Tonganoxie Days to celebrate silver anniversary
In 1986, Connie Torneden was president of the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce when George and Cindy Mills contacted her about starting a festival in Tonganoxie, as other area communities had festivals.
Now, Torneden and other organizers are preparing for the 25th installment of Tonganoxie Days, which will be Friday and Saturday throughout Tonganoxie.
Barbecue contestants will be setting up Friday evening, but most events will take place Saturday.
Torneden said the festival has turned into a good-sized event.
“Well, probably when we started it, we didn’t think about that it would catch on and go this long,” Torneden said. “But I’m kind of glad that it is.
“I’m hoping that it’s been something good for the community and kind of gets people together. We’ll try to keep on doing it.”
Saturday festivities will start bright and early with the 23rd annual Friends of the Library 10K and 5K run and 5K walk. It begins at 7:30 a.m. Arts and crafts and food vendors will line Fourth Street from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Torneden said she had roughly 120 vendors signed up.
Down the road at VFW Park, a car and truck show is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with a Flag Day salute taking place at noon.
Elsewhere in town, the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site will be open for tours. The site, just west of U.S. Highway 24-40 on West Washington Street, also will be the venue for a quilt show in conjunction with the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Altar Society. A quilt that is on display at the U.S. Highway 24-40 First State Bank and Trust location will be raffled off Saturday afternoon. Tickets are available at the bank and can be purchased at Tonganoxie Days on Saturday.
Here are other events planned for Saturday:
• Lawrence Memorial Hospital free screenings from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
• Kansas Miniature Horse Club Fun Show from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
• Leavenworth County State Barbecue Championships at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. Judging begins at noon.
• Wild Women of the Frontier, based out of Topeka, will be at Tonganoxie Days. The group also was in Tonganoxie for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
• Kids games will be offered, which Torneden said hasn’t been the case in the past.
• Russ Ehart will be doing carvings with his chainsaw throughout the day.
• Bingo Night at Sacred Heart Parish Center starting at 5:45 p.m. at the church, U.S. Highway 24-40 and Washington Street.
• Various music, dance and other entertainment in downtown Tonganoxie.
• The VFW will be running a shuttle among the various event sites Saturday as well.
For more information, go to tonganoxiedays.com or contact Torneden at (913) 845-5183.