About 25 residents attend initial Tonganoxie sesquicentennial planning meeting
Volunteers sign up for committees for 150th year celebration
Old-fashioned games, bed races, entertainment stages and sidewalk art.
All of those ideas and several more were thrown out during a call-for-volunteers meeting Thursday for next year’s Tonganoxie sesquicentennial celebration.
The sesquicentennial steering committee led brainstorming discussions with about 25 people in attendance Thursday in Tonganoxie City Council chambers.
City officials make up the steering committee: Council Members Curtis Oroke and Kara Reed, along with City Administrator Nathan McCommon and Assistant City Administrator Jamie Shockley are in that group.
“This is a celebration for the community,” Oroke said. “For people who have lived here forever or people who just moved here.”
The event will be June 10-11, 2016, and will serve as the annual Tonganoxie Days celebration as part of the sesquicentennial. Tonganoxie Days has been a summer festival for 30 years.
Organizers hope to have various activities throughout downtown, near Tonganoxie Water Park and then extending to VFW Park for the traditional car show.
Bringing back a barbecue contest that formerly happened during Tonganoxie Days was at the top of the list, though initial plans call for it to move downtown with the rest of the festivities.
Previous barbecue contests took place at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
A beer garden also has been discussed, along with entertainment stages for music and other performances. For example, the downtown pocket park at Fourth and Delaware streets and the vacant lot south of the Myers Hotel at Third and Main streets have been designated as potential stages.
Residents who gathered for the volunteer meeting offered ideas, such as as a cake walk, the bed races and an exhibit showcasing Tonganoxie’s history through the years.
Youth activities also have been earmarked as a priority.
Volunteers also stressed the importance of reaching out to Tonganoxie businesses outside of downtown to ensure they also are offered opportunities to be showcased in the downtown area as part of the 150th celebration.
People attending Thursday’s meeting signed up for various committees, such as community outreach, marketing, vendor recruitment, community involvement activities, children’s activities, historical programming, business liaison, mapping and logistics, volunteer coordination, transportation/parking, restrooms and more.
The steering committee plans to schedule more meetings after the holiday season.
For more information about the celebration, or to provide ideas and learn about volunteer opportunities, contact City Hall at 913-845-2620.