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Springfield, MO

With more than 160,000 people, Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri. Established in 1838, Springfield obtained national attention when it became a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail in 1858. During the time of the Civil War, Missouri was known to be a state with both Northern and Southern sympathizers, which led to the Battle of Wilson's Creek that took place just twelve miles from Springfield in August 1861. The town grew quickly after the "Frisco," the first train of the Atlantic-Pacific Railway, made its first Springfield stop in 1870. Today, the city maintains more than 200 churches, nine colleges, more than 50 parks, and an expansive cultural scene.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Springfield is best known as being home to the national Assembly of God headquarters, which helps account for the large number of churches in the area.

Springfield is also home to a T-Mobile customer service center, a Will Fischer (Budweiser) distribution center, Kraft Foods, FASCO Industries, Sweetheart Cup Co., and General Electric.

Agriculture is the dominant industry in Springfield. One of the nation's largest stockyards and feeder cattle facilities is Springfield Regional Stockyards. It is also a shipping and distribution center for milk, poultry and eggs.

Businesses can take advantage of the Springfield Underground, an underground manufacturing, distribution and storage complex. The Underground is a result of Springfield's underground limestone mine and has 2.2 million square feet of space available and still growing.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Downtown Springfield has transformed from a historic district into the heart of the city. A string of fine dining, retail shops, entertainment venues and loft apartments encompass the downtown.

  • Historic C-Street, also known as Commercial Street, is the northernmost part of downtown. It was built around the once-thriving railroad system. Visitors can now take a stroll across the Jefferson Foot Bridge and visit the city's oldest tavern, Lindberg's, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and a multitude of shops and antique stores.
  • At the southern end of the downtown district lies historic Walnut Street, best known for its beautiful turn-of-the-twentieth-century architecture, such as Victorian-style manors. While many of these manors remain residential areas, the western end of the street features homes that have been transformed into nightclubs, boutiques, offices, and restaurants.
  • Downtown is also home to the AA Springfield Cardinals, a new convention center and recreational ice rink along with ample parking space.

The Neighborhood Conservation Office works towards sustaining and revitalizing the neighborhoods with an urban population of around 155,000.

FOR VISITORS

The arts and the great outdoors are two main features of Springfield culture. There are more than fifty parks in the greater Springfield area. Many of these parks are connected by the five Greenway trails that extend for more than thirty miles.

Dickerson Park Zoo, while small, is home to various exotic animals and wildlife.

Animal Paradise Family Fun Park, located fifteen miles east of Springfield, has a five-mile drive-through safari adventure with nearly four hundred animals. Patrons can hand-feed camels, rub car fenders with bison, and watch free-roaming wildebeests.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Springfield is bustling with theaters, arenas, galleries, and museums, such as:

  • Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts: This is a state-of-the-art performing arts center with more than two thousand seats, multilevel boxes, and an orchestra pit. The full-year schedule includes touring Broadway shows, theater productions, classical and jazz musicians, children's programs, and a concert series established for emerging artists.
  • JQH Arena: Newly erected in 2008 and able to seat ten thousand people, this arena houses Missouri State University basketball games and numerous concerts by top-ranked artists.
  • Springfield Little Theater & The Gilloz: These and other theaters put on productions of various plays, performed by local Springfieldians.
  • Shrine Mosque: This facility hosts the annual visit of the Shrine Circus to Springfield, as well as various concerts and other events.
  • Discover Center: This interactive museum provides fun learning experiences for children.

Additionally, Springfield is only a forty-five-minute drive from Branson, Missouri, which is booming with shows, sites, outlet malls, and amusement parks.

EVENTS

  • Ozarks Empire Fair, held every summer toward the end of July/first part of August
  • First Friday Art Walk, held the first Friday of each month, where local art galleries, studios, and other venues open their doors to the general public
  • Art Fest, held each May on historic Walnut Street
  • Cider Days, held each September on historic Walnut Street
  • Sertoma Chili Cook-Off, held each February

EDUCATION

Springfield is home to nine colleges and universities, many of which are religious institutions due to the fact that the Assembly of God is headquartered there. The continuing education schools in Springfield include:

  • Missouri State University
  • Drury University
  • Evangel University
  • Ozarks Technical Community College
  • Central Bible College
  • Baptist Bible College
  • Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
  • Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
  • Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • St. John's College of Nursing and Health Sciences

SPORTS TEAMS

Springfield takes pride in the Springfield Cardinals, a minor-league baseball team that is the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Saint Louis Cardinals. Home games are at Hammons Field, a state-of-the-art baseball field built in 2004, complete with a children's recreational area.

The Springfield Lasers are one of the top teams in the World Team Tennis Association. Home games are held in the summer months at Cooper Tennis Complex.

LOCAL MEDIA

The local newspaper is the Springfield News-Leader. There are a variety of radio stations with genres ranging from country music to Christian talk radio and music to rock music. Additionally, Springfield is home to the following local television stations:

  • KYTV, Channel 3 (NBC)
  • KOLR, Channel 10 (CBS)
  • K15CZ, Channel 15 (CW)
  • KOZK, Channel 21 (PBS)
  • KSFX, Channel 27 (FOX)
  • KSPR, Channel 33 (ABC)