I grew up in the Chicago suburbs with the lakefront and all that Chicago and it's lakefront has to offer 20 miles away. Sure, we had some of the same things we have here. Park district pools. Town festivals. Fireworks on the Fourth. Popular local teen hang outs. Movie theaters. Yet, there's something special about small towns like Sedalia and Warrensburg. And some of this will be on display over the Fourth of July.

I don't remember my local park district, or any parks department, in the towns I've lived in ever putting on a picnic. Yet on the 4th of July we can all go over to Centennial Park from 11:00AM - 1:00PM and enjoy live music, a free hot dog and a bag of chips. All thanks to Sedalia Parks & Recreation.

Obviously, it's easier to do in Sedalia with a population of around of 25,000 than the 65,000 that lived in my suburb. It's truly community. It's getting together with your friends and neighbors to celebrate America.

Another event that perfectly illustrates my point is the Children's Patriotic Bike Parade put on by Warrensburg Mainstreet. This is happening on Saturday, July 3 from 9:00AM -11:00AM CDT in downtown Warrensburg. In addition there will be a morning of yard games, a bounce house and arts and crafts.

If they tried this "downtown" in my suburb, they'd close 4 lanes of the 8 lane main street through town. It's just not the same, and these days they'd be worried about traffic jams and a kid being hit by a car.

Simply, in towns the size of Warrensburg and Sedalia it's still about community. It's about neighbors. It's about being able to share in the little things together. We can do that the bike parade or the picnic. That's not something you're getting in the suburbs today, and frankly, you couldn't get it in the suburbs 35 years ago either.


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