Peyton Engel, 7, waits with an American Flag in hand for the annual Independence Day Parade in 2018 in downtown Sedalia. Engel was attending the parade with her mother, Megan Engle, and her family.

Sedalia residents will have plenty of chances to celebrate next week for the Fourth of July.

The Guesa Foundation is hosting its second annual Show-Me Freedom Festival beginning at noon at the Pepsi Grandstand on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. President Jorge Guevara said the nonprofit is looking forward to hosting another day of events for the city.

“I want to make sure our city benefits from holidays,” he said. “A lot of people leave town and go somewhere else, go to the dam to watch fireworks or the lake to celebrate. I want to make sure we’re able to recapture that and can give back to our city. Family Fourth of July gatherings, maybe they’ll start to gather in Sedalia, they can all come to the event. It’s something affordable for the entire family — you don’t have to worry about extra costs once inside other than food and drink. We’re trying to create another economic impact for our city.”

There will be live music starting at 1 p.m. with local cover bands. At 6 p.m., Chase Bryant will perform, leading the way for national touring act Chris Lane at 8 p.m.

“They’re fantastic national touring artists,” Guevara said of Bryant and Lane. “... Chris Lane was just picked up by Brad Paisley to go on his world tour. We got extremely lucky to be able to get them.”

Other events include face painting, kids activities, and the second annual cornhole tournament, which is limited to 100 teams with a $30 entry fee per team. The $5 admission includes everything except food and drinks, which will be for sale from several food trucks.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at universe.com/showmefreedomfest. Lawn chairs are allowed but guests cannot bring umbrellas, tents/canopies or outside food or drink. Guevara encouraged visitors to come early because they are expecting a similar turnout to last year’s crowd of approximately 7,000.

For more information, contact Guesa at 660-851-2184.

The Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department is also hosting events throughout the day, starting with a parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Sedalia. There is no cost to enter but forms must be filled out and either turned in at Convention Hall or emailed to slynde@sedaliaparks.com. They can be found at sedaliaparks.com or Convention Hall.

“We’re giving away a free private pool party for the overall winner,” Recreation Supervisor Savannah Lynde said. “The theme is ‘United Together.’ We hope to get a lot of groups together to build a float. The categories are Most Patriotic, Most Original, Most Spirited, and Best Representation of the Theme, which will win the party.”

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Parks and Rec will host a free picnic at Centennial Park with bounce houses and live music from Full Moon Band. There will also be half-price admission at Centennial Pool from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and free admission for any veterans or military members with ID.

The night will end with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

“I like that we host a lot of things because it gives families a lot of opportunities to stay in Sedalia and enjoy their hometown and community,” Lynde said. “It gets people out and about in the parks and the fairgrounds. We had tons of people out at Centennial last year we hadn’t seen before who said they didn’t know we did this. It’s great to see them out enjoying the day with their families.”

For more information, contact Parks and Rec at 660-826-4930.

For those looking to kick off their day with a little exercise, the Sedalia Runners Club will host the 38th annual Firecracker Mile at 8 a.m. at the fairgrounds. 

There will be three 1-mile races, a 100-yard Pee Wee Dash (ages 6 and under) and a 300-yard Junior Jog (ages 7-9). Families with three or more milers in any division can enter the Family Team category. 

Entry fee is $20 for any mile race and $15 for the PeeWee Dash or Junior Jog. All runners will receive a T-shirt. Entry forms are available at Convention Hall and area gyms or register at Active.com and search “Firecracker Mile.” Race day registration is from 7 to 7:45 a.m.

For more information, call 660-827-6809 or email mittelhauserjam@gmail.com.

Other area cities are hosting their own activities to celebrate Independence Day:


The Houstonia Community Club will host its annual Independence Day Bash starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 6 in downtown Houstonia.

Events include a patriotic parade at 3 p.m., a silent auction from 3 to 6 p.m., a car show from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., a pie, cake and cookie baking contest at 4 p.m., a pie eating contest, a talent show from 6 to 7 p.m., bingo from 7 to 9 p.m. and fireworks at dark. There will also be games throughout the afternoon.

For more information, Shauna at 660-221-2384.


The Warsaw Dam Experience Fireworks show will be hosted at dusk July 6, but it has been moved to downtown Warsaw due to flooding. The fireworks will be shot off the levee directly across from Drake Harbor. For more information, contact the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce at 660-438-5922.


Fourth of July festivities will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the City of Lincoln. The three-day event July 4-6 will include games, an exotic petting zoo, inflatables, an all-school reunion, old-fashioned contests, parades, beer garden with live bands, and fireworks each night. 

Contests will include a beard contest, greased pig contest, nail driving contest, bale bucking contest, dress like 1869 contest, and casting contest.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. July 4 with line up at Hare Park Softball Field. To sign up for a free entry, visit bit.ly/2RB7cmQ.

Full celebration information can be found by searching “Lincoln 150th Anniversary” on Facebook.


Kick off your July 4 celebration with a 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. at the train depot in downtown Warrensburg. Check-in starts at 7:15 a.m. Cost is $45.

The Patriotic Children’s Parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse plus games, a bounce house and face painting. Get half-price admission at the Star Spangled Swim at Nassif Aquatic Center from 1 to 5 p.m.; season pass holders get in free. 

The Freedom Fest Spectacular at Grover Park will be at 6:30 p.m. with free hot dogs, bounce houses, and games. The Warrensburg Community Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. and there will be fireworks at dusk. 

For more information, visit warrensburg-mo.com or call 660-747-7178. 


The Windsor Area Chamber of Commerce will host an Independence Day Celebration all day July 4 at Farrington Park. Admission is free. After an opening ceremony with the American Legion Post 82 at 8:45 a.m., games from 9 a.m. to noon include turtle race, frog race, egg race, sack race, soft egg toss, water balloon toss, and softball toss. The day ends with a fireworks display at dusk.

For more information, contact the chamber at 660-647-2318.


The Friends of the Maclay Home will host the 37th annual Ice Cream Social from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 4 at the home, on the corner of Howard and state Route B, six blocks north of the Routes 5 and 50 intersection.

Ice cream, homemade cakes, hamburgers and hot dogs will be served from the Carriage House kitchen. A Country Store with baked goods and fresh produce will be on the grounds.  Attractions will include Civil War re-enactors, craft demonstrations, games for children and live music provided by The Melody Makers. 

Tours of the historic Maclay Home will be conducted from noon to 2 p.m. Veterans may tour for free. 

For more information, call 660-433-2068.

Whiteman Air Force Base

Whiteman will celebrate Independence Day from 5 to 9 p.m. July 3 at Ike Skelton Park. The event includes inflatables, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, music, food, a fishing derby, a firework show and more.

This free event is open to all DOD ID card holders and their guest. Food, beverages, face painting and novelty items will be for sale. For more information, contact the CPPO office at 660-687-5754.


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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