JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Jefferson City's annual Salute to America celebration kicked off Friday, with many vendors and organizers expecting the event to draw large crowds.
David Thompson, event vice-chair for Salute to America, says he expects a huge turnout for the fireworks show on Sunday and hopes the new and first-time attendees will choose to continue to come back.
Columbia resident Katy Bennett-Blumer was attending her first Salute to America on Friday saying it was a breath of fresh air to be able to get out in large crowds once again.
Jeff Blumer adding while COVID-19 is still a lingering thought, the celebration being held outdoors and spread out made him feel more comfortable in attending.
Pat Smith, owner of Keck's Root Beer is eager to see packed crowds again after last year's event was much smaller than usual saying, "Last year we did about a third of our normal show and we did this show last year but the crowd was way down so we’re excited to be back out on the road. Our shows so far this year have been very well received."
Smith says he expects people to take advantage of the nice weather to come out and celebrate.
Thompson said while the carnival was unable to attend this year due to staffing shortages, Salute to America has a plethora of new activities for attendees to participate in.
Axe throwing is a brand new event coming to Salute to America, Thompson said for those wanting to participate, closed toed shoes are required.
Salute to America will also host a freedom fun run on Saturday. The run is free, with all ages able to participate.
Registration was to be filled out online however Thompson says he'll be out at the event able to register those who were unable to.