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Sedalia, Missouri – Broadway Boulevard

Main Streets 2017: Missouri

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Broadway Boulevard runs east to west through the heart of Sedalia, connecting residents and thousands of annual visitors to this small city’s history, culture, commerce and more.

Coming into town on Broadway from either east or west, you’ll travel past land that has been farmed for generations, plus modern manufacturing facilities that drive the community’s present-day growth. In Sedalia’s boom years after the Civil War, stockyards flourished as cattle were driven to the local railhead for transport to other parts of the country. This plus a U.S. Army installation brought travelers, traders and merchants to this town 90 miles east of Kansas City. And even though Sedalia’s economy has shifted to manufacturing and service industries, its connection to those rail roots are clearly visible today.

Running across Broadway is the 225-mile Katy Trail, the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad line. You can follow the “Katy” north to the Katy Depot, built in 1896 and now the city’s Welcome Center. The old station is home to railroad heritage exhibits, the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sedalia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Broadway runs right through the central business and cultural district, which Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc. has branded The Avenues. This National Commercial Historic District hosts a rich array of community events and activities. In May, the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival attracts more than 6,000; in March, teams of bed-racing crews sprint through the historic downtown district for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, bed races and pub crawl; in August, hundreds of cyclists take to the streets for the Sedalia Criterium and Otterville Road Race.

There are also arts festivals and craft fairs, the Thanksgiving Lighting & Fireworks Extravaganza, Chocolate Crawl and Wine and Brews on the Avenues. In late summer, head a little south of Broadway to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the Missouri State Fair, a tradition in Sedalia since 1899.

Just north of Broadway is the restored, 1927-vintage Hotel Bothwell, with a rich history and a reputation for being haunted. Next door is the Pettis County Courthouse, where in 1940 then-Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman gave a significant civil rights speech in which he declared his belief in “the brotherhood of all men before law.”

For its 24,000 residents and its visitors, Sedalia is a place with a strong sense of community that continues to build on its history and strengthen its economy and culture. And Broadway runs right through it all.

All photos courtesy of Michael Edwards.

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Missouri Primary min

Parkville, Missouri – Main Street

It’s small, with just 5,500 people — but Parkville, Missouri, alongside the Missouri River on the state’s western edge, has a historic downtown whose compact charm is something to remember. Main Street shines with character and hospitality, and it’s an appealing place where townspeople and visitors come together to enjoy this welcoming community.

Parkville’s Main Street Association is an active volunteer group that was first formed after a major flood in 1993 to help rebuild and revitalize the community center. The group follows the guidelines of the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as it focuses on conserving and improving the center’s historic appeal while also promoting business growth and economic vitality.

As a result, Main Street is lined with an appealing selection of shops and boutiques, with an emphasis on art, antiques and eclectic shopping. Among the highlights are Northland Exposure Artists’ Gallery, Old Town Sweets and Antiques, and Parkville Coffee. Wines by Jennifer, housed in an early 1900’s historic house on Main Street, is known for its themed wines rooms, representing major wine regions from around the world, and for its tasting room and lower-level art gallery.

There’s no shortage of community gathering spots in Parkville. In the heart of downtown, Pocket Park is a charming place where a number of townspeople have purchased commemorative bricks. On a much larger scale, the beautiful, 140-acre Platte Landing Park offers trails and boat access to the Missouri River.

Parkville Days, a three-day tradition in August, is a festival where families come together and celebrate Parkville’s past, present and future. The celebration features art and crafts, food, music and games. Other highlights on the year’s calendar are Cruise Nights, “Run by the River,” the annual Microwbrew Fest, Parkville’s July 4th Celebration, the local Farmers’ Market and Christmas on the River.

Really, there’s a whole lot for the residents of this little town to celebrate on their memorable Main Street.

Photo courtesy of Don Smith

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