KANSAS CITY, Mo. â€“ Every move made inside the American Royal complex is specifically designed for the associationâ€™s mission.
As the foundation that holds the footing for everything involved in the American Royal and its fall festival, the mission is to promote and celebrate the excellence in agricultural progress and develop future generations of leaders through agrarian values, disciplines and expressions of skills.
â€śAt the heart of what the American Royal does is as a childrenâ€™s charity,â€ť said Bob Petersen, the American Royalâ€™s president and CEO, explaining that the associationâ€™s purpose is to provide scholarship, education, awards and competitive learning experiences that reward hard work, leadership skills and agrarian values.
â€śWe are very proud that we provide more than a million dollars every year for youth and education, and we are equally proud of the variety of ways we do that.â€ť
This year marks the American Royalâ€™s 115th year with its marquee event on the horizon. The fall festival begins in early September and runs for two and a half months, from various horse shows, livestock shows, youth events, rodeos and the World Series of Barbecue.
â€śLast year we had more than 270,000 people who came through our doors during the fall festival,â€ť Petersen said. â€śIn addition to that money going toward youth in Kansas City, having that kind of attendance is important to everything we do.â€ť
It also is important to Kansas City. The American Royal provides a substantial economic impact to the area. Thousands come to town to participate in the fall festival, and thousands more arrive to take in the festivities. Itâ€™s the perfect fit for its theme: â€śKansas Cityâ€™s Most Authentic Asset.â€ť
â€śWe have been around for more than a century, and weâ€™re looking to build on that history,â€ť Petersen said. â€śWe want everyone in Kansas City to know that the American Royal is more than our fall festival; the American Royal is Kansas City, and we want youth to benefit from everything we do.â€ť