As 2019 wound down, the Boone County Bicentennial Committee prepared for a year-long celebration of our county’s history, a culmination of work that had begun in early 2018. We had almost finished the 30-foot tall mural entitled “Treasures of Boone County,” to be hung in the Boone County History & Culture Center throughout 2020. Our calendars were already filled with events, deadlines for preparation, checklists, and sticky notes with contacts still needed to be made, connections confirmed, and plans finalized.
Those of us on the Committee had planned that the mural, along with a monument in the courthouse plaza commemorating the date on which the county was organized, and another monument to be placed at the KATY Trail trailhead just north of Jefferson City, celebrating the bicentennial of Boone, Callaway, and Cole counties, would be the primary lasting and tangible ways in which we would celebrate the bicentennial. Everything else, as our calendars reflected, were to be events experienced first-hand, for the enjoyment and education of residents and visitors alike.
As the shadow of COVID-19 began to spread ever more deeply across the country in early 2020, we were still able to host an actual (not virtual!) unveiling of the mural in early March, 2020, and, just a few days earlier, a “sneak preview” of a performance of an original dramatic work conceived, created, and performed by the women of Stephens College. And then COVID-19 hit Boone County and plans for in-person events—from a day-long celebration on July 4th, to a wheat-threshing and butter-churning event at the Woodlandville Methodist Church, to a re-creation of an 1820’s
meal—with heat source, pots and pans, food, and preparation during the Heritage Festival—all hit the STOP button.
As our Bicentennial Committee wondered, “Now what can we do?”, our answer was to take a page out of who we know the people of Boone County to be—resilient in the face of adversity. We pivoted. We pirouetted. And we found a way to share the events and experiences we had planned in this COVID-19 environment.
Working with a local production company and musicians, and with funding for a portion of the work from Central Bank of Boone County, we created a series of videos, all of which will be hosted on the Boone County History & Culture Center’s YouTube channel, as well as on the committee’s Facebook page and website. While we had wanted to have an in-person experience for Boone County to enjoy, this necessary pivot has made a more permanent presence for these experiences available to those interested in the history of Boone County, both near and far, without the limitations of time or distance. When faced with adversity, our Committee did what Boone Countians have done for the last 200 years––we pivoted, we refocused, and we made it work. Enjoy!
You can see the latest virtual celebration of the history of Boone County with the video, “Show Me Missouri Women”, available at www.BoCoMo200.com or at on YouTube (here). The entire video series will be released throughout the next two months of 2020 as we continue to celebrate 200 years of Boone County history. For more information about Boone County’s Bicentennial Celebration, please visit www.BoCoMo200.com.