Baldwin One of the area's largest annual celebrations is just around the corner.
The 32nd annual Maple Leaf Festival will get under way this weekend in Baldwin.
The Maple Leaf Parade opens two days of festivities at 11 a.m. Saturday and will travel a 13-block course through the city.
This year's parade theme is "A Salute to Kansas and Baldwin Heros." Floats depicting the theme will be judged and winners will get cash prizes and special awards.
Many floats, Shriner's groups, clowns, antique cars, horses and more than 20 bands have registered to join in the parade.
The Maple Leaf queen will return after an eight-year absence. Six Baldwin High School seniors are queen candidates.
A panel of judges will select the queen Saturday, based on interviews and personal essays. Candidates are Becky Cavender, Cathy Evans, Gwen Randel, Tammy Sage, Tracey Torkelson and Ellen Wintermantel.
A new feature will be old-time entertainment by the Buffalo Shufflers, who will perform music, dance and comedy routines in vaudeville style at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Rice Auditorium.
About 300 booths, featuring arts, crafts and specialties, will line downtown city streets and fill the junior high school gymnasium.
Other festival attractions will include excursion train rides by the Midland Railway, on the hour; steak dinners by Baldwin Civic Assn. chefs; a quilt show; bus tours to historic sites; demonstrations; garden tractor pull; tennis tournament; a children's parade and airplane and carnival rides.
Lillian Andrews and Jim Johnson, longtime Baldwin residents, have been named this year's parade marshals.
Traffic for the festival will be controlled by making Tenth Street one-way south from U.S. 56 to High Street, and Ninth Street will be one-way north from High Street to the highway. Handicapped parking will be provided.