The Parley P. Pratt Freedom Run gives tribute to First Amendment freedoms as foundational and essential for a healthy American society and deserving of our celebration. The event provides the community an opportunity to honor these ideals by bringing attention to how these freedoms are expressed in our community. Held on our nation’s birthday, the event promotes activity, healthy living, and friendship.
Join us for a 1- or 4-mile run/walk, food, and more!
All ages are invited! Families are welcome, strollers included. You can even bring along your furry friends as long as they're kept on a leash.
Tuesday, July 4, 2023. View the morning's schedule below:
6:30 Bib and t-shirt pickup
7:00 Opening Ceremony
7:20 4-mile AND 1-mile run/walk starts
Other important details: All run/walk participants must register for free. Please bring your own water bottles. Some post-race goodies will be provided. Post your photos and tag us with #pppfreedomrun!
Start your holiday with a celebration of our fundamental freedoms!
Click to enlarge.
The start/finish line is located next to the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Missouri at the corner of Ash and 8th St.
The 4-mile course passes by 28 local symbols of our five First Amendment freedoms! View our mobile guide of the course to learn more about what each of these places represent.
Free parking will be available in the Armory parking lot located at 701 E Ash St.
In the 1830s, misunderstanding and miscommunication led to tension between members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other settlers in Missouri. In the fall of 1838, tension peaked when Governor Lilburn Boggs declared that members of the Church must leave the state or be “exterminated.” That winter, many Church leaders were captured and imprisoned in western Missouri on false charges. But by spring, most of those leaders were released when officials realized the charges were unfounded.
One prominent Church leader, Parley P. Pratt, and a few others remained incarcerated. Upon requesting a change of venue, they were transferred in late May of 1839 to the Boone County Jail in Columbia. After weeks without a trial, Pratt concluded justice would be denied, so he made a plan to escape. On the evening of July 4th, with the town engulfed in Independence Day celebrations, Pratt and his two companions stormed the jail door when the guards served dinner. Then they ran for freedom. Pratt escaped and a few weeks later joined his family in Quincy, Illinois.
Today, the story of Parley P. Pratt’s unjust imprisonment and daring escape has come to symbolize the need for religious freedom in our society. On the anniversary of Pratt’s run for freedom, we commemorate the importance of this foundational principle, along with the other liberties enshrined in the First Amendment. These freedoms support each other as building blocks for healthy communities. They deserve our attention, and they call for celebration.
This year marks the 29th annual Parley P. Pratt Freedom Run. The start/finish line is within a couple hundred feet of the exact place where Parley started his run for freedom in 1839.