This month we are all things PRIDE! The Fourth of July is one of the most spectacular times of the year. The sky is lit up with lights, families barbeque in the backyard as the children play and cities host gatherings that bring entire communities together. This month we are reminded of what it means to be an American.
In this edition, you will find all things red, white and blue. We have honored men and women who have served, or are currently serving, our country. You can read about their hard work, their sacrifice and their family. We have shined a light on the women behind the scenes, the military wives. These women also sacrifice for our country, our freedom and seldom get recognized. Read about the trials, tribulations, successes and pride they feel in their spouses. We have even shared some stories of “military brats.” The life of the military was a part of them before they even met the world. This section will inspire you and remind you what those colors, stripes and stars really mean.
In addition to those heartfelt stories, we have brought you over 30 festivities in the month of July. There is something for every family member, friend and neighbor to enjoy in every part of our region. Flip through the calendar of events and begin marking on your calendar. Also, let us share your experience by tagging us on Facebook while you are out celebrating and enjoying summer.
On July 10-12, The City of Joplin will celebrate the 50th year of the Mustang with Mustang Mother Road Weekend. You can find the complete schedule of events on page 13.
On July 17-20 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, you can reminisce with the classic tale of the little boy who never wants to grow up-Peter Pan. Children and adults would love this performance. See page 17 for ticket information.
Jesse James Days will be hosted in Pineville on August 6-9. This event has been a part of the Southwest Missouri tradition for many great years. Find the complete schedule of events on page 15.
In this edition we feature Southeast Kansas. You will find many great daytrips and weekend getaways available a small drive away. SEK loves football and you can see the amazing works of art created by local artists inspired by the love of the game and find information on the 41st Annual Kansas Shrine Bowl. In addition, find details on Schermerhorn Park, the 98th Annual Crawford County Fair, The Little Balkin’s Day Festival, the lakes, museums and more!
One of the most anticipated events of the year is just right around the corner-- The Balloons Bikes & Barbeque in Parsons, Kansas scheduled for October 17-18. Turn to page 71 and learn about the event and what will be new there this year. This is definitely not a story or event that you will want to miss this year!
At SMTO, we are always bursting with pride. We love our community, our readers, our advertisers and our staff. However, it is always nice to take a step back and give thanks to those who have allowed us to have each of those joys. Therefore, we want to not only thank all the veterans and current military personnel for all that they have given us, but challenge each and every one of you to show your appreciation by thanking someone personally this Independence Day.
Happy 4th of July! Stay safe!
P.S. I just got the phone call announcing that Alicia and Jose Campos, our military cover story, have welcomed Annalee into our world. Congratulations to each of you and we wish you, and your sweet baby, all of the best!
Happy Independence Day and thank a veteran this 4th of July! Happy summer!!