Archive for Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tonganoxie Sesquicentennial logo unveiled; community band expected to make return

February 16, 2016, 9:58 a.m.

Updated: February 17, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

As volunteers continue to plan June’s Tonganoxie Sesquicentennial, specifics are coming together, including an evening music lineup and a logo for the event.

The festival also will feature the return of a Tonganoxie musical tradition.

Committee members started to share the logo online late last week on social media.

The logo features a sunflower in celebrating Tonganoxie’s 150 years. The logo, designed by 3 Clever Broads in Lawrence, can be found on the festival’s Twitter page, Tonganoxie 150. Other social media pages are being created for the festival, as is a website.

Evening music for the celebration, June 10 and 11, has been finalized.

The main stage, which will be near Gallagher Park south of Tonganoxie Water Park, is one of three stages in the works for the festival. An acoustic stage will be set up in the downtown pocket park near Fourth and Delaware, and a third stage will be situated on Fourth Street near Mutual Savings. Organizers continue to book a variety of talent for the two Fourth Street stages for the two-day festival.

Local country rock band County Road 5 will kick off evening performances at the main stage starting at 5 p.m. June 10. Right on Red, a variety party band, will play at 7 p.m. and then The Shanks, an area classic rock band, will take the stage at 9 p.m.

On June 11, evening entertainment will start at 4 p.m. with Brandon Miller, who performs blues rock.

Rattle and Hum, the Kansas City area U2 tribute band, takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. That leaves Big Time Grain Company as the final band, to take the stage at 9 p.m.

Big Time Grain Company, which played at the Royals’ World Series celebration rally at Union Station, has opened for Big & Rich, Restless Heart, Brother’s Osborne, Gary Allan, Dan and Shay and Night Ranger. It also has headlined the Plaza Art Fair, American Royal Rodeo, Power and Light and other events. The band specializes in country and country rock music.

Local performers also are expected to entertain during the festival, and a Tonganoxie group that performed for several summers is making a return.

Tonganoxie High School music director Charles Van Middlesworth said he is working to bring back the Tonganoxie Community Band for the sesquicentennial celebration. Van Middlesworth directed a summer community band for several years. The group played around July 4 at Tonganoxie VFW Park annually for several years, and Van Middlesworth, known to his students as Mr. Van, is organizing the band to perform on the main stage June 11.

Anyone interested in joining the community band can email Van Middlesworth at

Entertainment organizers also are working on a Tonganoxie’s Got Talent show. And area band the LB’s will be playing the main stage during the festival.

Food, craft and other vendors will line Fourth Street for the festival.

A barbecue contest is in the works, as are children’s activities and games and bed races. Old-fashioned games and presentations on Tonganoxie’s history and visits from historical figures will be showcased thanks to the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society and First City Performers and Story Tellers.

In addition, a beer garden is planned to complement the main stage for some performances.

A mainstay during Tonganoxie Days festivals in the past, the always popular Tonganoxie Public Library 5K Run/Walk will take place the morning of June 11.

At Monday’s Tonganoxie City Council meeting, Mayor Jason Ward asked whether any commemorative items were being created for the 150th celebration.

Council Member Kara Reed, who with fellow Council Member Curtis Oroke is on the festival’s steering committee, said some items were being discussed. She welcomed suggestions for other items to pursue for commemorative consideration.

So far koozies and buttons have been kicked around, Reed said.

The city approved funding of $31,500 for the event, with $21,500 going toward booking of evening bands for the two nights and other services through Generation Relevant.

Various sponsorship levels are available to businesses and organizations.

Anyone with interest in donating, volunteering, signing up for vendor spots or general questions about the festival should contact Reed at Additional information on sponsorship and vendor spaces also can be found at


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