Tonganoxie celebrates official anniversary of first plat with downtown ceremony
Tonganoxie found several ways to celebrate its sesquicentennial with a two-day festival last month.
Historical re-enactors of characters from Tonganoxie’s past, a commemorative newspaper, musical entertainment, vendors, a food court, children’s games, visits from Big Jay and Willie the Wildcat, a barbecue contest, a car show and a beer garden all complemented the main stage area.
The festival celebration took place during the already established weekend for Tonganoxie Days, a local mainstay for the community for 30 years the second weekend in June.
But last week, the community came together for another celebration — the actual anniversary of the town’s initial plat.
Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward suggested a ceremony of some sort for that anniversary, which was 10:30 a.m. this past Thursday.
Magdalena Bury’s first plat of Tonganoxie became official at 10:30 a.m. July 21, 1866.
For Thursday’s festivities, about 40 people gathered in the downtown pocket park at Fourth and Delaware.
Kris Roberts, Tonganoxie Community Historical Society president, dressed as Magdalena Bury and recited some information regarding the city’s origin.
Ward also spoke during the ceremony, noting that Tonganoxie was “a special place” and that the community is celebrating 150 years because of all the “blood, sweat and tears” produced through the generations to make the town a better place.
After the speeches, residents had birthday cake and refreshments.
A sign celebrating Tonganoxie’s 150 years was placed on the white fence in the pocket park for the celebration, while the Tonganoxie City Fire Department hoisted its gigantic American flag into the air to serve as a backdrop for the event.