Area festivals roll out welcome mat for visitors
All across the region, town festivals offer food, fun and family entertainment throughout the spring, summer and fall. Here's a look at some area festivals that are worthy of consideration for your entertainment calendar:
Amelia Earhart Festival
This year's July 18-19 festival marks the 12th annual event honoring Atchison's favorite daughter, aviatrix Amelia Earhart. A Friday evening lakeside concert features country performers Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Trent Tomlinson. Activities throughout the day on Saturday include a 2K/8K Fun Run, arts and crafts fair, carnival rides, food vendors, entertainment stages and more, capped by a spectacular fireworks display choreographed to music and staged over the Missouri River. For more information, visit atchisonkansas.net.
Maple Leaf Festival
About 50 years ago, a biology professor at Baker University created a community event inspired by the changing colors of the maple leaves in Baldwin City, the Maple Leaf Festival. On the third full weekend of October, Oct. 18-19 this year, visitors travel to downtown Baldwin City to see the parade Saturday morning and the more than 300 exhibits, music, food and other vendors. For more information including a complete schedule of events, visit mapleleaffestival.com.
Basehor Dairy Days
Dairy farming was once a way of life for many who lived in Basehor and the surrounding areas, but the Basehor Dairy Days festival is only about to turn 3 years old. The event includes a flea market, live music, dairy memorabilia, carnival games, food, crafts and more. Always on the first Saturday in June, Basehor Dairy Days will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 7 at Basehor-Linwood High School, 2108 N. 155th St. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit cityofbasehor.org.
The yearly summer festival in Bonner Springs honors its founder Henry Tiblow, a Delaware American Indian who ran a ferry across the Kaw. Tiblow Days takes place annually on the fourth weekend in August. This year Tiblow Days will be Aug. 22-24 in downtown Bonner Springs. A large parade, carnival, crafts and concerts are provided for entertainment. For more information, visit bonnersprings.org .
Step back to a time when lords and ladies ruled the land. This outdoor fall festival depicting a 16th-century English village has been ranked as one of the top 100 events in North America. The annual festival, which operates on weekends from Sept. 1 through Oct. 14, plus Labor Day and Columbus Day. The festival features live entertainment, food, fun and activities for the entire family. For more information, visit kcrenfest.com.
De Soto Days
Founded by the De Soto Jaycees in 1964, De Soto Days offers an array of food, crafts and music. The annual event occurs on Labor Day weekend at Miller Park, near downtown De Soto. A carnival occurs Thursday through Saturday and a parade will take place Saturday morning. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dodge City Days
This 10-day annual event, July 25-Aug. 3 this year, celebrates this famed Western Kansas cowtown's heritage. The celebration hosts more than 50 events including its Kick-Off Concert, headlined this year by Jo Dee Messina, PRCA rodeo, a craft show with 200 crafters, KidFest, Western parade and professional BBQ contest. For more information, visit dodgecitydays.com.
Frontier Western Celebration
This annual festival, June 13-15 this year, bills itself as "More cowboy than you can imagine," and includes an appearance by the Budweiser Clydsedales, a concert under the stars, an "Extreme Bull Blowout" bull-riding competition, chuckwagon breakfast, Cowboy Church, dance and more. For more information, visit eldoradomainstreet.org/festival.htm.
Excelsior Springs, Mo.
Waterfest celebrates the city's mineral water heritage and is staged in the downtown Hall of Waters Historic District. This three-day event, June 27-29 this year, features arts, crafts, live entertainment, and water games for the children, a motorcycle show, parade and fireworks. For more information, visit exspgschamber.com/waterfest.html.
All Veterans Tribute
The All Veterans Tribute is a week full of events to honor all veterans in Emporia, the home of Veterans Day. This year's event, Nov. 5-Nov. 11, includes a parade, memorial service, veterans recognition and USO show. For more information, visit emporiakschamber.org.
The Central Protective Association, whose purpose was to protect its members and their property from horse thieves, in 1901 organized a picnic for its families to get acquainted. The annual event became the CPA Picnic, now located at CPA Park in downtown Eudora. Always on the third weekend in July, the CPA picnic offers a children's parade and a grand parade, as well as carnival rides, food and vendors.
The 12th annual festival celebrating Eudora's German heritage will be Oct. 4 in downtown Eudora. The event includes several vendors, performances and food.
Lecompton was the territorial capital of Kansas and was a flashpoint in the days leading up to the Civil War in the national debate over slavery. Territorial Days, June 27 and 28 this year, pays homage to Lecompton's historical past with tours, crafts, carnival, re-enactments, demonstrations and historic museums. For more information, visit lecomptonterritorialdays.com.
Lee's Summit, Mo.
Downtown Days : Streets Alive!
This festival, new for 2008, will take place over three days, June 6-8, in downtown Lee's Summit. Highlights the Camp Rock family area featuring Radio Disney, a classic car show, motorcycle show, Go Fast Jet Pack Man, a beer garden, Sunday Jazz Brunch and a concert featuring headline act Eve 6. For more information, visit leessummitdowntowndays.com.
Old Shawnee Days
Step back into the past with concerts, a carnival, crafts and food at Old Shawnee Days, on the grounds of Shawnee Town, 11501 W. 57th St. Reproduced buildings line the grounds reminding visitors of the days when Shawnee was a frontier town, and history comes to life with re-enactors and craftsmen. The celebration takes place the first full weekend in June, June 5-8 this year. For more information, visit oldshawneedays.org.
Arts, crafts, barbecue and a quilt show make up some of the events this annual festival, which takes place on the second weekend of June, June 14 this year, in Tonganoxie. For more information, visit tonganoxiedays.com.
Fiesta Mexicana, July 14-19 this year, features authentic Mexican foods, crafts, entertainment of Ballet Folklorico de Topeka and a carnival. For more information, contact Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Topeka at (785) 232-5088.