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Salute To America draws thousands, despite heat and area flooding


In Jefferson City, Independence Day celebrations continued despite widespread flooding elsewhere in Mid-Missouri.

As many celebrated Independence Day at the Capitol on Thursday for the annual Salute To America celebration, attendees were met with harsh heat. The heat index in Jefferson City ranged from 94-95 degrees from 3-6 p.m., according to the ABC 17 News Stormtrack Weather Team.

Festival organizers from Salute to America estimated that more than 10,000 people attended Thursday's celebration around the Capitol Grounds and Downtown Jefferson City.

Many attendees stayed in the shade with fans and water bottles. Missouri American Water donated several large water fountain trailers to Salute to America to provide water access for people enjoying the festivities. Salute to America event coordinator Taylor Wolz emphasized the importance of heat safety.

"We'll have tents donated by sponsors where people can get out of the heat, do some activities, take a breather, and move from there," Wolz said.

Despite the numerous water fountains available around the Capitol, at least four people needed some sort medical attention because of heat-related issues, with one of them having to be brought to an area hospital.

"We had about four folks so far. One was transported. So we're just asking everyone to stay hydrated and hopefully, they're doing that and having a good time," Missouri Capitol Police Chief Zim Schwartze said.

The Jefferson City Police Department, Fire Department, Cole County EMS, were the first responders on site to assist Capitol Police with the crowd.

"We had several thousand people in the downtown area. I don't know the exact number, but there were quite a few folks out. It was very humid today," Schwartze said.

Schwartze, who has worked the event for five years, remarked that this year's event has been the "quietest," meaning it was calm with not much trouble aside from the heat.

Flooding affected a number of roads in Cole County on Thursday after storms came through the area earlier this week.

Cole County Public Works announced several road closures in a press release, including:

  • 7600 block of Campbell Road
  • 8700 block of Payne Road
  • 11100 block of North Branch Road
  • 5500 block of Loesch Road
  • 5900 block of Bainer Road
  • 1400 block of Waterford Road
  • 2800 block of Meadowsford Road
  • 9200 block of Engineer Road
  • 9200 block of Railroad Street
  • 2100 block of Water Street
  • 7400 block of Vaughn Ford Road
Article Topic Follows: Jefferson City

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Euphenie Andre

Outside of my reporting duties, I’m a Division 1 track star at the University of Missouri specializing in the triple jump. My achievements include earning a spot on two national teams, proudly representing the United States at both the NACAC U23 and Pan-American Games. While my ultimate goal is to become a sports reporter, I’m currently enjoying my role in local news for Mid-Missouri.


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