JEFFERSON CITY, MO. - Each year, Jefferson City rolls out the fun and warms it up in the summer sun.  The result is a season of sweet activities for the whole family to enjoy.



Independence Day is the very heart of summer, the day we celebrate our freedom with fireworks, carnival rides and corn dogs.  Jefferson City's Independence Day celebration isn't limited to a single day, however.  The fun starts on July 3 and carries through until the last "boom" of the last starburst rocket fades away.  Downtown Jefferson City comes alive with entertainment and activities during this annual celebration.


At 6 p.m. on July 3, attendees can enjoy the CenturyLink "America's Most Beautiful Small Town" parade, honoring Jefferson's City's designation by Rand McNally.  The day's activities also include the opening ceremony, the Little Mr. and Miss Independence contest, a carnival, street dance and live entertainment. The iconic and multi-platinum selling Nitty Gritty Dirt Band headlines Thursday's evening entertainment at 8 p.m. on the main stage located on south side of the Capitol lawn.


Fun on the Fourth of July starts off at 11 a.m. with more live entertainment, the carnival, food, remote-control car races, hot dog eating competition, a live eagle show and special entertainment provided by Bennie & the Jets, a highly-acclaimed Elton John tribute band, at 7 p.m. on the main stage, capped off by Central Missouri's biggest fireworks display.


Visitors can't help but be moved as they see the dome of Missouri's beautiful State Capitol Building silhouetted against the colorful fireworks.  It's a sight that can only be enjoyed in Jefferson City. For more information on this patriotic celebration of community and country, please visit



Visitors to Jefferson City once again can walk through what Time Magazine once called "the bloodiest 47 acres in America."  Constructed in 1836, the Missouri State Penitentiary once was the largest prison in the United States and held prisoners 100 years before Alcatraz opened its doors.  


At its peak, the prison held 5,200 offenders.  Famous inmates included gangster "Pretty Boy" Floyd and boxer "Sonny" Liston.  Two-hour and 3-hour history tours are available, as well as nighttime ghost tours and ghost hunts.  For more information, and to schedule a tour, visit  Tours are available throughout the Fourth of July weekend. 




Jefferson City will be the starting line and host city for Rally North America's CJ Pony Parts - US 50 Rally.  The event will stage 80 cars from 31 states and three Canadian provinces on the streets of Jefferson City on July 10.  This 1,800-mile scavenger hunt comes to Jefferson City on its fourth day and will conclude two days later in Pueblo, Colo.  The public will be welcome at the rally starting line from 7:30-9 a.m.  There is no charge to view the festivities, but donations are welcome.  The automotive scavenger hunt is being held to raise funds for The Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.

Established in 2009, Rally North America Charities is a not-for-profit organization aimed at bringing together automotive enthusiasts from all over the United States and Canada for auto rallying.  Each rally organized by Rally North America carries a common idea - driving for a cause to "do good" through the automotive hobby.  To date, Rally North America has raised more than $230,000 for their chosen charities through events such as this one.


Motorcycle enthusiasts should plan to be in Jefferson City on Aug. 17.  That's when Hot Bike Magazine will bring the GEICO Motorcycle Hot Bike Tour to the city's historic downtown.  Jefferson City is the second stop on the tour, which begins Aug. 16 in Joplin and ends Aug. 20 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.  "I am really excited for the sophomore edition of our rolling rally, which happens to be smack-dab in the middle of America where gasoline first met piston," said Jeff G. Holt, editor in chief of Hot Bike Magazine.  "Along for this year's ride are a dozen or so legendary bike builders riding and showing their latest creations, tons of the latest in custom componentry, and a nightly party to boot!"  The bikes will be in downtown Jefferson City from 1-7 p.m. and bike lovers are invited to come take a look at these hot rides.


Summer fun also features "Cruisin' at the Capital Mall," the largest car show in the city.  Visitors can stroll around the parking lots at the mall to check out the vintage cars and talk to their owners.  Live music is also a part of the fun.  The show runs from 4-8 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month through September.


Jefferson City's love of the arts is a part of what makes it "America's Most Beautiful Small Town."  The historic buildings feature stunning architecture.  Visitors say the Missouri State Capitol Building is so filled with famous art, it feels like part gallery, part museum and the city features displays of both visual and performing arts year-round.


The city invites visitors and residents for a leisurely walk through historic downtown Jefferson City from 6-9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month through September.  The   will feature street performers, artists, kids' crafts, theater and cinema, beer and wine, great food, and live music of all styles. 



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For more information about the sights, sounds and activities of Jefferson City, call the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-769-4183, or visit  www.VisitJeffersonCity.comYou can also find more information on the city's  Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages.   


Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Katherine Reed, Communications Manager 

(573) 632-2820  



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Jefferson City, Missouri