This article is presented in partnership with Missouri Main Street Connection.

Main Streets are the heart of a community. They are a community’s commercial, cultural, and historic center. They have the newest, coolest, and quaintest shops. They are the gathering place for events, parades, and festivals. Small businesses and their owners rely on their communities to support them. They have endured one of the toughest periods in their history. It is important to shop and eat local year-round.

Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) helps to support these small businesses. MMSC has served more than 195 communities that have requested downtown revitalization services. As a nonprofit organization, MMSC offers its services to all Missouri communities and is the coordinating program for Main Street America, the national program. MMSC oversees the preservation-based downtown revitalization movement in Missouri by making available the Main Street Four-Point Approach to any community in Missouri. The Main Street Approach, with its comprehensive four-point strategy, is a proven method for downtown revitalization, which encompasses economic development through the context of historic preservation. MMSC provides training, support, and technical assistance for local Main Street programs. 


Missouri Main Street Connection created the Missouri Main Street Bicentennial Passport to help residents of Missouri and visitors to the state explore Missouri in 2021. The celebrations in the passport signify the strength and vitality of both community and statewide pride. The Missouri Bicentennial is a time to celebrate and explore the rich heritage of Missouri’s historic districts and downtowns. To assist in this exploration, the passport includes more than fifty events celebrating the bicentennial.

During Independence Day weekend you can hear live music, go on carnival rides, eat at food trucks, support local communities at pancake breakfasts, celebrate with community parades, and enjoy Missouri’s holiday firework shows. 

Get your passport stamped at each event. Those with twenty-one or more stamps collected will be eligible for a drawing with some great prizes. Prizes include a private tour of the Governor’s Mansion, gift baskets of Missouri made items, Tin Pan Cinnamon Rolls, and a framed print by Gary Lucy, among other prizes. Additional details can be found at MoMainStreet.org/Bicentennial. 


MMSC helps create the environment to help small businesses succeed by providing training to downtown businesses and organizations across the state of Missouri to sustain these historic downtowns.  Main Streets, small businesses, and their people are responsible for changing downtowns from places we live in to communities we love. Shopping local isn’t just the passing of money, but an interaction between people. Are you connected with your local Main Street program? 

Visit MoMainStreet.org for more information.