From the morning’s kick off parade to a picnic in the park, the Show-Me Freedom Festival and fireworks, Sedalia and Pettis County residents and visitors celebrated the Fourth of July in grand style Thursday.

More than 1,000 individuals took part in activities at Centennial Park following the mid-morning parade in downtown Sedalia. Most of the events were free for those in attendance helping to make the day one of fun and relaxation.

Bringing families and the community together is one of the primary reasons for the activities according to Sedalia Parks and Recreation Director Amy Epple.

“By hosting several Fourth of July events throughout the day it gives us the opportunity to connect with all parts of our community,” Epple explained. “Sedalia has a lot of activities to offer and it is nice to have people stay in town and participate in their hometown activities and make them part of their family traditions for years to come.

“With the Parks and Recreation activities, and The Guesa Foundation events at Show-Me Freedom Festival, we bring the community together while bringing in visitors to our great community,” she added “We hope the Fourth of July Events in Sedalia will become a family tradition, a place where people want to spend their Fourth of July.”

Each year the number of participants at the events increases as do the activities. 

Young and old alike enjoyed a performance from Full Moon Band throughout the afternoon.   Many took advantage of half price admission to Centennial Pool during the day. Admission for veterans and active members of the military was free with a military photo identification.

Prior to the picnic, Epple told the Democrat the Parks Department increased the food they purchased for the event with 3,000 hot dogs, 2,500 bottles of water, 1,500 cans of soda and chips.

As tradition, members of the Sedalia City Council and Pettis County elected officials helped to prepare and serve the food.

“County officials believe that community events like this are ways to show the public that we enjoy being around each other and that we work with the city officials on many things,” said Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick. “Events such as this are excellent ways for us to be able to be accessible to the people.”

According to Epple, this is the second year the Parks Department has taken over all the responsibilities for the lunch, parade, and the fireworks.

“J&M Fireworks are the ones who we work with to create the show,” Epple explained. “We tell them our thoughts and ideas on what we would like to see and they create a show just for us.

Our show will start around 9:30 p.m. and will last about 15 minutes,” Epple said during the picnic.

“The feedback we received from last year’s show really helped us express what we wanted to see this year again. We hope that the whole community will come and share their day with us.”   

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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