by Andrea Lopez
Assistant News Editor
Despite the nearly 20,000 population size, Warrensburg seems to offer more than an average small town community. From outdoor adventures to fine dining, these seven places below are some of the town’s most popular attractions.
1. Rock n’ Sports Entertainment.
Because of the wide selection of merchandise, customers may have a difficult time making decisions in this buy, sell and trade store. From gaming systems and posters to movies and records, the store may be overwhelming. However, the prices seem to satisfy customers. Rock n’ Sports Entertainment has an annual sale in the winter with 50 percent off everything in the store.
2. Lions Lake/Culp Park.
Whether it’s the two-mile walking trail, secluded softball field, the picnic tables or nature area, people rave about Lions Lake. From fishers catching bass to residents watching the Canadian geese continue their migration, the calm waters seem to provide peace for some people. For Aaron Larsen, junior music education major, Lion’s Lake is his favorite spot to get away. Larsen said he goes out at least once a month to enjoy sitting on the benches that overlook the scenery. For others, it may be the views of the vivid sunset that capture their attention.
3. Farmers Market.
Whether someone is searching for fruits, vegetables, meat, jelly or eggs, the Warrensburg Farmers Market may be the one-stop shop. Open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.Wednesday afternoons and from 7:30 a.m. until sell-out Saturdays through mid-October, the locally grown produce and handmade goods can be found downtown on the corner of Holden and North streets.
4. Blind Boone Park.
What was once a park designated for the black community during segregation, Blind Boone Park has developed into a historical venue. As volunteer Charles Briscoe puts it, “What once kept us apart now brings us together.”
John William “Blind” Boone, son of a former slave from Warrensburg, was only 6 months old when he suffered a brain fever that caused him to lose his sight. Overcoming his blindness along with racial discrimination led to the formation of the Blind Boone Concert Company. It is said the band performed over 8,000 concerts. Located in the historical district, Blind Boone Park features a statue of the composer himself. The third largest Aeolian harp in the world is also showcased along the walkway. Audio boxes in the park describe the history of Blind Boone and the park.
5. Café Blackadder.
Rural Missouri Magazine readers voted Café Blackadder as having Missouri’s best sandwich. Most known for its use of locally grown produce, the green café is running five years strong and even offers a musical atmosphere with live performances. For Carrie Gochnauer, senior graphic design major, it’s her craving of the specialty hearty turkey salami panini that keeps her going back.
“They have delicious food and showcase artwork from different students,” Gochnauer said. Customers even get a little surprise when their order arrives. “You never know what’s going to be on your sandwich because they use the freshest veggies from that day.” Gochnauer said she recommends her favorite sandwich paired with the tea of the day alongside one of the café’s homemade cookies.
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Café Blackadder’s menu features entrees that are all made from scratch.
Readers can visit the café on North Holden Street.
6. Johnson County Historical Society.
This nonprofit has preserved many historical sites, including the original courthouse on 302 N. Main St. The courthouse is known for the Old Drum case in 1870, when one dead dog changed history. George Graham Vest coined the famous phrase “man’s best friend.”
“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog,” Vest said.
Aside from the courthouse, the site features a museum, agricultural exhibits and the rural school atmosphere of an early 20th century one-room school that was transported from western Johnson County. In remembrance of Warrensburg’s history, the courthouse celebrated its third annual Old Drum Days Festival this past April, which included a historical reenactment of the famous Old Drum trial. Museum tours are available from 1 to 4 p.m Monday through Saturday.
7. University of Central Missouri.
Previously known as Central Missouri State University, UCM is the center of Warrensburg. Established in 1871 as a teachers college, UCM has evolved into an institution that offers over 150 different majors and minors. From Swim Club to the Interior Design Student Association, students have the opportunity to get involved with over 200 recognized organizations on campus. UCM is home to over 12,000 students from 49 states and 59 countries, keeping it a diverse campus.
While some people may see Warrensburg as a small boring town, others may be inclined to think the opposite. From movie purchases to fresh produce, visiting the seven wonders of Warrensburg can be a start to making the town feel more like home.
For more information about Warrensburg, go to visitwarrensburg.org to see what events are happening throughout the community.