Celebrate Joplin Events for April 13 – 15

(Joplin, MO) – Although Joplin’s 150th birthday has passed, the celebrations are still going! Five events in three days will continue the recognition of Joplin’s Sesquicentennial. The Celebrations Commission, with support organizations and sponsors, welcomes the public to attend the following, free events:

Joplin Goes to the Movies – Bonnie and Clyde

April 13 @ 8:30 pm | The Amphitheater at Landreth Park, 1001 NW Murphy Blvd. | Presented by Missouri Eagle and Visit Joplin

This Sesquicentennial event is part of a series of eight movies that will take place between April and July. Each movie will feature events or actors connected to Joplin. This screening focuses on the April 13, 1933, Joplin shootout on the 90th anniversary of the tragic events where two Joplin lawmen lost their lives. Historian Brad Belk will give an introduction before the film begins.

Academy Award winners Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway star in this groundbreaking film as a glamorous couple of Depression-era bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde. When Bonnie Parker (Dunaway) catches Clyde Barrow (Beatty) stealing her mother’s car, it is love at first sight, and the two begin a nationwide crime spree. As young gangsters in love, who attack the wealthy establishment and live by their own rules, Bonnie and Clyde capture the attention of an entire country — for a short time, they manage to elude law enforcement.

There will be food trucks at the park beginning at 7:00 pm and the show will start at 8:30 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on as they watch.

Iconic Joplin – Recreating Local Landmarks with LEGOs

April 13 to May 12 | Spiva Center for the Arts | Sponsored by Olsson, Paragon Architecture, Emery Sapp & Sons, and Missouri American Water

Local teens are celebrating the sesquicentennial by recreating six historic landmarks in LEGO bricks. Three host organizations — the Creative Learning Alliance, Joplin History & Mineral Museum, and the Joplin Public Library — held eight sessions for teens to recreate six Joplin landmarks, including the Olivia Apartments, Joplin Union Depot, Crystal Cave, the Joplin Public Library, the Bonnie and Clyde Apartment, and Grand Falls.

The public is invited to vote for their favorite landmark to win the People’s Choice Award. A QR code on each exhibit sign links to the ballot, and voting will be open until June 1 at midnight.

The Art of Acapella Singing in Barbershop Style

April 14 @ 7:00 pm | Taylor Performing Arts Center at Missouri Southern State University

Following an all-day Acapellooza – The Art of Acapella Singing in the Barbershop Style youth vocal clinic, involving some 200 area high school students, a free evening concert will be performed headlined by performances by two International Champion quartets, Quorum and Duly Noted. The song selection will include music from two genuinely American forms of music -Ragtime and Barbershop.

Featuring new and unique arrangements from Wenrich’s song catalog, the concert will also showcase many barbershop quartets from Joplin and the surrounding area in a mass chorus of barbershop-style singers, both men and women, plus the songs the students studied during the clinic, all under the direction of Jeff Veteto of Springfield’s Show-Me Statesmen Chorus.

The event will be held in the newly renovated Taylor Performing Arts Center on the Missouri Southern State University campus.

Let’s Play Ball! – The Vintage Baseball Association is Presented by American Legion Post 13

April 15 @ 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:30 pm | Joe Becker Stadium

The Joplin Celebrations Commission is happy to announce, as part of Joplin’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, an exciting day of baseball at historic Joe Becker Stadium.

One featured event will be a VBBA exhibition game – Vintage Base Ball Association. These lovers of the game are to baseball what Civil War reenactors are to preserving Civil War era history. The game will put the Westerns Base Ball Club of Topeka against the St. Louis Brown Stockings in a rare meeting of the two clubs.

Before and after the vintage game, high school varsity teams will take the field in regularly scheduled matches. The varsity players from Columbus will take on Galena, and Pittsburg will play Joplin. Each high school team will take on a Mining Camp persona to bring the history and competitive nature of the Tristate Mining District.

This will be a great day of baseball in Joplin. The schedule may vary slightly, but we are working with the following:

  • 10:00 am to 12:30 pm – Galena (Miners) vs. Columbus (Bombers)
  • 12:45 pm – Ceremonial First-Pitch tossed out from the mayors of Joplin, Galena, Columbus, and Pittsburg. The National Anthem will be sung by the International Champion Barbershop Quarter, Quorum.
  • 1:00 to 2:30 pm – Westerns Baseball Club of Topeka vs. St. Louis Brown Stockings
  • 3:30 to 5:15 pm – Joplin (Miners) vs. Pittsburg (Coal Diggers)

Percy Wenrich “The Joplin Kid” Tribute to Ragtime

April 15 @ 7:00 pm | Taylor Performing Arts Center at Missouri Southern State University | Presented by the Stanley Family

This evening will be in two acts.

Act One: A tribute to the music of Percy Wenrich will highlight some of his most famous songs. Selected songs for the evening include “Moonlight Bay,” “When You Wore a Tulip,” “Red Rose Rag,” “Where Do We Go From Here,” “Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet,” “Rainbow,” “L’Inconnu,” and many more well-known compositions. The music of fellow Missouri Ragtimers Scott Joplin, James Scott, Eddie Kuhn, and “Ragtime Bob” Darch will also be honored.

Steve Spracklen and Robin Braun will respectively portray Percy and his wife, Dolly Connolly, in song and vaudevillian schtick in the fashion the famous couple was known for in the early 1900s.

Act Two: Many Percy Wenrich songs were composed in Four Part Harmony. His music was a perfect fit for Barbershop Quartets. Two International Champion quartets, Quorum and Duly Noted, will perform a selection of songs, concluding with a “Celebration Chorus” comprised of local and regional barbershoppers, plus an additional large community chorus … audience participation patriotic finale.

The event will be held in the newly renovated Taylor Performing Arts Center on the Missouri Southern State University campus.

Limited reserve seating is available for $15, and general admission seating is free. Get your tickets here.

Thank you to Joplin’s Stanley Family for sponsoring this event. The family is a descendant of Eddie Kuhn, another significant Missouri songwriter/musician of the Ragtime era.

To see the full list of upcoming events, click here.


Patrick Tuttle
Joplin Celebrations Commissions

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