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Santa Cali Gon Festival

  • 210 W Truman Rd
  • Independence, MO
  • (816) 252-4773

The first Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival was held in 1940 to celebrate the unique heritage of the City of Independence as the starting point of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. A second celebration was held after World War II in 1947. The event would not be held again until 1973. The festival, then called Three Trails Days, featured a beard and mustache contest, the Miss Independence pageant and a pioneer costume contest. In 1974 the festival was renamed Santa-Cali-Gon Days, a name originally penned by Velma Katschkowsky in a 1940 contest to name the festival. In 42 years the Festival has evolved into one of the nations premier festivals, drawing more than 225,000 people."