In a world that’s not always just or kind, when change frequently turns our day on its head, isn’t it refreshing to find an event that’s the same this year as it was last year; an old-fashioned, small-town good time that has become a cherished tradition? There’s no doubt that each Thanksgiving, residents of Kirkwood, Missouri give thanks for their traditions of the Turkey Day Game and the Ugly Brown Jug.
The Turkey Day Game is the longest-running high school rivalry west of the Mississippi River. Every Thanksgiving, the noon-time coin toss signals the start of the battle between the Kirkwood Pioneers and the Webster Groves Statesmen. The winner of the Turkey Day game receives the Frisco Bell. The loser of the Turkey Day Game gets the Ugly Brown Jug. The 2012 season will mark the game’s 112th year.
Established in 1853, Kirkwood itself is historic. It was the first planned suburb west of the Mississippi River. Both the Kirkwood Train Station and the Downtown Business District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several Kirkwood neighborhoods are also on the Register. The school district, chartered in 1865, is the oldest in St. Louis County and one of the oldest west of the Mississippi River.
Located in southwest St. Louis County, the Kirkwood School District incorporates 15 square miles and serves eight suburban communities: Des Peres, Frontenac, Glendale, Huntleigh, Kirkwood, Oakland, Town and Country, and Warson Woods.
Not everything in Kirkwood dates back centuries; in fact, the city offers a wide variety of up-to-date activities everyone can enjoy. The Greentree Parade, held every September, was originally created to replace drought-stricken trees in the park. Today it’s grown to include such things as arts and crafts for kids, and food tastings from a variety of different cultures.
The Kirkwood Farmers’ Market offers a variety of homegrown vegetables and fruits, with contributions from more than 300 local businesses. Downtown Kirkwood’s annual summer concert series kicks off in June from the performance platform at Kirkwood Station Plaza in Downtown Kirkwood.