As summer approaches, so do the annual Lawrence-area festivals. The celebrations will feature a wide variety of entertainment and activities, and will be held throughout the summer and into the fall.
TONGANOXIE Days will be June 8 and 9 this year in downtown Tonganoxie and at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. Organizers expect more than 100 arts and crafts booths and food stands.
On June 8, the Friends of the Library will sponsor the annual 10-kilometer run at 8 a.m., starting at the new library, Third and Bury. A parade will follow at 10 a.m.
A number of shows and demonstrations will take place throughout both days. On June 8, there will be four shows by the Desperado Gang, a local gunfighters club, rescue demonstrations by the fire department and emergency medical service, Tonganoxie Twirlers Squaredance Club, and the Barnett Sisters.
The Country Cruisers car club will hold an auction at 4:30 p.m. to benefit Children's Mercy Hospital.
A rodeo will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. both days at the fairgrounds.
On June 8, a street dance featuring music by Billy Spears will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight at the fairgrounds.
On June 9, the Desperado Gang will perform three shows starting at noon, and Jack Wolfe and the Wood Band will entertain the crowds with country music at 1 p.m.
Tonganoxie is 14 miles northeast of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 24-40.
LECOMPTON'S Territorial Days will be June 29 in downtown Lecompton, 10 miles northwest of Lawrence.
The festival will feature a parade, talent show, mud volleyball, horseshoe competition, slow pitch softball tournament, turtle races, bingo, crafts, a country swing demonstration and live music.
The theme of the celebration and the parade is patriotism, and veterans of all wars will be recognized.
Children's games will be offered from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Howard Duncan and Phil Wizer will provide musical entertainment, and the Noware Band from Lecompton will play during the dance at 9 p.m.
In conjunction with Territorial Days, the United Methodist Church will hold its heritage weekend through Saturday.
Also, the Lane University Museum will be open during the day for people wanting to learn more about the historic community, and visitors can view the progress of renovation at Constitution Hall.
OSKALOOSA'S Old Settler's Reunion will be July 11-13 and will focus on a theme of patriotism. Activities will include an ice cream social each day, the chamber of commerce food stand, hay bale toss, fish fry, carnival, a fun walk, a children's pet parade and a grand parade.
The Lighthouse Group will perform gospel music July 11, and live music also will be offered the next night. The Rebekkah Club will serve a chicken dinner July 13, followed by the traditional bed race through downtown and a dance.
Games for adults will include cow chip throwing, egg toss and bale rolling. Children's games will include the "slowest bike race in the west," a turtle race, three-legged race, egg toss, water balloon toss, and 10-inch sailboat race.
EUDORA'S annual CPA Picnic is scheduled for July 18-20 in the Eudora City Park, six miles east of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 10. Activities will include a carnival, parades and live entertainment.
The Dwane Richardson Band will perform July 19 and the July 20 lineup will feature the Red Hot Prairie Dogs and Overeasy with Mike Erwin.
The Eudora Parks and Recreation Assn. will sponsor a four-mile fun run, followed by games and contests the morning of July 20. Van tours also will carry visitors to historic sites.
LINWOOD'S annual Pioneer Festival will be July 25-27 this year with the theme, "The Spirit Lives On."
Musical entertainment will include Country Connection on July 26 and Herbie Dalton and Legacy, who will perform July 27 on a flatbed in downtown. A disc jockey will play music throughout the weekend.
The festival also will feature a carnival all three nights, a radio-controlled airplane show, historical displays, bingo, and volleyball and softball tournaments.
An 8-kilometer run, children's parade and grand parade will take place the morning of July 27.
Other attractions include a barbecue and arts and crafts booths.
Linwood is 11 miles northwest of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 32.
McLOUTH'S 34th annual Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee will be Aug. 2-4.
Each day, the McLouth Kiwanis Club will serve Old Time Threshers meals, crafters will demonstrate their turn-of-the-century skills and musicians will hold country-western jam sessions. Passenger wagons will make trips from the parking lot to the showgrounds and camping is available without electrical hookups.
On Aug. 2, Tuffy Williams and the KC Opry Show featuring three country-western artists from Nashville, Tenn., will perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The musicians that night will be Sammi Smith, Narvel Felts and Marvin Rainwater. A patio dance to the sounds of Arnie Johnson and the Midnight Special will be from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Children's activities on Aug. 3 will include a pedal power tractor pull, petting farm with exotic animals and birds, a moonwalk and train rides. The antique tractor pull also will take place that afternoon. The Honey Creek Band will play during the patio dance from 8 p.m. to midnight.
A church service will be at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3 on the ministage. The Heart of America Country-Western Dancers will perform at 2:30 p.m. on the patio, the miniature hot rod pull will be at 4 p.m., and the draft horse pull is scheduled for 8 p.m.
McLouth is 15 miles north of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 92.
SUMMER ALSO brings the traditional county fairs. The Douglas County Free Fair will be Aug. 6-10 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper, Lawrence. The Leavenworth County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 13-17 at the county fairgrounds in Tonganoxie.
The 84th annual Vinland Fair is set for Aug. 15-17 at the fairgrounds, just north of Vinland Elementary School. Vinland is about nine miles southeast of Lawrence on Douglas County Road 1055.
The fair will feature live band music each night, including The Stringers, Lonesome Hobos, and Spoon Creek. Other events include an antique tractor pull, pet parade, children's games, horseshoe pitching, ball games and the usual judging of exhibits and livestock.
WELLSVILLE Days will be held Sept. 20-22, and will focus on a theme of "American Pride."
A five-kilometer run will be held Sept. 21, followed by the children's parade and the grand parade. A street dance to live entertainment will take place that night.
The festival also will feature a carnival, tractor pull and a firefighter's contest.
Organizers expect at least 100 arts and crafts booths and food stands.
Wellsville is 25 miles southeast of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 33.
DESOTO Days is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 11-13, but could be moved to another date depending on the high school football schedule.
Organizers say the festival will focus on a childhood theme. They plan to have an old-time carnival, but still are looking for other attractions and entertainment that fit the theme.
The event will feature arts and crafts booths, children's games, a golf tournament, musical entertainment, a talent show, parade and an antique car show. A dance will be held either outside or in the VFW hall depending on the weather.
The Kicks Band and various dance groups will perform, and a slow-pitch softball tournament will be held on the Sunday of the festival.
DeSoto is 18 miles east of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 10.
BALDWIN'S 34th annual Maple Leaf Festival, which always falls on the third weekend of October, will be Oct. 19-20 this year. The celebration's theme will be "A Day of History."
History abounds in the town, located 15 miles southeast of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 56. Visitors can tour the Old Castle Museum, where the Heritage Craftsmen will demonstrate their skills and storytellers will weave tales of days gone by. The Midland Railway tourist train will make hourly trips from the restored Santa Fe Railroad Depot to "Nowhere" and festival-goers can take part in bus tours to historic sites.
The Vinland Museum of Grassroots Art and Baker University's Quayle Bible Collection will be open to the public.
Live entertainment will include a jazz musician, and the Old Castle Dancers. Square dancing will take place the night of Sept. 19 at the old Baker gymnasium.
Art shows will be featured at the Baker gazebo and in the university's Holt Gallery in Parmenter Hall.
Other attractions will include close to 300 arts and crafts booths, a children's parade and a grand parade, a quilt show at Baldwin Elementary School, an antique car show, a tennis tournament and a 10-kilometer run. The Vinland Airport also will offer airplane rides.