By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Mosaic Life Care and the St. Joseph Downtown Association are bringing back the ‘Red Rally’ this summer to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs' return for training camp.
The event is slated for Friday, July 30 at the Coleman Hawkins Park in Felix Street Square in downtown.
The event will be paired with the Phil Vandel ‘Sounds of Summer’ Concert, which will start at 6:30 that same evening.
Those who plan to attend are encouraged to wear Chiefs apparel, and are also encouraged to get vaccinated beforehand.
Mosaic spokeswoman Joey Austin says having training camp back, as well as the Red Rally, are great ways to celebrate a return to normalcy, but she encourages people to celebrate responsibly.
"We're so excited to have training camp here," Austin said. "We're ready to have them back, but we want to make sure our residents are mindful that we're still in a pandemic. There's a way to celebrate them being here, but celebrate safely."
Austin is happy to see the 'Red Rally' return after such a huge turnout for the event in 2019. She says the public needs to understand that the pandemic is not yet over, but she also knows that life has to return to normal, and having these events with big gatherings safely is possible.
"It's our way of kind of getting into that new normal," Austin said. "Living in this pandemic, but trying to offer things to our residents that we know that they want to celebrate. We just want to make sure from a healthcare perspective, we're doing that in a responsible and safe way."
Besides keeping people safe, Austin also hopes the event encourages Chiefs fans who live outside of the city to explore the downtown and see an area they wouldn't get to otherwise.
"In 2019, we had people not only from our community but those from out of town who spent the night," she said. "They went and ate in some restaurants that they had never been able to experience. They saw shops they never saw before, so it was a great way to showcase our downtown."
Downtown St. Joseph Association spokeswoman Christy George says merging the Red Rally with the Summer Concert Series made perfect sense. The first day of training camp is July 28, and the Phil Vandel show had long been scheduled for July 30.
"We were super excited to mix the two together," George said. "Phil Vandel does southern rock and some country and he's really good with the audience and all types of people. So, it was great to mix the Red Rally in with that. It's going to be a great party and great celebration."
This year’s Red Rally will be paired down compared to years past. Coaches and players will not make appearances, due to NFL protocols.
However, KC Wolf and Max the Griffon from Missouri Western will be attendance. There’ll also be various food and drink vendors as well.
Austin says this year's training camp may not be the same as it has been in the past. Most notably, fans won't have any access to players, and there'll be no autographs this year.
But, she says the 'Red Rally' is still a great way to safely celebrate the return of Chiefs' training camp in St. Joseph.
"Certainly with the pandemic, this is a different training camp," Austin said. "We want to give people the opportunity to celebrate together, but just do it in a responsible way."
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