Founded in 1860 as a railroad town, Sedalia is a community rich in history. But just as the rail system has evolved, so has Sedalia.
Sedalia has always been at the center of things. Where the railroad once provided easy access to larger cities, now Highways 50 & 65 serve as the crossroads to compass points beyond. These arteries cross paths here making Sedalia the retail and manufacturing hub for five counties. Sedalia is growing. Sedalia residents are warm, welcoming, and hard-working. Get to know Sedalia, there may be more here than you know.
The City of Sedalia, founded in October 1860, is located in west-central Missouri and is the seat of Pettis County. Sedalia, with easy access to Interstate 70, is located 90 miles east of Kansas City and 190 miles west of St. Louis. This prime location at the intersection of US routes 50 and 65 also gives residents and businesses easy access to the state capital Jefferson City, and the Lake of the Ozarks recreational area.
The city's economy continues to shift from the railroad-based economy of the 1900s to the increasingly diverse manufacturing and service economy of today. New and expanding manufacturing operations continue to grow. That, and the service industry, attract new businesses to the community. Despite the growth and modernization of manufacturing, much of the area surrounding Sedalia remains active farmland. This keeps Sedalia rooted in its past while growing towards the future.
Since 1899, Sedalia has been home to the Missouri State Fair which brings nearly 400,000 visitors every August. The State Fairground site occupies nearly 400 acres, making it the third-largest fairground in the United States. This multi-purpose treasure offers facilities for camping and is adaptable for a large range of activities. It currently hosts dozens of community events and is available for rent year-round. To think of Sedalia as only the home of the fair is missing the heart and soul of the community. Sedalia is more than you know.
Sedalia also hosts the annual Scott Joplin Festival which celebrates one of the best-known composers of the ragtime era. The festival is held each year in early June. It serves as Sedalia's first summer event and draws young and old together to celebrate Sedalia's unique place in American music history.
In 2006, Sedalia was recognized as one of Missouri's DREAM Initiative communities. This initiative actively supports the redevelopment and revitalization of Sedalia's historic downtown. While only a year later in 2007, voters in the Sedalia school district approved plans to renovate existing public schools while constructing a new, state-of-the-art high school. Speaking of schools, the State Fair Community College completed its Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center in June 2022.
No current event was larger than the opening of the Heckart Community Center in March 2022. This multi-purpose, state-of-the-art facility serves as an example of what can be accomplished when a community works together. It features an indoor aquatic facility, community center rooms, convention space, and basketball/volleyball/pickleball courts. Also enclosed within the facility is a fitness area, party rooms, an indoor playground, and a child watch area. The inclusion of a commercial kitchen also makes it the perfect home for the Sedalia Senior Center. Crossing paths and making connections are still important today and lay the foundation for the future of Sedalia.