Bikers contribute to raise funds for art festival, riding in two wheels

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BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River Festival of the Arts.

Bike rider Helen Tergin Anderson came from Columbia to take part in the Missouri River Festival Bike Ride.

"It was a great morning benefiting the Boonville Festival of Arts," she said. "We had beautiful scenery at mid-Missouri to enjoy it from our bikes. It was amazing, with good friends."

The 35-mile bike ride started and finished at Thespian Hall, a pre-Civil War historic building in downtown Boonville. It started at 7:30 a.m. and finished around 11:30 a.m.

Bike rider Jaimie Miller also came from Columbia to support the efforts of "Friends of Historic Boonville," the organization putting together the festival. 

"I think it's really important to support the different entities in the community just because, you know, you give back to them and they give to you," she said. "The Boonville Festival of the Arts is really important because it does bring in a lot of things going on in the community."

Kelly Smith, the executive director for the Friends of Historic Boonville, said people from around the state took part in the bike ride.

"We have riders that come from mid-Missouri, and then Kansas City and St. Louis as well this year," she said.

For over 20 years, the bike ride has taken place to raise funds for the festival and help with the maintenance of Thespian Hall, where it takes place. 

"There is a lot of cost associated with putting on the festival and the preservation and maintenance of these buildings that is not covered by ticket expense at all," she said. "The money that we raise with the bike ride helps us continue to keep the festival at the caliber that it is."

Smith said the Missouri River Festival of the Arts brings world-class caliber musicians to celebrate music and art.

"It's unique in that it's been around for decades and it continues to be a success. It continues to attract people to the community, and it's a really unique joining together of artists from the St. Louis symphony and the Kansas City symphony," she said.

The 43rd edition of the Missouri River Festival of the Arts will take place Aug. 23 through Aug. 25.

In addition, there will be a visual art exhibit at the Historic Hain House, from Aug. 22 through Aug. 25.

More information and ticket reservations are available on the Friends of Historic Boonville's website.