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Immerse yourself in living history!     saturday & sunday

The Sestercentennial Festival will give you the opportunity to interact with dozens of key figures who have played a part in the past 250 years. 


Historic Figures:

Louis Blanchette, founder of Les Petite Cotes
Blanchette Homestead, 906 South Main

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, founder of the Academy of the Sacred Heart
Old Borromeo Church, 401 South Main

Mary Easton Sibley, founder of Lindenwood
Walter's Jewelry, 230 North Main

Historic Vignettes:

St. Charles and the Birth of the Interstate
A slapstick comedy routine with two vaudevillian 1950s construction workers that details how St. Charles was the first place in the country to get a contract and start construction on the U.S. interstate system in 1956. Historical character featured: S.W. O’Brien (District Engineer for Bureau of Roads)
LOCATION: 400 block of South Main, just north of the Gazebo

• Saturday Showtimes •
11:45 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:30PM, 4:45 PM
• Sunday Showtimes •
 Noon, 1:00 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:30 PM

Local Abolitionists & the Fight for Freedom
Discover the story of Elijah Lovejoy, an outspoken abolitionist who stood up for his ideals while staying with his wife’s uncle (at the home that is now Goellner Printing). Lovejoy became the country’s first martyr for the free press. Arnold Krekel, a German immigrant who ran an anti-slavery newspaper on North Main, and Archer Alexander, a run-away slave who courageously foiled a Confederate sabotage plot will also make an appearance.
LOCATION: Goellner Printing, 301 South Main 

• Saturday Showtimes •
12:15 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:45 PM, 4:00 PM
• Sunday Showtimes •
 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:45 PM, 4:00 PM

First State Capitol & the Anti-Dueling Legislation Debate
You're invited to become “honorary senators” as you join early legislators in the historic capitol legislation chambers. The first governor, lieutenant governor, and a sampling of senators will discuss St. Charles’ early days as Missouri’s first state capital, and then move into a rousing debate about whether to outlaw the practice of dueling (legislation that was signed here in the early 1820s). Historical characters featured: first Governor Alexander McNair, Lieutenant Governor William Henry Ashley, Senators James Alcorn, Duff Green, Alexander Buckner, and Andrew McGirk.
LOCATION: First State Capitol Legislation Chambers (entrance behind capitol, on second floor)

• Saturday Showtimes •
12:30 PM, 1:45 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:15 PM, 5:30 PM
• Sunday Showtimes •
 12:45 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:15 PM

Heroes Day 1942. Rally for the War Effort
In the early 1940s, patriotic rallies called “Heroes Day” were held throughout St. Charles, in order to provide the public with an outlet to come together in solidarity for the war effort. Follow along as discussions about war bonds, ration books, homing pigeons, Victory Gardens, war manufacturing at the American Car Foundry, and more take place! Historical characters featured: George Tainter Sr. (a 101 year old veteran of the Civil War, and oldest citizen of St. Charles in 1942), Mrs. Charles Karrenbrock (a local socialite), Darlene Hanh (a riveter at the Curtis Wright Aircraft Factory), Mrs. Mayme Parsons (secretary of the local scrap metal collection agency, and mother to Oliver Parsons of the Department of Agriculture), and Elmer “Jocko” Bruns (local commander of the civilian defense agency).
LOCATION: North Main Colonnade, 100 block of North Main

• Saturday Showtimes •
NOON, 1:15 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:45 PM, 5:00 PM
• Sunday Showtimes •
 12:15 PM, 1:15 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:45 PM

History of Theatre & Performing Arts in St. Charles
Featuring a piano accompanist and two turn-of-the-century showboat performers, listen to music and stories that will take you on a musical retrospective of the performing arts of the city’s history. Featuring five songs, the characters will tell stories about the Strand Theatre, the Grand Opera House, the Goldenrod Showboat, travelling circuses in the early 20th century, and the time Disney came to film Back to Hannibal in town in the early 1990s. The Grand Opera House will also be hosting an extensive display of artifacts from the Goldenrod Showboat’s days along the St. Charles riverfront.
LOCATION: The Grand Opera House, 311 North Main

• Saturday Showtimes •
12:45 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:15 PM, 4:30 PM, 5:30 PM
• Sunday Showtimes •
1:45 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:15 PM

A Tale of Three Cities

The North end of Frontier Park will host authentic encampments featuring the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery, Milicia de San Carlos, the French & Indian War Encampment, and John Murphy - a surgeon from the 1700s. 

Vintage Baseball Games

Witness America's favorite pastime played according to nineteenth century rules with equipment from the 1860s. Head to Frontier Park for all the fun.

• Saturday Games •
Noon          St. Louis Perfectos vs St. Charles Explorers
2:00 PM     Belleville Stags vs St. Louis Perfectos
4:00 PM     Belleville Stags vs St. Charles Explorers 

• Sunday Games •
Noon          Springfield Long Nine vs St. Charles Explorers
2:00 PM     Springfield Long Nine vs St. Charles Explorers

Additional Special Events & Demonstrators
  • Model-T Assembly Demonstration (119 South Main)
    • Watch as a group of car enthusiasts assemble a complete, working, authentic Model-T Ford from a pile of parts in 7-9 minutes.
    • Saturday, May 18 at 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM
  • Storytelling and Dulcimer Music at the Gazebo in Kister Park (400 block of South Main)
  • Speaker Series at the OPO (119 South Main Street)
11:30 AM     

County Executive Steve Ehlmann -
A Quarter-Millennial Journey              

2:00 PM Steve Dasovich - 
Archaeology of Louis Blanchette
4:00 PM  Mary Harrison - 
The History & Legacy of the Franklin School
1:00 PM  Justin Watkins - 
Cemeteries of St. Charles
3:00 PM Steve Dasovich - 
Archaeology of Main Street
  • Dance Discover* at the OPO Plaza (119 South Main Street)
    *Saturday only - every 30 minutes from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • The Buckhannon Brothers at the OPO Plaza (119 South Main Street)
  • Hide Tanner & Basket Weaving in front of Missouri Artists on Main (315-321 South Main Street)




St. Charles is known for its warm welcome, unique historical perspective, and beautiful sites—there’s so much to do you’ll need more than a day.

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