Tonganoxie Days organizers prepare for this year’s festival
Preparations are under way for the 22nd annual Tonganoxie Days celebration, which will be June 8 and 9.
Once again Connie Torneden heads the organization activities. Twenty-one years ago, George and Cindy Mills came to Torneden and said, "All these other towns have events, why can't we?" Torneden recalled.
Since that time, Torneden, a lifelong Tonganoxie resident, has taken the lead and hasn't looked back. Tonganoxie Days continues to be a hometown favorite event.
"People just enjoy getting out and seeing all the arts and crafts and (they) enjoy the downtown area," Torneden said. "It is a nice place to have it and to have people get together."
This year, organizers say goodbye to the car show but are welcoming some new activities in its place. There is an antique tractor show and bridal display in the works. The biggest new attraction will be a live radio broadcast. Country Legends 106.9 from Topeka will be broadcasting from the festivities.
"I am kind of excited about the radio station coming," Torneden said. "They say they have listeners that follow their van around, and that's good. We'll get some new people who have never seen Tonganoxie."
The radio station isn't the only draw to the event, there will be a variety of activities and entertainment to suit everyone's fancy. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Friends of the Library Run. Other events include: train rides, a vintage quilt show and the Sacred Heart Quilt Show, historical society activities, and the annual barbecue cook-off.
The Tonganoxie Day organizers are working to solidify entertainment and the two-day schedule of events. Community members interested in participating can attend the next meeting at noon May 3 at the old Ratliff Drug Store.
-- Jess Skinner is a Kansas University student whose work will appear this semester in The Mirror.