Missouri will officially kick off its bicentennial celebration with the inauguration of Gov. Mike Parson for his second term Monday morning.

A prayer service at 4 p.m. Saturday at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, the governor’s hometown, opened the inauguration ceremonies.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick will also be sworn in Monday alongside Parson on the South Lawn of the Capitol in Jefferson City.

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. Monday, with bicentennial remarks by Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Oaths will be administered starting at 11:40 a.m., with Parson repeating the oath at noon, followed by his inaugural address.

All guests in attendance will go through health and security screenings, according to the COVID-19 guidelines on the Moving MO Forward website. Moving Missouri Forward is sponsor of the inaugural events.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to the event ahead of time. It will also be livestreamed on the Moving MO Forward website.

Masks and social distancing are encouraged. Masks will be available, along with hand sanitizer. However, as has become the governor’s custom, masks are not required. There is currently no mask ordinance in Jefferson City.

The inaugural ball has been postponed with the date to be announced later. It will be held to coincide with Missouri’s bicentennial celebrations. The 200th anniversary of Missouri statehood is Aug. 10.

Parson, along with the other four Republicans, all were reelected in November with significant wins against their Democratic opponents.

Parson defeated State Auditor Nicole Galloway 57% to 41%. Galloway remains in office and is up for reelection in 2022.

Monday marks the beginning of Parson’s first full term. He was previously Missouri’s lieutenant governor and assumed the remainder of Eric Greitens’ term in 2018.

In 1821, the Show Me State was the 24th state to join the union. More information about the continuing bicentennial celebration can be found at the Missouri 2021 website.

  • Molly Hart is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. She has previously reported on state government. She can be reached at mhart@mail.missouri.edu.

  • As managing editor, I work with the staff to put together a daily report that reflects what happens in the community, what people are talking about and what issues engage them. Email: abbottjm@missouri.edu; phone: 573-882-4164.

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