Baldwin residents are hoping the city's famous maple trees will display their brilliant fall colors in time for the 34th annual Maple Leaf Festival, less than three weeks away.
The celebration will be Oct. 19 and 20, and organizers have planned a full slate of events, exhibits and activities.
The Maple Leaf Parade, focused on the theme "A Page From History Past and Present," will open the festival at 11 a.m. Oct. 19. Floats that best depict the theme will win prize money.
More than 250 arts and crafts, food, novelty and amusement booths will line the downtown area streets and fill the school gym at Eighth and Chapel. The festival also boasts the oldest annual quilt show in Kansas, with quilts on display in the grade school at Sixth and Chapel. Quilters also will demonstrate their craft.
THE WEEKEND'S entertainment will include country and bluegrass bands, which will perform in the big tent downtown. The Olathe Army Reserve Band will march in the parade and also play in concert, and Max Morath, a popular ragtime pianist, will play "Living a Ragtime Life."
The Old Castle Dancers and the Mid-America Country Western Dancers also are scheduled to perform. Heritage craftsmen will demonstrate their work and storytellers will be on hand at the Old Castle Museum complex, Seventh and Freemont.
Breakfast on the Prairie, hosted by the Black Jack Historical Society, will be held both mornings of the festival two miles east of Baldwin. The whole hog sausage breakfast also will feature walking tours to the historic Black Jack spring and battle sites along with live musical entertainment.
THE MIDLAND Railway will provide train rides on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day from the historic Santa Fe Depot for a five-mile ride to "Nowhere."
For the sports-minded, there will be a 10-kilometer run on Oct. 19, and the annual Laury Tennis Tournament both days at the Baker University courts.
The festival also will feature a carnival and free bus tours to area historical sites. Airplane rides by the Jayhawk Chapter 40-8 also will be available at the Vinland Airport.