13 Things About Kansas City That Might Surprise You


December 11, 2018 | Main Spotlight | 13 Things About Kansas City That Might Surprise You | By Missouri Main Street Connection

To help you get ready for the 2018 Main Street Now Conference in Kansas City, we found a baker’s dozen of interesting things about KCMO.

  1. Is Kansas City in Missouri or Kansas? Yes. Kansas City straddles the state line, but the “original” KC is in Missouri and now encompasses some 320 square miles of metro area.Credit: Destination360.com
  2. Kansas City is a three-hour flight from either coast. Sitting smack-dab in the Heart of America, it’s accessible by plane, train, and automobile – even by boat.Credit: VisitKC
  3. No meat is off limits in KC. More than 100 barbecue restaurants in Kansas City give a spice rub and slow smoke/roast treatment to chicken, pork, ribs, brisket, ham, turkey, sausage and so on.Credit: Shutterstock
  4. M&Ms candy coating was invented at KC’s Stowers Institute. Other notable inventions in KC include the fire pole, the Bomb Pop, the bumper sticker, Rival Crock-Pot, and Wishbone salad dressing.Credit: VisitKC
  5. Kansas City celebrates their moniker, The City of Fountains, on Fountain Day every April, when over 200 picturesque fountains are turned on for the season.JC Nichols Fountain: Credit: David Arbogast
  6. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art building is meant to form the “net” to accompany the Shuttlecocks sculpture displayed on the north and south lawns portraying a giant badminton game. Nelson-Atkins Museum, Credit: VisitKC
  7. Thankfully level heads prevailed and early name suggestions for KC were discarded. Can you imagine singing “Everything’s up to date in Possum Trot” or “Goin’ to Rabbitville, Rabbitville here I come”? Credit: Shutterstock
  8. The swing sound jazz dates back to the 1930s when Count Basie played in the clubs in Kansas City. The Marriott Downtown meeting rooms pay homage to local jazz greats including Julia Lee, Bennie Moten, Big Joe Turner, and Charlie “Yardbird” Parker. Credit: Shutterstock
  9. Kansas City is a “city within a park” with 135 miles of boulevards and parkways winding through and around 220 parks. Designed by architect George Kessler, much of the system was constructed from 1893 to 1915. Boulevards, Credit: KC Parks
  10. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Community Christian Church at 46th and Main Street. This “church of the future” officially completed his design in 1993 when the Steeple of Light began projecting 60,000 watts of light into space. Community Christian Church, Credit: Frank Llyod Wright Foundation
  11. If walls could talk, the Hotel Muehlebach would tell about its heyday as KC’s social epicenter hosting locals, celebrities, athletes, actors, writers, and presidents. Harry Truman’s presence in the hotel’s Presidential Suite prompted the nickname of White House West. Muehlebach, Credit: Kansas City Star
  12. Before he was president, Harry Truman briefly co-owned a haberdashery (men’s clothing and accessories) at 12th & Baltimore in downtown Kansas City. Haberdashery, Credit: Truman Library
  13. The nation’s largest greeting card company, Hallmark Cards, evolved from founder Joyce Hall’s earliest entrepreneurial adventure in KC – selling postcards out of two shoeboxes in 1910. Hallmark Visitors Center

Visit the 2018 Main Street Now Conference website for registration, hotel reservations, education sessions, mobile workshops, and events, as well as sponsorships and exhibitor opportunities. Discounted early bird rates are available through January 12!