It is a Capital City tradition that only gets bigger and better each year.
This year, Salute to America is complete with new events, vendors and more to help Mid-Missourians celebrate our nation's independence.
On Saturday, the celebration begins in downtown Jefferson City with carnival rides from 2-11 p.m. and a Joplin Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. at High and Madison streets.
The event is sponsored by local bars, and will feature a variety of bands and performers.
On Sunday, bands will begin playing at 4 p.m. and the holiday parade will make its way through the heart of downtown at 6 p.m. Event planners said the ever-popular Little Mr. and Miss Independent Contest will take place after the parade and opening ceremonies featuring tributes to veterans. Accounts of the Central Missouri Honor Flight will be told at 7:30 p.m. on the Capital Main Stage.
A street dance featuring Guilty Party will begin at 8:30 p.m., and Elvis will also entertain festival-goers beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Food and other vendors will be operating throughout the festival each day. The carnival features armband specials for all or part of the event as well.
On Monday, the event will be in full swing, and participants are sure to find something for each member of their families to enjoy.
The festivities continue at 11 a.m. Monday with historical society, Capitol Building and Missouri State Penitentiary tours until 4 p.m.
The heritage village, classic car cruise, High Street Heroes and kid's zone will be open until 7 p.m. that day.
Various entertainment and contests will take place through 8 p.m. and the Avenue of the Americas will be open until 9 p.m. The food court and carnival will be open until 11 p.m.
New events for this year's festival include the 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. performance of the United FMX Extreme Sports Exhibition, featuring 15-20 motocross jumps during each show. The Nook, a local skateboard shop, will also be giving skateboard demonstrations at the same time. The show and display of the High Street Heroes will be located in front of the courthouse in the 300 block of High Street.
In the same area from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. the Red Cross will be accepting blood donations on the donor coach.
On Madison Street, festival-goers can watch sand carver Dan Belcher sculpt the remaining 60 tons of sand from the Thursday Night Live Beach Party. He will begin carving at 11 a.m.
Monday's live eagle show will be at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and will also be featured during the 7 p.m. preshow. Following the eagle show, the Little River Band will take the stage to help amp up the crowd for the fireworks display set to begin at dusk.
Music to accompany the fireworks display will be simulcast on Jeff 104.1 FM.