The Hannibal Missouri Jaycees, annual National Tom Sawyer Days, held annually during the July 4th week. The Hannibal Jaycees started this community project in 1956 and have organized and sponsored the event. What makes this project stand above the rest is the Hannibal Jaycees saw a need in their community. The event of the whitewashing a picket fence has been a staple in the event since the beginning, but it was recently the Jaycees expanded the fence painting activity to be more inclusive.

A Jaycee member was asked about disabled children involvement. That was a change to be inclusive. The Jaycees began the Able fence painting event. The event mirrors the traditional Tom Sawyer Days fence painting but is geared to people of all ages with disabilities and special needs. Each painter took on the job at their own pace and according to their needs.

Whether they needed a partner to assist them or just encouragement, volunteers were there to make it fun for everyone. Some participants painted with precision, carefully whitewashing each picket, and others focused on speed and making sure volunteers got as covered as the fence – which they were encouraged to do.

National Tom Sawyer Days is for the young and the young at heart. Visitors from all over the world come to experience the history of Hannibal, through the eyes of Mark Twain. Sponsored by the Hannibal Jaycees, this family-oriented event has been held since 1956. Activities include frog jumping, mud volleyball, Tom and Becky Contest, parade, Tomboy Sawyer Contest, 10-kilometer run, arts and crafts show, and fireworks launched from the banks of the Mississippi River. The Hannibal Jaycees donate back to the community and conduct multiple events throughout the year.