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sliced bread Chillicothe

Sliced bread festival brings Republicans, Democrats together

It’s the best thing since sliced bread! Really!

Seven thousand people are expected to turn out for this weekend’s “Sliced Bread Days” event in northwest Missouri’s Chillicothe.

State Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, notes sliced bread was invented there in 1928. The first automatic bread-slicing machine was used in Chillicothe.

“It’s turned into a cornerstone of our community, not only the tourism part but it is drawing people here,” Black says.

He says people from other countries visit the Grand River Historical Society and Museum to see the bread slicer.

Saturday’s events include a french toast breakfast, a 5K run at 8 a.m. and the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Black says a big turnout is expected at the french toast breakfast, which goes from 7-10 at the North Missouri Center for Youth and Families. There’s no cost for the breakfast, but organizers will be accepting donations.

“People show up there to support the youth in our area, as well as it’s just a good way to get the day started,” says Black.

Saturday’s events will also include a bread contest and the parade. Black will be participating in the parade downtown, which will also feature some members of the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders.

“I believe (Kansas City) Royals Sluggerr is going to be here as well as Richard Brown, that’s a state representative out of Kansas City that also serves on the state tourism board,” Black says.

State Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City, is also the ranking Democrat on the House Tourism Committee. Brown and Black are close friends, despite being from opposite parties. The Legislature has approved Black’s bill encouraging Missourians to participate in events to commemorate the first sale of sliced bread, which happened in Chillicothe in 1928.

During March House floor debate, Brown urged his fellow Democrats to support the bill, saying it’s important for tourism. The bipartisan bill passed the House 139-9 and is now on Governor Mike Parson’s desk.

Saturday’s events will conclude with a 10 p.m. fireworks display, which is one of the largest displays in north Missouri.

Sunday will also feature a full day of events, including a carnival and music from Rhonda Vincent.

Chillicothe, which has about 9,300 residents, sits at the junction of Highways 65 and 36. There’s a large mural in downtown Chillicothe which reads “Home of Sliced Bread: Chillicothe, Missouri.”