Tonganoxie Days: Focusing on the festival
Saturday marks the 30th annual Tonganoxie Days festival and longtime organizer Connie Torneden has one thing on her mind to celebrate the milestone.
She just wants the rain to stay away for a day.
“I’m just hoping it will do the Tonganoxie Split long enough for us to have it,” Torneden said with a laugh, referring to the local tongue-in-cheek weather theory that storm cells tend to split when they approach Tonganoxie.
This year’s event will have all of the regular attractions: a petting zoo, music, a Flag Day ceremony, a car show, musical entertainment and vendors, and, of course, the Tonganoxie Library Run starting at 7:30 a.m.
Torneden said Monday she had about 90 vendors signed up for the Fourth Street festival, which she said was on par with previous years.
Though the barbecue contest won’t be happening this year, Torneden said other events are planned, including a train ride for children and a sand volleyball tournament, which starts at 9 a.m., the same time that most activities get going.
Southern Leavenworth County Leadership Development is sponsoring the volleyball tournament at Chieftain Park. Organizers are encouraging local residents to assemble teams as only a few have registered so far. To register, or for more information, contact Shawn at 785-218-5300. Entry fee is $60 per team for the 6-on-6 co-ed event.
Yogi Bear is expected to make a visit from Jellystone Park, while the Gunsmoke and Petticoats Old West Show will take place downtown during the festival.
Mayor Jason Ward also will give a welcome at 9 a.m.
As for musical entertainment, the Good Sam Club Band is to perform from 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Fourth and Main and Country Legends 106.9 FM will have a remote broadcast from 10 a.m.-noon at Fourth and Delaware.
Stranger Creek will perform 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Fourth and Bury streets, while country singer Jami Amber Lynne, who will perform a tribute to Patsy Cline along with other songs, will sing from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Fourth and Bury streets, while American Legion Post 41’s flag ceremony will start at noon at the same intersection.
Dancers from Tonganoxie’s own Graves Talent are scheduled to perform from 1-2:15 p.m. at Fourth and Green streets, with Mike Warehime to finish out the musical entertainment from 2:30-4 p.m.
The VFW Car Show will take place during the entire festival, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at VFW Park.
Again, Torneden is just hoping for some good weather to greet the outdoor event that dates back to the mid-1980s.
“When you take time to think about it you think ‘wow, where did all that time go?’” Torneden said. “I’m hoping decent weather and a good group of people out because it’s kind of a milestone year.”