Festus, Missouri

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{household, population, female}
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{mi², represent, 1st}

Festus is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 11,246 at the 2008 estimated census.[1]

Festus and its neighbor Crystal City are often collectively known as the "Twin Cities"; however, they are incorporated separately.

Festus is also notable for being the hometown of the Bottle Rockets, Vitamen A and the Schwag. Vitamen A (est 1991) refers to Festus in the song Catfish. Festus was referenced in the George Jones/Tammy Wynette duet "We're not the Jet Set".



Festus is located at 38°13′10″N 90°24′3″W / 38.21944°N 90.40083°W / 38.21944; -90.40083 (38.219490, -90.400936)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.4 km²), all of it land.


The first settler in the area was Charley Conners, who built a log cabin in 1803.

Festus was settled shortly after the establishment of New Detroit (later Crystal City), which was a dry company town. Initially established around 1878 by W. J. Adams as Limitville, it was nicknamed "Tanglefoot" because several of its first businesses were saloons. As incorporation was discussed, a more dignified name was sought. Town legend claims the name was chosen by a church ceremony where a Bible was opened blindly and the first proper name encountered was that of Porcius Festus, the governor of Judea around 60 AD (Acts 24:27). The City of Festus was incorporated in 1888 as a 4th class city.

The current government structure consisting of a mayor, a city council and a city administrator, was adopted in 1976. The City Council is the legislative branch and meetings of the Council are presided over by the Mayor. The City Administrator is responsible for implementing the policies of the Council as well as overseeing day-to-day operations of the city.


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