Public Invited to Celebrate Joplin’s 150th Birthday

(Joplin, MO) – The City of Joplin is celebrating Joplin’s 150th Birthday on March 23, 2023, and everyone is invited! Events will take place as follows:

Thursday, March 23, 2023 @ 2:30 pm

The celebration will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main Street.

Missouri’s greatest 20th-century painter, Thomas Hart Benton, began his career as a professional artist in Joplin, Missouri. Nearly seven decades later and in his eighties the artist returned to present his mural Joplin at the Turn of Century – 1896-1906 to Joplin for its 100th Birthday.

This year, for Joplin’s Sesquicentennial celebration, local historian Brad Belkwill outline Benton’s teenage days as a sketch artist for the Joplin American newspaper. He’ll also reveal the fascinating story of his everlasting contribution to the City of Joplin as we recognize the 50th anniversary of the mural’s dedication and gift to the community.

Thursday, March 23, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Living Well, a news and entertainment program on KSNF-TV, will broadcast live from City Hall’s Main Lobby, with several special guests to discuss Joplin’s 150th Birthday, including:

  • Brad Belk’s presentation on the Thomas Hart Benton mural will conclude in front of the mural as he highlights some of the key illustrations in the mural.
  • Joplin Area Town and Country Quilters will present the Sesquicentennial Quilt to the City of Joplin.
  • Birthday cookies and punch will be served in celebration of Joplin’s 150th.
  • As a special treat, and in part of the upcoming Percy Wenrich Tribute, a local barbershop quartet will close the birthday program with a song of harmony. The Tribute is scheduled for April 14 and 15 at Missouri Southern State University’s Taylor Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, March 23, 2023 @ 6:30 pm

In celebration of Joplin’s spiritual heritage, a community event will be held, “Honoring Joplin’s Journey of Faith.  This program will feature presentations highlighting Joplin’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, interwoven with inspiring music selections to include congregation singing, hymns, and choruses.

This program is presented by the Joplin Ministerial Alliance and will be held at the Central Christian Center, 410 Virginia Avenue.

As Joplin celebrates its Sesquicentennial, there are more activities and programs planned. To view details about these celebration events, click here


Lynn Iliff Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 1204

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