The city of Hannibal has been added to the list of cities that will be staging a Shelter Insurance Show-Me State Games Torch Run this spring.

The city of Hannibal has been added to the list of cities that will be staging a Shelter Insurance Show-Me State Games Torch Run this spring. The event, which will start and end at Central Park, will begin at noon on Friday, April 25.

“We’re excited to be a part,” said Mary Lynne Richards, assistant supervisor for promotion and planning for the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department. “The Games have been going on for years, but we’ve never been involved in the torch run.”

Richards noted that while this will be the first time a Show-Me State Games torch run has taken place in Hannibal, in recent years it has regularly hosted torch runs to raise funds for and awareness of Missouri Special Olympics.

Hannibal will be the smallest of eight communities in Missouri where a torch run in behalf of the Show-Me State Games will take place this spring or summer. The other seven sites are: Springfield, April 8; Joplin, April 9; Kansas City, April 22; St. Louis, April 29; St. Charles, April 30; Jefferson City, July 18; Columbia, July 18.

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Show-Me State Games. The Olympic-style sports festival, which offers more than 40 events for athletes of all ages and ability levels, will take place on June 20-22, July 18-20 and July 25-27.

Richards was not surprised that Hannibal was selected as a torch run site.

“Because we’re so close to Columbia, Hannibal people have been taking part in the Show-Me Games for years,” she said.

According to Richards, officials with the Show-Me State Games initially contacted the Parks and Recreation Department approximately three weeks ago about being a torch run site.

“They came and looked around town,” she said. “They wanted to make sure we were able to have a place for a little ceremony.”

Following the program, 20 local runners will take off on a 2.5-mile jaunt that will take participants on South Main Street, Warren Barrett Drive and Broadway.

“We’ll keep it (course) really simple. We do not want to have to close off streets,” said Richards, stressing the run is solely for fun.

The participants will run together and take turns passing the torch.

Two runner slots are already filled. Richards plans to participate. Also ready to run is Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Knickerbocker.

“I assume I’ll have no trouble getting runners,” said Richards, who asked that those interested in participating contact her at (573) 221-0154.

The Show-Me State Games was established in 1985 as a non-profit program of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health. Now the largest state games in the nation, the Show-Me State Games is hosted by the University of Missouri.

This year’s opening ceremonies for the Show-Me State Games are scheduled July 18 at the Hearnes Center.