Let Freedom Ring

Flag FieldWhile backyard BBQ’s and firecrackers are certainly a staple of 4th of July celebrations across the country, here in Merriam, we honor our great Nation in a more subtle and traditional manner. Flags 4 Freedom, an event started by community volunteers in 2006, continues to offer the most beautiful display of Americana as more than 1,500 flags line the streets of downtown Merriam. This sea of red, white and blue is on display through July 7 and offers a breathtaking feeling of patriotic pride as you visit the perfect rows of U.S. flags at the Merriam Marketplace.

Whether you visit with your kids to share the story of the grand old flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance or take a few photos for your 4th of July Insta share, Flags 4 Freedom is a must-see display in the Kansas City region.

New in 2018, five thin blue line American flags flank the entrance of Merriam Marketplace in honor of the five fallen Kansas City-area officers who died in the line of duty in Kansas since 2016. The flags honor Kansas City, Kansas Police Capt. Robert Melton and Det. Brad Lancaster, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King, and Johnson County Sheriff’s Master Deputy Scott Collins. An anonymous donor paid for the flags and yellow dedication ribbons.

Blue Line

Another new feature in 2018 is the selfie spot locations placed strategically throughout the flag field with a little yellow sun. These locations make for excellent selfies and we’d love to see your smiling, patriotic photos @ExploreMerriam #flags4freedom.

selfie spot
Everyone is invited to stop by Merriam Marketplace on Wednesday, July 4 at 1 p.m. to view the astonishing display and listen to the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City perform a patriotic concert. The flag display ends at 10 a.m. on July 7.

For more information, visit www.flags4freedom.org.

Trek The Steamway Trail!

Turkey Creek Streamway Trail (9)

The sun is shining, you need to reach your daily step count, the dog is all leashed up, and those new sneakers are begging for a few miles. It’s never a better time to hit the Streamway Trail in Merriam.

This four-mile path will guide you along wooded areas, industrial business centers, residential neighborhoods, public parks and Merriam’s newest art installations, Still Time and Planting the Seeds. Winding along Merriam’s Turkey Creek, the Streamway Trail begins on the south end of Merriam at the 75th Street access point and finishes up near Waterfall Park at 51st and Merriam Drive on the north end of town. The trail also offers access points at Chatlain Park, Campbell Park and the Merriam Marketplace. Serious trail blazers can keep moving along Streamway Trail into Overland Park via Antioch Road.

If you’re ready to lace up and head out for a beautiful day of trekking the trail, be sure to check out page 17 in the new Merriam Community & Visitors Guide to learn about all the sights to see along the way. We’ve even included a tasty homemade trail mix recipe from our Parks & Recreation Director Anna Slocum.

Recipe (1)

More trail tips & helpful info:

  • Trail markers are available every 1/2 mile and emergency 911 markers are available every 1/10 mile.
  • The entire trail is paved.
  • Dog-friendly waste stations are available along the trail.
  • Hop off the trail to enjoy lunch or dinner in downtown Merriam.
  • Grab a JCPRD Trail Guide at the Merriam Visitors Bureau at 6304 E. Frontage Road.
  • Share your trail pics with @ExploreMerriam on Instagram.

 

Happy trails from the Merriam Visitors Bureau!

 

Fall Foliage in the ‘Burbs

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  –William Cullen Bryant

In less than a week, the official start to fall will be underway. The temps in Kansas, according to Weather Center, will remain in the 80’s, but we Kansans flock to our sweaters and jackets the moment a slight chill is in the air. You might think that Kansas isn’t necessarily the greatest spot to view the beautiful colors of fall. Well, while we may not have the foliage followers of the Northeastern states, we can certainly hold our own in beauty, color and fantastic weather when the leaves do begin to turn.

Here in suburban Merriam, just 10 minutes from downtown Kansas City, it can be challenging to find large swaths of foliage to gaze upon, but we are definitely full of pockets of autumn Pantones across the city. Take a peek at our favorite spots to view the changing leaves this season!

DSC08681 (2)

Antioch Park, Merriam Kansas

  • Turkey Creek Streamway Trail — running along the west side of I-35 from Waterfall Park to the 75th Street access point, this 4-mile paved trail is full of trees, shrubbery, wildlife and a trickling stream for a beautiful nature walk this fall.
  • Antioch Park — the most popular park in Merriam, Antioch Park offers picturesque views of some of the most vibrant and beautiful trees in our city.
  • Merriam Historic Plaza — check out the pretty line of maples along the sidewalk of Merriam Historic Plaza at Shawnee Mission Parkway and I-35. While you’re there, take in a mini history lesson about our great city on the outdoor walking path.

Nature’s beauty is never more evident than when the trees become ablaze in brilliant shades of oranges, reds and golds. Where’s your favorite spot to view the leaves in Merriam? Snap a pic when the colors are in full bloom, share it socially and tag us @ExploreMerriam–we’d love to see your fall photos.


For the locals:
The leaves are pretty but they eventually fade and drop to the ground. This year, the City of Merriam has arranged for Benjamin Lawn & Landscape to offer a group rate for residential curbside leaf removal in neighborhoods. Click here to learn more!

For the visitors:
Stop by the Merriam Visitors Bureau office at 6304 E. Frontage Road (M-F 8-4:30) to pick up a Merriam Visitors Guide full of attractions, shops and restaurants, or click here to explore our seasonal favorites in and around Merriam!

Frights, Flights and Friday Night Lights

october activities
Last month, we shared all things Pumpkin Spice and while we’re still savoring that delicious and popular flavor, it’s time to move into October and talk about fun, seasonal activities taking place in Merriam and across Kansas City!

We’ve shared our top three seasonal picks for you below. Whether you’re a life-time Merriam resident or visiting our town for the first time–come out and join the fun while exploring the beauty of fall in the Midwest.

  1. Frights — Well, maybe this event isn’t so frightening, but it’s definitely fun for the whole family! Merriam’s annual Halloween Happenings takes place on Saturday, October 29th and features a costume contest, games, children’s inflatables, storytelling and more. If you want a trial run for your costumes before the big H, come on down to Merriam Drive and enjoy this spooktacular event.
  2. Flights — Did you know that Kansas once produced the most fertile soil for grape growing? Had it not been for the prohibition, maybe Kansas would be the Napa Valley of the Midwest. Either way, Kansas certainly has a broad range of wineries across the state, and even right here in the metro region. For those looking to visit a winery this season, one of our faves is the cool vibe and delicious sips offered at KC Wine Co. located off Gardner Road in Olathe. Check out their upcoming events and head out for a flight of reds or whites (or both).
  3. Friday Night Lights — Nothing says fall like Friday night football and Merriam is smack in the middle of the action. Part of the award-winning Shawnee Mission School District, Merriam is nestled nearby the beautiful Shawnee Mission North High School and games are aplenty this time of year. Come on out to cheer on the Indians, enjoy the marching band, cheerleaders, school spirit and game-time concessions. What a great way to spend a Friday evening!

Happy fall from the Merriam Visitors Bureau. @exploremerriam