131st Bomb Wing – Missouri ANG Community
Whiteman AFB-Area Communities
Just 2 miles from the Whiteman Air Force Base gate on state Highway J, Knob Noster is a small town of about 2,700 and home to the nearly 4,000-acre Knob Noster State Park. Founded a little north of the present city limits in 1842, Knob Noster derives its name from the Latin “noster,” meaning “our,” and the two “knobs,” or hills, overlooking the town.
Originally, Knob Noster was primarily a farming community, but with the opening of Whiteman Air Force Base and the tourist attraction of Knob Noster State Park, the town’s population has grown to nearly 2,800.
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS
Knob Noster State Park
873 SE 10th
Knob Noster, MO 65336
This tranquil retreat features open oak woodlands with prairie patches along Clearfork Creek. It’s the perfect spot for anglers, mountain bikers, hikers, horseback riders and families to find some quality time.
Founded in 1869 by Harvey Higgins, the city of Higginsville is strategically located approximately 32 miles northeast of Whiteman AFB on State Route 13, and 50 miles east of Kansas City on Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 13 in the heartland of the Midwest. The area always has been prime for agriculture and farming.
With excellent schools, affordable housing, an outstanding park system, numerous churches and community organizations, the nearly 4,800 residents enjoy a quality of life that is second to none.
From the moment one sets foot in the city, its rich history is evident. Founded in 1860, Sedalia began as a rough frontier town in the new West. When the Pacific Railroad arrived a year later, Sedalia boomed as it began its evolution into the “Queen City of the Prairies.”
Sedalia still offers a view of the past in the 19th-century architecture throughout the city. From its historic downtown business district to tree-lined boulevards, a visit to Sedalia is a trip back in time.
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS
Missouri State Fair
Held annually in August, the Missouri State Fair is among the state’s oldest and most tradition-rich events for summer family fun. Enjoy concerts, exhibits and competitions of animals, homemade crafts, food/lemonade stands and more during the 11-day event, and be sure to catch its famous mule show, a highlight since the first fair in 1901. Visit the fair’s website for admission prices, daily schedules and contest information.
Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival
Celebrate Scott Joplin, composer of the famous “Maple Leaf Rag,” in the city he called home. A bevy of featured performers and guest lecturers breathe new life into turn-of-the-century Ragtime music through a series of concerts, symposia, contests and more. Visit the festival’s website for tickets prices and schedules.
Warrensburg emerged from a frontier gathering place more than 150 years ago. In 1833, a blacksmith from Kentucky named Martin Warren chose a well-traveled spot along an Osage Indian trail to build a cabin and set up a blacksmith shop that served as an informal gathering place for the local farmers. Three years after moving to Missouri, Warren’s shop was named the county seat of the newly created county of Johnson and the township was named Warren’s Burg, in honor of the local blacksmith. In 1855, the township was incorporated and became the city of Warrensburg.
Work began in 1838 to build a courthouse for the newly formed county and was completed in 1842. The original courthouse was the site of Sen. George Graham Vest’s “Eulogy on the Dog,” which he used as his closing argument in the Burden v. Hornsby trial over a sheep farmer’s slaying of the foxhound “Old Drum.” Vest had said earlier that he would “win the case or apologize to every dog in Missouri.”
Located 10 miles west of Whiteman Air Force Base, Warrensburg is home to the University of Central Missouri, the Johnson County Historic Complex, two golf courses, and various recreational parks and facilities.
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS
Blind Boone Park
What was once a park designated for the black community during segregation, Blind Boone Park has developed into a historical venue. John William “Blind” Boone, son of a former slave from Warrensburg, overcame blindness and racial discrimination to form the Blind Boone Concert Company, which performed over 8,000 concerts. Located in the historical district, Blind Boone Park features a statue of the composer, and audio boxes in the park describe his history and legacy.
Lion’s Lake/Culp Park
Walk along a 2-mile trail, play softball, enjoy a picnic or fish in Lions Lake. Migrating Canada geese frequent the park’s calm waters as well.
Old Drum Day Festival
Celebrate the Trial of Old Drum on the second Saturday in April at the Old Johnson County Courthouse. This event is friendly for families and four-legged friends, honoring historic dog Old Drum with speeches like the one that made famous the term “man’s best friend.” There’s more live music, dog shows, a car show, vendors and more than you can shake a stick at. Proceeds from the festival go to the Johnson County Historical Society.
Pertle Springs Park and Keth Memorial Golf Course
A recreational and cultural fixture in Warrensburg since 1884, Pertle Springs Park took early advantage of a spring-fed pool and suite of lakes for swimming, boating and all manner of water sports. By the late 1800s it was a resort destination with a hotel, the Minnewawa, that fire destroyed in 1926; the Civilian Conservation Corps set up there during the Great Depression; and in 1959, the University of Central Missouri bought the 300-acre property. Now mostly a nature conservation area, students use it to study ecology. The 18-hole Keth Memorial Golf Course continues in use with upgrades including a driving range with four indoor bays, putting greens and a chipping area, and the university has added a $1.7 million golf clubhouse for the Mules National Golf Club.
Kansas City traces its beginnings to 1821, when Missouri was admitted to the Union. Francois Chouteau, a Frenchman living in St. Louis, came up the Missouri River that year and established a trading post on the waterway in the area that is now the northeast industrial district. Annexations, mainly in the late 1950s and early 1960s, increased the city’s area to approximately 315 square miles, and its population has grown to more than 465,000.
Kansas City, America’s most centrally located major metropolitan area, has been named one of 10 All-America Cities. The city is home to world-class cuisine, one-of-a-kind museums, flourishing arts and swinging jazz clubs as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS
Country Club Plaza
4750 Broadway St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Kansas City has many well-known shopping, dining and entertainment options, including a unique jewel known as the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City’s premier retail restaurant and entertainment center. Offering more than 150 outstanding shops and dozens of restaurants in a beautiful 15-block area, this world-renowned landmark was modeled after Kansas City’s sister city, Seville, Spain.
Kansas City Chiefs
One Arrowhead Drive
Kansas City, MO 64129
The only National Football League team based in Missouri, the Kansas City Chiefs play at Arrowhead Stadium. In the 2015 AFC Wild Card playoff game, the Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans 30-0 to earn their first NFL playoff win in 23 seasons.
Visit the website for schedules, ticket prices, stats and more.
Kansas City Royals
One Royal Way
Kansas City, MO 64129
The Kansas City Royals celebrate their 44th season at Kauffman Stadium in 2016. The Royals drew a franchise record 2.7 million fans to Kauffman Stadium during the 2015 regular season, and then went on to win the 2015 World Series.
Visit the website for schedules, ticket prices, special events, statistics and more.
400 Speedway Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66111
During the two weekends each year Kansas Speedway hosts NASCAR races, the speedway becomes the seventh-largest city in Kansas, its website says, and given the sport’s popularity, that’s easy to credit: The track alone sits over 64,000 fans, International Speedway Corporation owns and operates the 1.5-mile tri-oval race track in Kansas City, Kansas. It’s been a boon to nearby commercial development, aside from the Penn National Gaming Hollywood Hotel and Casino at the track itself. Major events include the Go Bowling 400 and the Hollywood Casino 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the Kansas Lottery 300 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series; the Toyota Tundra 250 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series; and the Kansas ARCA 150 in ARCA. The track speed record of 197.621 mph was set by Kevin Harvick on Oct. 3, 2014.
Kansas City Zoo
6800 Zoo Drive
Kansas City, MO 64132
Opened in green and rolling Swope Park in 1909 after years of planning, the Kansas City Zoo has more than 1,300 animals distributed over 202 acres and in 2008 was acclaimed as one of the best zoos in the United States in terms of its collection, care for the animals and public viewing. The zoo is divided into five areas: Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Congolese Rainforest), Australia, Tiger Trail (Orangutan Canopy), KidZone (the Discovery Barn, the Tropics House, the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, and a chance to feed the rainbow lorikeets) and The Valley. Visitors can stroll or take the Zebra Tram from the World Gate to the African area, gliding past elephants and flamingos; the Zoo Train covers the zoo’s main area with stops at the World Gate and Australia; visitors can see African savannah animals from the water on a Lake Nakuru Boat Ride or soar aloft on the African Sky Safari, a modified ski lift. Notable zoo denizens include Layla, a critically endangered black rhinoceros born at the zoo in October 2010; Kalijon, an orangutan born in 2009 and rejected by her birth mother but adopted by Jill, an orangutan foster mom; Radi, a magisterial silverback gorilla; and Nikita, a male polar bear who came to the zoo in 2010 as a 400-pound 3-year-old and took a FedEx flight out in 2015 as a 1,200-pound prospective papa for baby polar bears at the North Carolina zoo.
19100 E. Valley View Parkway
Independence, MO 64055
The Missouri Mavericks, a pro hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League, hit the ice at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri, just east of Kansas City. Founded in 2009, the Mavericks made the playoffs in each of their first five seasons during their affiliation with the now-defunct Central Hockey League, and now compete for a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs in the ECHL.
Sporting Kansas City
1511 Baltimore Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64108
A charter member since 1996 in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS), followed by a move to the Eastern Conference, then a return to the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City is based in Kansas City, Missouri, but plays in Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. It is the only major pro sports franchise to play home games in Kansas. Sporting began in 1996 as the Kansas City Wiz, switched to “Wizards” in 1997, and changed again to “Sporting Kansas City” in 2011. Their games regularly sell out.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial
100 W. 26th St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s museum dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64111
For those in search of the country’s finest art museums, a visit to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a must. Breathtaking to walk through, the Nelson is home to world-class exhibits shown year-round.
Union Station Kansas City
30 W. Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
Kansas City’s treasured 1914 Beaux-Arts Union Station, stricken by declining rail traffic and shuttered in 1985, sprang back to life with a $250 million public-private partnership restoration in 1996 to reopen as several museums spotlighting national traveling exhibitions under one lofty roof, plus other public and artistic attractions. Even trains returned in 2002, thanks to Amtrak, and it’s possible now to board for St. Louis, Chicago, and heading the other way, Dallas, San Antonio and Los Angeles. Among other attractions, the station houses Science City with its 50-plus hands-on science exhibits; the biggest 3-D movie screen in the region (more than 55 feet tall); the H&R Block City Stage Theater; restaurants; and the Gottlieb Planetarium.