Tonganoxie Days rolls into town for another June appearance

June 11, 2008

Tonganoxie residents need to get ready because Tonganoxie Days is just around the corner.

And with the National Weather Service predicting a partly sunny day with a high of 86 degrees, this year's festival is sure to be a hit.

The festival will start bright and early at 7 a.m. with the Tonganoxie Farmer's Market at Tonganoxie High School's west campus. At 7:30 a.m. the Friends of the Library 10K and 5K Run and 5K walk will begin. To register for the walk contact Debbie Zerrer, race director, by phone at (913) 845-2900 or by e-mail at

At 9 p.m. the Tonganoxie VFW Park will open for its annual car and truck show. If car enthusiasts haven't already registered, registration will be between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. There will be a $20 registration fee the day of the show. In addition, a drawing for a $300 grand prize as well as five special awards will be held. The park also will play host to an antique tractor show and a Flag Day rifle salute at noon. For more information, contact Fran or Chip Marquardt by phone at (913) 369-2549 or by e-mail at

The 80 vendors signed up for the day will open up shop at 9 a.m. Although the vendor count is down from last year, Connie Torneden, who is coordinating the day, said she thought the high cost of gas has kept many vendors away, but there will still be plenty of items for people to choose from.

At 10 p.m., at Fourth and Bury streets, the Happy Time Squares will have a square dancing demonstration. At 11 a.m., the Tribe of the Mic-O-Say White Shield dance team will perform at the intersection. It will then be the Cowtown Cloggers who will perform at noon. The Graves Talent dancers will take the stage at 1:15 p.m., followed by a 2:30 p.m. performance by the Stranger Creek Country Western Band.

Although swimmers won't be able use the pool just yet, they can check out the new facility during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. After the tour, guests can also stay to listen to the Annie's Country Jubilee Band who will perform from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the new water park.

There will also be many activities at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. For the first time ever, the fairgrounds will be host to a chainsaw carving competition. Local artist Russ Ehart and other chainsaw artists will create pieces of artwork out of tree stumps that will then be sold at auction at 4 p.m. Ehart said there was no theme for the contest leaving it up to the artists' imaginations. At the same time, the Kansas Miniature Horse Club will entertain guests with a show that runs until 4 p.m. Guests can also stop by to see many local teams competing in the Leavenworth County State Barbecue Championship. Judging for the barbecue contest begins at noon. Call Jim Gambrill at (913) 845-2949 for more information about the Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event. Registration for the competition is open until Friday and is limited to the first 40 paid entries.

Just south of the fairgrounds, the Tonganoxie Historical Society will open up the historic site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site will play host to an antique car show and a quilt show that is being cosponsored with the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The museum and historical buildings will be open for tours. The historical society will also have a booth downtown for membership registration.

The day will wrap up with a Miss Tonganoxie Days Pageant show at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds. The show is sponsored by the Star Struck Dance Center. For a grand finale, the city will have an aerial fireworks display that will begin about 9:15 p.m. City officials will close off Chieftain Park at 7:30 to prepare for the show. Parking will be available at Tonganoxie High School and will not be permitted along U.S. Highway 24-40. The Tonganoxie School District has allowed the bleachers and lawn area at Beatty Field to be used to view the fireworks. The park will be open after the show.

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