borders of Jefferson City and there's an opportunity for education and entertainment around every corner.
This proud history comes to life within the dark walls of an infamous 176-year-old penitentiary (decommissioned in 2004) or at one of Jefferson City's many museums. You can even commemorate the Civil War's Sesquicentennial with a tour of the city's "War Between the States" landmarks with a Jefferson City Civil War Passport.
After you've spent time getting to know Jefferson City's past, you can make your way into the present to enjoy some of its other rich experiences and surprises. Alfresco restaurants, vibrant nightspots and a variety of retail shopping adventures all help to bring you back in step with the 21st century. You also could celebrate your return to the present with a stop at Jefferson City's legendary Central Dairy for an ice cream treat. Or you could take a relaxing stroll at one of six area parks, enjoy a live performance at one of several local theatres or view original works (many available for purchase) by local artisans at one of the area's art galleries.
Missouri State Penitentiary
The 2012 Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) tour season is in full swing, so book your visit behind bars now. According to the Jefferson City Convention and Visitor Bureau, over 17,000 people toured the prison complex last year and more are likely to be held "captive" by the tours this year.
The MSP was once the oldest continually operated prison west of the Mississippi. Once called the "Bloodiest 47 acres in America" by Time magazine, the penitentiary was "home" to infamous inmates James Earl Ray and Pretty Boy Floyd, as well as former heavyweight boxing champion Charles "Sonny" Liston.
Discover what life was like for the inmates and guards at one of America's most historic prisons. If you've already been to MSP, become a recidivist and schedule another trip to the slammer. No tour is exactly alike and there are several types of tours to experience, including Ghost Tours specifically designed for those fascinated by stories of the paranormal.
Go online and visit MissouriPenTours.com or call 866-998-6998 to secure your spot on a tour. Public history tours cost $12 per person, Twilight Tours are $17 and Ghost Tours are $25. Additional tour options also are available. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Civil War Passport
Get your key to exploring all things Civil War in Jefferson City with a Civil War Passport. You can find the passport online at the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau website or by stopping by the Bureau office (100 E. High Street) to pick up one in person.
There are 10 Jefferson City Civil War sites listed within the pages of this handy guide to help you plan your visit.
After visiting five of the 10 Civil War sites, you are eligible to enter a contest to win a Jefferson City Civil War Gift Basket - which includes an overnight stay in Jefferson City, a $50 dinner gift certificate, historic items, and private, guided tours (for up to 10 people) of both the National Cemetery and the Missouri State Penitentiary.
For complete contest rules, please visit the Jefferson City CVB's Civil War Passport Page or call the CVB at 800-769-4183 for more information. Passports must be completed by Sept. 1, 2012; the drawing for the prize will take place on Sept. 15.
Museum After Hours
Would you like to find out what a museum is like after the sun goes down? Could you envision yourself walking the halls of a museum after hours, like a security guard in the movie A Night at the Museum? Perhaps your schedule doesn't allow a visit to a museum during normal daytime hours and you'd like to check it out.
For the first time in the rich history of the Missouri State Museum (located inside the State Capitol Building), the exhibits are open after dark. During exclusive "Museum After Hours" events, you can leisurely view all of your favorite exhibits and discover new favorites in a more intimate, relaxing setting.
Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month from now through the end of the year, you'll be able to experience historical exhibits and artifacts, including the museum's commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States with an exhibit called "Civil War Missouri: A House Dividing."
Special programs will be presented during the series, including presentations about tombstone iconography and imagery, the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the Civil War and much more. These programs will take place in the museum classroom, which is located in the History Hall (east wing).
On these evenings, there is free admission and entry to the museum will be through the carriage entrance on the south side of the building underneath the grand staircase. The "Museum After Hours" event for the month of July, will take place on July 11th due to the Fourth of July holiday. For more information about the Museum After Hours events, please call the Museum at 573-751-2854 or visit MissouriStateMusuem.com.
Thursday Night Live
Dates: June 7, 14, 21 and 28
Time: 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Location: Corner of Madison and High Streets
Description: Jefferson City shuts down the streets in downtown to host a block party celebration of live music and fun every Thursday in June. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the evening. Many downtown stores, restaurants and bars will offer "Thursday Night Live" specials to help you enjoy the festivities and dance the night away.
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For more information about these and other attractions in and around Jefferson City, please contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-769-4183, at
VisitJeffersonCity.com or at the city's Facebook or Twitter pages.
Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ryan Winkler, Communications Manager