Organizer hopes clear skies grace Tonganoxie Days
Connie Torneden could do without a repeat of last year’s Tonganoxie Days in the weather department.
Heavy rains on the second Saturday of June in 2010 forced some vendors to close up shop early.
“I thought, ‘Oh my, we’ve lost them,’” Torneden said about vendors from last year possibly not returning because of the bad weather a year ago. “Some who did leave early, they are signed up to come back this year, so that’s good.”
Torneden, the longtime organizer of Tonganoxie Days, said she had about 100 vendors signed up for this weekend’s 26th annual event.
This year’s festival will have many of its traditional offerings — competitors getting started with the Leavenworth County Barbecue Championships on Friday and on Saturday, vendors downtown, the library 5K run/walk and the car show at VFW Park.
But plenty more is planned for this year’s festival as well.
“We’ve got more entertainment this year,” Torneden said. “And we’ve got a magician who will be roaming through the crowd. He’ll also have a table set up.”
There will be two areas set up for musical entertainment this year, at Fourth and Bury streets and Fourth and Main streets.
As a way to celebrate Kansas’ 150th birthday, there also will be a Sunflower Scavenger Hunt, in which visitors look for sunflowers at participating businesses. Visitors are given a punch card that they have validated after finding a sunflower at each business. The cards can then be turned in at the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce booth near First State Bank and Trust at Fourth and Bury streets for a prize drawing.
Also new this year will be a cruise through downtown Tonganoxie. Vehicles in the car show will drive down Fourth Street at 6 p.m.
There will not be activities at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site this year, but the historical society will have a booth downtown Saturday.
An occasional event in recent years at Tonganoxie Days has been a fireworks display, and it will be making its return Saturday, concluding this year’s festival.
The display will start about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, depending on weather conditions, at the Chieftain Park soccer field near U.S. Highway 24-40 and Main Street.
Kansas Skylighters will provide the entertainment, which is funded primarily by community donations and a contribution from the City of Tonganoxie. Donations are being accepted at city hall and also will be accepted before and after the show. Checks may be made payable to City of Tonganoxie — fireworks display.
For public safety, Chieftain Park will be closed to the public late Saturday afternoon to allow for fireworks setup. Also, viewing and parking will not be allowed on U.S. Highway 24-40. The city recommends viewers select open public areas around the park and stay off roads to enjoy the show.
Torneden will have her fingers crossed that the weather cooperates on the day of the outdoor festival this year.
“We want it to be a dry day, that’s for sure,” Torneden said.
Anyone interested in purchasing remaining booth space may call Torneden at (913) 845-5183.
Here is a list of activities for this year’s Tonganoxie Days:
• Leavenworth County State Championship Barbecue Cook-off sets up at Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
• Vendors may start setting up booths.
• Friends of the Library 10K/5K run and 5K fun walk.
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Car and truck show at VFW Park
• Booth spaces open downtown, children’s games, Sunflower Scavenger Hunt and Kaw Valley Express antique trackless train rides.
• Welcome by Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward
• Stranger Creek Band (Fourth and Bury)
• Cathy Hunt/Jump Band (Fourth and Main)
• Tonganoxie City Fire Department, in partnership with Safe Kids Douglas County, is having free car seat installations and inspections at the Tonganoxie fire station, 825 E. Fourth St.
• Country Legends 106.9 remote broadcast
• Jami Amber Lynne, country/contemporary/gospel (Fourth and Bury)
• Magic for You by Bob Phillips
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Wild Women of the Frontier mingling with crowd and doing skits
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Black Tuxedos Band, instrumental progressive rock, (Fourth and Bury)
• Flag Day Salute at VFW Park.
• Barbecue judging begins at Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
• Graves Talent dancers (Fourth and Bury)
• The Swingin’ BeBops, oldies music (Fourth and Main)
Mike Warehime, solo country singer/songwriter (Fourth and Bury)
• Tonganoxie VFW Car Show cruise through downtown Tonganoxie.
• Bingo Night at Sacred Heart Parish Center (food served starting at 5:45 p.m.)
• Fireworks display at Chieftain Park.
A schedule of events also can be found on page 19.