Murray State University is the pride of the city. This public university is only one in Kentucky to be listed as a regional top tier university for the past 20 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. MSU enrolls over 10,000 students per semester, most of which attend classes on the main campus in Murray. This historic campus is quite beautiful, with a famous tree-lined quad known as the Quadrangle. It is the wide range of programs that really draws students to MSU, however. The university offers over 60 bachelor's programs and 40 master's programs.
Celebrate the country's independence with food, fun, and fireworks at Murray's Freedom Fest. This patriotic festival is held the weekend before Independence Day. Everything kicks off on Friday when the streets of downtown Murray fill with vendors and a free outdoor concert is held for all to enjoy. Stick around all weekend and you can experience a wide range of events and activities, such as the FNB Bank Parade, the Primary Care 5K, and a fun Kids' Zone. The main event takes place Saturday night with Western Kentucky's largest fireworks display, known as the Briggs and Stratton Fireworks Extravaganza.
In the center of town, Murray has two huge family-friendly parks: Central Park and Chestnut Park. It was largely due to these parks that Murray received its title of Playful City USA for two straight years. These two parks cover over 180 acres of land combined and have tons of fun facilities, such as a swimming complex, baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, and batting cages. Central Park even includes a new dog park, where Murray's canine citizens are welcome to play on the obstacle course and socialize with other pups leash-free.