Area towns gear up for annual festivals, events
During the next few months, cities in the area will be buzzing with activity, as groups host annual festivals and even an art walk.
Whether you're interested in wandering through Baldwin City on a Friday evening or listening to the sounds of a country singer in Tonganoxie, area cities have just the ticket.
Here's a look at some events slated during the next few months in area towns.
Baldwin's Art Walk
A long-standing Baldwin City tradition will again bring beauty to the city with the Baldwin Community Arts Council's "Art Walk."
"Art Walk" nights are every third Friday beginning in May and running through September. Each event features a theme, but ultimately the effort is characterized by art work displayed in various locations in downtown Baldwin and along the sidewalks.
"It's a great opportunity for the Baldwin community and people from all around the area to see art work here that's not always here," said Christy Carlisle, president of the BCAC.
The Baker University run Art Affair, a downtown gallery, is one of the cornerstones of Art Walk. Other locations where art will be displayed include Solomon's Antiques, Discoveries, Quilter's Paradise and the Baldwin City Signal. Various artists will also be lining the streets between those places with art. The lone non-downtown venue where art will be displayed is at the Aardvark Gallery, 111 Sixth Street.
"Art Walk" opens May 18 with a 3D theme. The show starts at 7 p.m. and run until about 9 p.m.
Other scheduled events for the season are: June, members and guests displays; July, Baldwin Community Band show and ice cream social; August, textiles; and September, Cup O' Java.
"Art Walk" has been a fixture in Baldwin for years and has maintained a steady base of art fans. Music is always a part of the event, and Carlisle said her group is always looking for interested bands and individuals to take part. She can be reached at (785) 594-3366 for additional information.
Basehor's Fourth of July
The City of Basehor will have its annual Fourth of July celebration this year.
The day will start with a parade down 155th Street from Leavenworth Road to Parallel Road.
The Basehor Lions Club will then treat everyone to a fireworks display at the Basehor-Linwood High School.
Event times will not be announced until later this month.
De Soto's Watermelon Festival
This year's Watermelon Festival in De Soto will offer a little something for everyone.
For the younger crowd, the carnival will roll into Miller Memorial Park on the evening of Aug. 23, a day earlier than in past years. It also will be armband night. Those attending will get the chance to ride as many rides as they want for the price of admission.
Carnival rides will continue Aug. 24, along with live musical entertainment. The food booths will also open on the evening of Aug. 24.
Organizers will kick things off at 10 a.m. Aug. 25 with a downtown parade. Craft and food booths will open after the parade.
Last year's hot weather prompted organizers to rent a large craft tent for this year's event.
"That way there will be some protection from the sun and we won't have to worry about everyone bringing their individual, smaller tents," said Max Atwell, Watermelon Festival Chairman.
The festival will come to an end Aug. 26, following a pancake breakfast and community church service in Miller Park. Atwell said all would be welcome at the service.
"It's interdenominational, so we hope to have a lot of people there," he said.
Bonner Springs' Tiblow Days
Bonner Springs celebrates Tiblow Days the last weekend in August. This year, the event will be Aug. 24 and 25.
Besides having contests, singing performances, and other events, Tiblow Days is highlighted by a parade downtown on Aug. 25.
The celebration is in honor of the city's original namesake, Henry Tiblow, who was a Delaware Native American. Tiblow ran a ferry on the Kansas River for several years and was one of the first persons to settle in the Bonner Springs area.
Edwardsville will celebrate Autumnfest on Sept. 22 at the Edwardsville Community Park.
The day will be packed full of games and contests, including several children's games such as pie eating, pumpkin decorating and potato sack races. Prizes will be awarded to contest winners.
The day will end with entertainment by several performers.
Eudora's CPA Picnic
For as long as anyone can remember, the third weekend in July has been a time of celebration in Eudora.
That's when the annual CPA Picnic kicks off in downtown Eudora. This year's event will take place July 19-21.
According to organizers, the event hasn't changed much in recent years. This year, like in years past, downtown Eudora will be filled with carnival rides and food and craft booths. There will be fun events for young and old alike, including a fun run, a golf tournament, swimming pool races and a host of other contests.
Younger residents will strut their stuff in the Children's Parade on the evening of July 20 and the Annual Grand Parade will follow on the evening of July 21.
The carnival has a storied past, dating back more than 100 years.
In 1898, cattle farmers around Eudora began meeting once a year to discuss problems with rustlers and the measures needed to eliminate the problem. Originally called the Cattlemen's Protective Association, the alliance eventually became a social event as cattle farming in Eudora reduced during the mid 20th century. In the 1940s, it turned into an annual picnic.
In addition to the fun, local organizations benefit from the picnic. CPA is a non-profit origination. Money raised goes to Eudora High School for scholarships and Eudora Medical Services. Local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, churches and 4-H clubs also benefit.
Tonganoxie Days provides a festive atmosphere during the second week in June.
This year, the annual event is scheduled for June 8 and 9.
According to organizer Connie Torneden, a highlight of this year's festival will be an appearance by a country singer-songwriter on June 9 in downtown Tonganoxie. Tim Clarrey of Edwardsville will headline entertainment.
"He has been in contact with Warner Brothers Records and plans on heading to Nashville next year," said Torneden. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you hear Tim. He will also be performing at Glen's Opry here in Tonganoxie in May."
Tonganoxie Days will feature music and entertainment by several other groups. And the Leavenworth County State Barbeque Championships again will be held at the fairgrounds.
Other activities planned for the festival include a 10-kilometer run/5-kilometer walk; arts and crafts booths; train rides; games for children; a pet parade; food; and an antique car and motorcycle show.
Entertainment will feature Star Struck Dance Studio and the Cowtown Cloggers. And on the evening of June 9, a dance will be held at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds 4-H building, featuring the music of Billy Spears.
For additional information, call Torneden, (913) 845-2500.