Celebrate Joplin Committee to Host Two Events Between June 5–11

(Joplin, MO) – Although Joplin’s 150th birthday has passed, the celebrations are still going! Two events held throughout this week 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:

Flying In and Out of Joplin – A History of Joplin Airlines

June 5–7 @ 9:00 am to 5:00 pm | Joplin Regional Airport (Commercial Main Terminal), 7331 State Highway 43 | Tour guides available | Self-guided tours through Friday, June 30

This Sesquicentennial event offers a stroll through the variations of passenger airline travel through Joplin airports.

Viewers will learn about Joplin’s numerous airline carriers and how they contributed to area transportation options and economies using printed and video media. Visitors can pose for a photo in front of the podium that Senator John F. Kennedy used when he made a 1960 campaign speech at the Joplin Terminal. Explore other stories of historic aircraft and their pilots gracing the Joplin skies!

This event is free and open to the public. A geocache location will be available at the site.

Joplin Goes to the Movies – Duel

June 8 @ 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm | Bookhouse Cinema, 715 E. Broadway 

This Sesquicentennial event is comprised of eight events between April and July 2023, showcasing eight movies that featured events or actors who are connected to Joplin.

Seating within the theatre is limited to 45. The restaurant will be open before each show.

Duel, 1971

PG-13 | One hour, thirty minutes | Genre: Suspense, thriller

In Steven Spielberg’s first full-length movie, Duel, a traveling salesman (Dennis Weaver) is harassed by a menacing 40-ton truck on a remote desert highway. Brilliant in its simplicity, the cult favorite takes road rage to a dangerous level as the traveler and the mysterious truck driver are pitted against one another in a motorized duel to the death. Gripping with psychological tension, this desperate battle for survival is hailed by critics as a film that “belongs on the classics shelf reserved for top suspensors” (Daily Variety).

Featuring Joplin native Dennis Weaver. A film introduction will be presented by Dr. Chad Stebbins.


Other events this month include:

Joplin Goes to the Movies – On Moonlight Bay

June 22 @ 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm | Bookhouse Cinema, 715 E. Broadwway | Presented by Missouri Eagle and Visit Joplin

This Sesquicentennial event is comprised of eight events between April and July 2023, showcasing eight movies that featured events or actors who are connected to Joplin.

On Moonlight Bay, 1951

PG | One hour, thirty-five minutes | Genre: Musical, variety, comedy

A happy screenful of sun-kissed melody and kiss-by-moonlight romance! After moving to Indiana, young Marjorie Winfield begins a relationship with William Sherman, who lives across the street. Marjorie is a tom-boy, and her father has traditional views not shared by William. Marjorie is forced to learn to dance, despite her and Williams’ shared love for baseball. Starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae.

This film features music of Joplin native Percy Wenrich. The world premiere of On Moonlight Bay took place at the Paramount Theatre in Joplin on July 27, 1951. A film introduction will be presented by Brad Belk.

Salute Our Transportation Heritage Week – The Great Race

June 28 @ 4:30 pm and 8:00 pm | Downtown Joplin 

The public is invited to a spectacular event when Joplin hosts the Day 5 Finish of the 2023 Great Race.

The 2023 Hemmings Motor News Great Race, presented by Hagerty, the world’s premiere old car rally, will bring 120 of the finest road-worthy antique and classic automobiles to 6th and Main Street in downtown Joplin. The event is free to the public, and spectators can visit with the participants after parking. Kids of all ages are welcome to climb in the cars for a first-hand look to take in the nostalgic feel.

Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. Come out and experience the grand collection of automotive history. Get up close with a 1916 Hudson Hill Climber, get a selfie with a 1928 Ford Model A, or reminisce on what movies the beautiful 1917 American LaFrance Racer or the 1973 Cadillac Ambulance remind you of.

Relive the Happy Days or American Graffiti memories with the 1955 Ford Thunderbird or 1957 Chevy Bel Air, or the 1966 Mustang and Corvette entries; certainly, make sure to catch the 1963 Ford Falcon or the 1971 AMC Javelin.

The Great Race participants will cover more than 2,300 miles in 9 days, starting in St. Augustine, Florida, on June 24 and completing the race on July 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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


Patrick Tuttle
Joplin Celebrations Commissions

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