Cars, crafts highlight Tonganoxie Days
Dave Freeman purchased his first car at the age of 13 in 1984.
He’s owned more than 50 different cars since that first hot rod, a 1967 Mustang.
One of those is a 1978 Trans Am, which Freeman featured at the Tonganoxie Days Car Show on Saturday at Tonganoxie’s VFW Park.
Whether it’s building or buying, he’s had long-standing love for cars.
“I’ve been building cars since I was a little kid,” the rural Leavenworth resident said.
He purchased the Trans Am nine years ago when it had 49,000 miles. It now has 52,000, so it’s basically “just for looks,” Freeman said with a laugh.
His vehicle was one of about 85 at the car show. Winning best interior was Tom Gierum of McLouth. Best engine went to David Cruse of Kansas City, Kan., and Paris Mingo of Leavenworth won in the best paint category. For the Ladies Choice award, first place went to Doc Holliday of Tonganoxie. Fred Benedict won the Starcher Memorial award and Harlen Elliott of Tonganoxie won Best in Show.
The show takes place in conjunction with Tonganoxie Days each year. This was the 27th annual edition of the event.
The festival spanned four blocks through downtown with vendors offering various crafts, a petting zoo, games and food.
Carey Hedrick, owner of Road Runner Sales, made the roughly two-and-a-half-hour trip to sell metal garden art at the festival. It was her first time selling at Tonganoxie Days, but she’s made much longer trips, including to events in Ohio, Texas and Indiana.
She said she likely would be back for next year’s Tonganoxie Days and that her most popular item was “probably the flying pigs” — yard art of pigs with wings.
The Leavenworth County Barbecue Championships took place down the road at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds as well, and various music and other entertainment took place downtown throughout the day.