How to Celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial Statehood

The Show-me state, the 24th to ratify, is smack in the middle of the US, is a central part of American heritage. The birthplace of the quintessential American author, Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens), the state of Missouri is celebrating 200 years of statehood in 2021! For the party planners, banquet managers, and themed party enthusiasts alike, how can you do your best to bring out the spirit of the bicentennial? Why not a mule-themed gathering, signifying the rich history of the official mammal of Mizzou?

Themed Activities

The opposite of their birthname’s connotation, mules are more stalwart than stubborn. As far back as 1904, the concept of the mule and Missouri were inextricable. That year’s World Fair saw 1,000 mules in a variety of stage-worthy competitions that day. Dominating the six-team wagon race and the overall winners of hybrid innovation were the “Missouri mules“, bred and fed locally and defeating all the out-of-towners. During both World Wars, soldiers trusted mules to carry supplies for combat. In 1995, the Missouri Governor designated the mule as the state animal, synonymous with the forestry and farming that connects the two entities. Though most mules today serve in recreation over farming, there are many residing in the state still. Kindly, take this article as your suggestion to discover your local mule farm and take your friends for a quaint mule ride! Learn why these creatures are the veritable indicators of the strength of nature in our state.

Themed Beverages

While we’re celebrating Missouri’s reverent statehood and its honorable mule, your friends will not be disappointed when you pull out a delicious Moscow mule recipe. Originating in Little Moscow, New York City, the mule (or buck) is a delicious adventure in spicy ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka spirits. One amusing origin story concedes that the herbaceous and citrusy melange came together when the bartender of Mr. John A. Morgan had an oversupply of the three drink ingredients. In an act of utilization, a star was born. Source some stainless steel-lined copper mugs to bring this soiree to life because the cooling property of the copper enhances the flavor profiles and overall experience.

Themed Movie Night

Clint Eastwood was born in San Francisco, California, to father and namesake, Clinton, and mother, Margaret Ruth. Margaret’s mother, on the other hand, was a Missouri native. His maternal grandmother, Virginia May McClanahan, was born in Missouri on August 10, 1886. Virginia’s paternal grandparents were laid to rest in the cemetery in Agency, MO in the early 20th century. Recently, in 2018, Eastwood starred as an elderly, Sinaloan cartel drug smuggler in “The Mule”. This is just one fictional account, but if you’re looking for more of a Missourian movie binge, the following actors, producers, and directors have roots here:

  • Don Cheadle
  • Walt Disney
  • Steve McQueen
  • Brad Pitt
  • Columbus Short
  • Dick Van Dyke

Themed College Visit

The student athletic teams of the University of Central Missouri introduced Mo the Mule as the college’s mascot back in the roaring twenties, replacing the initial name of the “Normals” for the male sports teams. By 1940, tractor technology came along to replace the hardy help of the mules, but they were not so quick to leave the hearts of Missourians. In 1974, the women’s teams of UCM became the “Jennies”, harkening to the mule’s distant kinship to the female donkey. Attend a Mules basketball or football game whenever the stadium is openedOther sports teams with mule mascots include:

  • The United States Army Academy (West Point, New York)
  • Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia, Arkansas)
  • Colby College (Waterville, Maine)

Any bicentennial event is incomplete without the people who contribute daily to seeing their homeland prosper. Try one of these four ideas to bring a themed party to life!

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