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Bonnie & Clyde

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Bonnie and Clyde and a Dust Bowl Jam will be subjects of a summer festival of sorts on Saturday.

The Platte City Dust Bowl Jam is scheduled for Saturday afternoon and will feature a Model A car show along with live music and an ice cream social along Main Street in downtown Platte City.

The Dust Bowl Jam is being held in conjunction with the Red Crown (Bonnie and Clyde) Symposium and Road Tour, which begins in Zona Rosa Saturday morning.

In Platte City, there will be a classic car show with an award given to the car with the most votes.

There will also be an open acoustical jam session from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. Anyone interested in playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, banjo, or even wash-tub bass is invited to bring their instrument to participate.

Ice cream will be available for purchase from da Capo on Main Street. The restaurant will stay open late on Saturday specifically for the festival.

The Ben Ferrell Museum on Third Street will be open for tours. The lobby of the Platte County Courthouse will also be open, allowing visitors to view the historic artifacts inside the lobby. A self-guided walking tour will be available, telling the history of Platte City and its connection to the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

The symposium and road tour will start on Saturday at the Majestic Theater in Zona Rosa and feature vintage cars, period costumes, and collectibles on display. Lunch is provided with registration for the event.

There will then be a road tour leading along some of the roads used by the Barrow Gang to escape Platte County. The tour will end in Platte City with the Dust Bowl Jam.

The symposium begins at 9 a.m. with lunch at 11:30 a.m. The road tour will begin at 12:30 p.m.

For the symposium, attendees must pre-register at or call Jim Spawn at 816-421-1991 or 816-916-4100.

On July 13, 1933, Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and the Barrow Gang were hiding at the Red Crown Tavern and Tourist Cabins, which were located near where the former Farmland Industries building stands now near Kansas City International Airport.

Lawmen from Kansas City and Platte County surrounded the tavern, but the Barrow Gang escaped during a gun battle and used many country roads in Platte County to escape.

Blanche Barrow, part of the Barrow Gang, was eventually returned to the Platte County Courthouse and put on trial. She was convicted and spent 10 years in prison.

It is believed the gang escaped the county by taking back roads and hiding in barns and fields along the way.


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