City/JC Parks Riverfront Pavilion Project

Jefferson City Council approved a resolution on Monday, May 20, 2024, to instruct City staff, in collaboration with JC Parks, to pursue the development of a new riverfront pavilion and market. This project is part of a larger initiative to revitalize our historic 200-year-old riverfront, bringing renewed vibrancy and opportunities to the area. This project resulted from collaboration and brainstorming with various stakeholders, including State officials, city staff, JC Parks leadership, and community members.


 The City will amend its grant agreement with MoDED to allow for this project under the Community Revitalization Grant. This project will be paid for by grant funds and matching local funds already appropriated to the MSP development project. The City will fund and facilitate the construction of this riverfront pavilion and park expansion, and then transfer the management of operations and ownership to JC Parks to add to their impressive array of rental facilities. 

"Participating in this multi-use pavilion project is a real honor for JC Parks,” said Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Grefrath. “For the city to bring us to the table for developing that area, and commit the level of funding into this project – and then, for the city to recognize that our department is capable, ready, and excited to manage a project like this after its completion underlines the great partnership we have and how well we can use that to serve the community."

The river market will serve as a central hub for community gatherings, events, and activities. Designed to celebrate Jefferson City’s rich history and natural beauty, the pavilion will feature modern amenities while preserving the charm and character of our historic riverfront, perfectly complementing the historic Missouri State Penitentiary site. The river market will be located on Chestnut Street, at the historic MSP site, offering stunning views of the Missouri River and easy access to the Jefferson City greenway system. The design includes open-air seating, picnic areas, and versatile event space that can accommodate a wide range of activities, from family picnics to community art festivals.


 “This project represents a significant collaborative effort between our City staff, JC Parks, and state officials, which was instrumental in securing the necessary grant funding,” said City Administrator Brian Crane. “The support and cooperation of all involved parties highlights our shared commitment to revitalizing community spaces and enhancing opportunities for quality of life for our residents. Tonight’s vote marks a crucial step in making this vision a reality and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on Jefferson City.”

We invite the community to stay informed about the project’s progress by visiting our website and following us on social media.

The river market pavilion initiative aligns with multiple strategic plans and goals for our community, ensuring comprehensive benefits and widespread support.

Some of the plans are referenced below:

JC Parks System Master Plan (2018)

  • Supports a development of this nature as it meets the community demand for more shelter/pavilion space and a large central farmers market.

Jefferson City Cultural Arts Master Plan (2024)

  • Reports the key finding through the community engagement and stakeholder process that they are interested in seeing Capitol Avenue district revitalization.

Activate 2040

  • The Jefferson City comprehensive plan recommends a “Farmers Market and Civic Square to provide a social space where patrons can buy local food and be a part of their community, with a permanent pavilion to accommodate public events”.

CAMPO Active Transportation (2023)

  • Active Transportation Plan identifies a trail connection in the area.

Campo MSP Plan

MSP Redevelopment

  • The Missouri State Penitentiary Redevelopment Plan sited an intentional public space that would include an interpretive park, social square, and sculpture plaza.

MSP plan

Local Foods, Local Places

  • GOAL 1: Create a successful and vibrant farmers market downtown that will increase local opportunities for local farmers, increase sales at the market, increase visitors and vendors.
  • GOAL 2: Coordinate between existing markets and other food system efforts to cultivate a deeper understanding of the economic and health benefits of local food production and use.
  • GOAL 3: Explore methods, linkages, and actions to increase food access to downtown areas and neighborhoods.


Contact: Public Information Coordinator
Molly Bryan –