A Little Bit About Saint Joseph
St. Joseph began as a trading post in 1843 and has continued to grow as a commercial center. Historically, the city is the home of the famous Pony Express and of western legends like Jesse James – but today, it gains its national recognition as a center of research and technology in the Midwest. The bustling westward expansion of the mid-19th century has been succeeded by multi-million dollar business complexes and major interstate highways and airports, keeping transportation and commerce the pulse of the city’s life.
Remnants of the past are celebrated with more than 50 National Historic Register listings, mansions, estates and historic commercial structures. Celebration of the past merges with excitement for the future in vibrant downtown revitalization.
The spirit of westward expansion that inspired an entrepreneurial attitude in the early 19th century is still evident today. Known for its pivotal role in the Animal Health Corridor, St. Joseph and the surrounding area is buzzing with research, development and production in industries relating to animal health and nutrition. In the midst of technological progress, St. Joseph is continually set apart for its “small town” feel with “big city” amenities.
What to do:
Though sandwiched between the larger metropolitan areas of Kansas City and Omaha, St. Joseph residents never need to leave home to enjoy the arts. Music lovers enjoy St. Joseph’s very own professional symphony orchestra and professional theatrics in the richly-ornamented surroundings of the historic Missouri Theatre, St Joseph’s art deco treasure. It is one of the nation’s only suspended ceiling theater houses.
The city celebrates the visual arts year-round at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, and seasonally with events such as Art in the Park and the annual Trails West!® festival. Festivals such as St. Patrick’s Mexican Fiesta and the Coleman Hawkins Jazz festival celebrate the city’s cultural diversity and continue to draw crowds from the Kansas City metropolitan area to St. Joseph.
Sports and Recreation:
Sprinkled throughout the city are plenty of ways to enjoy off-time. You can enjoy the quiet of one of five area golf courses, thrill to the speed of hockey or ice skating at the ice arena, catch a Mustangs wooden-league baseball game or take the family to the city’s large aquatic park. St. Joseph’s “The Ride” city bus system makes numerous daily routes and custom stops, connecting the four corners of our city with ease and convenience.
Stay healthy by hiking or biking along St. Joseph’s remarkable 26-mile Parkway, which is threaded throughout the city from north to south sides. The Parkway links 48 individual parks and sports complexes, including the new city REC Center, with biking and walking trails along the way. The Parkway provides wonderfully hushed passages for walking on a snowy winter day, and comes alive in the summer with the Chamber’s Parties on the Parkway series, complete with local music, food and drinks. The city has active bike and running clubs that take advantage of the lovely parkway system and the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Sports fans here love summer because that is when the Kansas City Chiefs come to St. Joseph for Summer Training Camp. The three-week camp draws 60,000 attendees, 30,000 of which are visitors to the city who come to enjoy watching professional football training on the campus of Missouri Western State University. St. Joseph was chosen as the summer training site over a number of other cities across the Midwest. The university partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs in constructing the new Indoor Sports Complex, which houses a full-size indoor football field, weight room, offices, locker and meeting rooms. The Training Camp is free to the public and provides concessions and a Kid Zone for smaller children.
The Mustangs play baseball in the city’s recently remodeled Phil Welch Stadium. The city’s youth soccer association offers a multi-field complex with both fall and spring seasons. Tennis and swim clubs, an aquatic park, several indoor pools and exercise facilities are also highlights of St. Joseph’s sports scene. Many families enjoy Griffons’ football and basketball games at the campus of MWSU.
Shopping and Dining:
Shoppers can delight to the charms of downtown boutiques for unique finds at stores like Mod Podge and The Lucky Tiger, while finding major name stores to meet more everyday needs. East Hills Shopping Center, St. Joseph’s recently remodeled indoor mall, offers stores like J.C. Penney, Gordmans, Dillard’s, and many more. The Shoppes at North Village offer an outdoor shopping experience with stores like Old Navy, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target, just to name a few.
Dining experiences abound, from the culturally-diverse offerings in the downtown (Barbosa’s Mexican Restaurant, Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood and Steaks, The Ground Round) to restaurants with universal name recognition (Buffalo Wild Wings, Cracker Barrel, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe) conveniently located to major shopping areas.