Storybook stroll in downtown Tonganoxie
Windows adorned with parts of a story have been a tradition in recent years in downtown Tonganoxie.
Entrepreneurs Achieving Success Together, which meets weekly to discuss projects and events to benefit Tonnganoxie, has created various storybooks in recent years during the holidays, but this year’s version is an original story.
Keyta Kelly with EAST said the group opted for the local story to avoid getting copyright permissions. She said the story they wanted to use was “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree” by Robert Barry, which was written in 1963. With its copyright renewed, they went a different direction.
“I thought it would be fun to have the tree roll from Hubbel (Hill) down Fourth Street,” she said. “As I wrote it, I thought ‘wouldn’t it be neat if things that represented Tonganoxie actually adorned the tree?’”
After a few revisions to get all downtown businesses incorporated into the story, the words were ready to hit downtown business windows.
Keyta wrote the story and her daughter, Rachel Kelly, who owns Rnky Dink Graphics, illustrated the story.
“The gist of story is that the ‘perfect’ tree for Tonganoxie is one that reflects Tonganoxie itself, because, after all, Tonganoxie is the ‘perfect’ town,” Keyta Kelly said. “We have some wonderful businesses in town, both downtown and on the highway and our merchants and service providers all work together to preserve our small-town atmosphere while making sure our businesses continue to thrive.”
The story can be found on the windows of the downtown businesses, which begins and ends at City Hall. Start at the west window of City Hall and head west to LADD. The story then picks up across the street at Mutual Savings and goes back east to Main Street. Folks can read the final portion of the story from Flashbacks restaurant to the eastern most window of City Hall.
Kelly said she hopes folks reading the story also look inside the various businesses.
“Hey, if they want to open the door and walk in to chat, we’re okay with that, too,” she said.