Our 2019 Holiday Letter

December 24, 2019

Written by Rachel McCoy | Photography by Patrick Evenson, Emily Baumann, submitted by St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau and St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce

Dear Santa, and all your fuzzy, antlered friends:

We’ve been really good this year. We promise.

Looking back on 2019, you’ll find our Uncommon Character brand bright and bold across t-shirts, stickers, mugs, special events and more. Our dedicated volunteers and friends wore the Uncommon Character brand to happenings all over town, in every corner of the city. It was a pretty special year, in the most uncommon of ways.

Boy, did we tell some stories. Good and true ones, featuring the coolest and most creative local people, businesses and initiatives that make us all proud to live in St. Joseph. Forget the nice list; our story archive for 2019 is all about the awesome list. You already know whose names are on that one – people feeding kids lunch and fellowship, every day all summer. Businesses innovating in St. Joseph for over 100 years. Architectural marvels and the hard-working people who won’t ever stop caring for them. Our list includes an Olympic weightlifter who teaches classes to kids; a true hometown café where the wait staff has stayed 20-plus years; our lovely parkway system; leaders of the Kindness Revolution; and characters like our own Walter Cronkite. It’s hard for you, we imagine, to even keep track of all these stories and more. If you need some review, just check our 2019 videos. They’re pretty great, too.

Did you see our historic postcards Santa? We know you remember cruising above the streets of St. Joseph across the decades. We are sure you would agree, the postcards are works of art. They really remind everyone of our rich entrepreneurial and architectural history, and all the ways we’ve moved forward. (Plus, we often get nice notes from across the nation from former St. Joe residents who really enjoy these.)

Our packed calendar of events helped hold our message high, sharing everything from family outings to art lectures and concerts and Downtown St. Joseph gatherings. During Chiefs Training Camp, we invited you to participate in our Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes look-a-like contest, along with recognizing some pretty big super fans and a KC Chiefs Red Rally Friday night at our downtown Coleman Hawkins Park. There’s nothing like celebrating local support for the best NFL training camp anywhere. We helped organize two community clean-ups, because as you know Santa, we love our city and we’ll work together to keep making it shine.

As the host of the Apple Blossom BBQ, we did our duty to sample dozens of the region’s tastiest barbecue, and then we rocked out to our local 80s cover band B.O.C.C. In total, the event brought residents and tourists alike to our lovely Civic Center Park to share great food and springtime merriment. What a party that was, and all about St. Joseph!

(You should know that soon, the Uncommon Character brand may be as popular as your famous red suit.) Recently we were well-represented at the Uncommonly Ugly Sweater Party, with our friends at the Chamber of Commerce. Rudolph noses and elf themed cable knits, we get you. We really do.

Did you see, Santa, that we have a lot of fans and friends, just like you? We set a goal at the start of 2019 to reach 10,000 likes on Facebook … and … we are just a few friends away as we speak! In fact, some of our friends have told us how much they enjoy learning and sharing about the people and places that make our city so uncommon. (Be sure these friends are on your Nice list!) Here’s one from our friend Zach Doyle: “I am so proud to call St. Joseph my home – a city made with uncommon character! It is great to see men and women come and make a point to highlight our community and focus on all of the good things going on!”

What a great way to end our Holiday letter than on a high note, just like this. Here’s to a bright and inspiring year in 2020, filled with stories and events that honor and celebrate all the things that make our town special.

So what do we want this year? It’s our wish for our community to keep on being just exactly who we are – Proud. Inventive. Quirky. And Kind.

And, if it’s not too much trouble, get yourself something real nice too, Santa.


Your Friends at “Made with Uncommon Character,” and Everyone Who Participates in Being a Little Uncommon.


Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, this architectural feat, designed by esteemed local architects Eckel and Mann, is getting a second life thanks to a $20 million shot in the arm from Mosaic Life Care.


In addition to its paved walking paths, the Parkway features miles of rugged biking and hiking trails and serves as a red carpet to some of St. Joseph’s most interesting places.


There’s a lot to love about St. Joseph’s Southside. This tight-knit community is on pace for a major comeback.


Not only does the SBTDC help hundreds of small business owners capitalize on their dreams, it is a great example of how government agencies, higher education, and nonprofit organizations can work together for the greater good.


Games of chance and dining establishments have been a part of St. Joseph, Missouri’s uncommon character since the earliest settlers gathered to let off some steam and gamble on optimistic odds.