Tonganoxie Days sizzles in 21st year
The 21st annual Tonganoxie Days was another success.
A record number of vendors set up booths and trailers along Fourth Street. Car buffs entered about 140 cars in the Country Cruisers Car Show. A record 134 runners participated in the Friends of the Library's annual 5K and 10K runs. The barbecue contest sported the usual enthusiastic competitors. Danni Boatwright, winner of the 2005 television reality show, "Survivor: Guatemala," signed autographs. And downtown, "That 70s Band" played even longer than its two-hour slot, despite the heat, which could be best described as sizzling.
Even the weather cooperated this year, in contrast to the 2005 Tonganoxie Days, which started with a downpour. Saturday's rains held off until close to 4 p.m., when a light shower fell on vendors who by then were closing up their shops.
From the church youths who carried signboards advertising homemade ice cream at Ratliff's to the farrier who brought his horses and buggies to give rides around town, the event pulled together hundreds of Tonganoxie residents and visitors.
Tonganoxie-area resident Connie Torneden has served as chairperson of the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce Tonganoxie Days committee for 20 of its 21 years. She led the organizational committee the first year, 1985. The next year, she had a good reason for stepping out of the leading role -- the birth of her son. But even then, she worked behind the scenes.
And now, with another celebration behind her, Torneden's dedication continues. In fact, before Saturday's celebration ended, she was making notes for next year's celebration, set for June 9.
Congratulations to the town, the chamber of commerce, to Torneden and to everyone else who had a hand in this year's Tonganoxie Days. It was a job well done.