The 18th Annual Great Northwest Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Feb. 4-5.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson will kick-off the Great Northwest Day at the Capitol event as the keynote speaker during a luncheon at the 18th Annual Great Northwest Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The two-day event is expected to gather over 300 people from the 19-county region and is focused on raising awareness of Northwest Missouri to State Legislators and departments, Crystal Narr, Livingston County/Chillicothe Coordinator for Great Northwest Day said in a press release. In addition to the luncheon, the event includes introductions on the House and Senate floors, informative roundtable sessions followed by the main evening event that will provide an opportunity for community representatives to promote their communities to legislators and others who are invited to attend. The Great Northwest Day event will conclude with a regional breakfast on Feb. 5.

As legislators begin a new session in Jefferson City, citizens of Northwest Missouri have been preparing to be sure their voices are heard. Through an extensive process, the GNW Steering Committee has gathered and prioritized issues facing the region, Narr said. One of the many strengths of Great Northwest Day at the Capitol is how the steering committee collects and prioritizes issues and concerns that impact the entire northwest region.

“The Great Northwest Day committee takes extensive measures in gathering information on the issues that faces our communities and that benefit the region as a whole,” said Darrell Gardner, 2020 Steering Committee Chair. “Collaborating and speaking as a unified voice has proven to be powerful.”

Top priorities for the 2020 legislative session, which will be stressed during Great Northwest Day, include:

Invest in sustained rural economic and community development strategies; Support pre-K-12/higher education, innovation and career development for all ages; Ensure end-of-the-road Hi-Speed Internet through broadband and fiber; Revive relevant infrastructure throughout Northwest Missouri; and Increase rural access to affordable primary and mental health care.

For more information on the event or about attending, contact Narr with the Chillicothe Area Chamber, at 660-646-4050 or Registration is due by Friday, Jan. 24.