Our Opinion: Combined events strengthen connection to community

News Tribune editorial

A combination of complementary events may fulfill Jefferson City’s quest to connect the community to entertaining, enjoyable festivities.

Connect to the Arts, sponsored by the city’s Cultural Arts Commission, will be held Thursday through Saturday in the downtown area.

The festival largely is a coordination of existing events, rather than a creation of new ones. Anchoring the three-day showcase will be:

• Thursday Night Live from 5-9 p.m. downtown, an evening that grew in popularity during its weekly run in July.

• A Cultural Concert installment sponsored periodically by the Missouri River Regional Library. Friday’s performance from 7:30-9 p.m. on the Capitol lawn will feature the Hennessy Brothers.

• The 20th Annual Jazzfest, again held in connection with the Street Chalk Art exhibit. Jazzfest will feature five performers, beginning at noon Saturday in the downtown. This year’s location marks a departure from its previous venue in one of the city’s parks.

Also on Saturday, a Kids’ Imagination Station will take place from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. near the Governor’s Mansion.

Interspersed throughout the threeday festival will be added features, largely designed to appeal to the palate. The second annual Soup Stock will be held in connection with Thursday Night Live, and a wine-tasting will be from 4-7 Saturday, followed from 8-10 p.m. by the Bud Light Street Party.

The festival is supported by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council, the city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and a number of area businesses and organizations. Additional information about Connect to the Arts may be obtained by calling 338-8800.

Our community has gravitated around a consensus that more vibrant, more engaging activities will attract and retain not only young professionals, but people who are young at heart.

We commend everyone — city officials, business representatives and volunteers serving on city panels and community associations — who joined to create Connect to the Arts. And we encourage everyone to enjoy the festivities.

This connection has potential to strengthen in coming years.

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