An annual homage to autumn will burst out all over Baldwin this weekend.
The 37th Annual Maple Leaf Festival, planned Friday through Sunday, promises a bounty of activities and attractions and may be poised to draw one of its biggest crowds ever.
"We're optimistic we'll have one of our best years, if the weather holds out," said Bill Gray, a festival organizer.
In past years, Gray said, the event has drawn as many as 20,000 people to Baldwin, 15 miles south of Lawrence.
This year, Maple Leaf attractions are spread throughout Baldwin and even in nearby Vinland, where Flying Friends of Vinland Valley Airport will be giving airplane rides for charity.
Here's a sampling of what to expect:
- Maple Leaf parade, 11 a.m. Saturday, preceded by a children's parade at 10:45 a.m.
- Carnival, open Friday through Sunday.
- Midland Railway train rides, hourly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the depot, West High Street.
- More than 250 arts and crafts booths.
- Musical entertainment all day, both days, including country and western and bluegrass on Saturday and gospel Sunday morning, downtown.
- Concert by vocalist Dolan Ellis, Baker University graduate and founding member of the New Christy Minstrels, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Rice Auditorium.
- Maple Leaf Melodrama performances Friday through Sunday, downtown.
- Baldwin Arts Commission art show, Baker Gazebo.
- Street rod run, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Third and Ames.
- Free bus tours, Saturday and Sunday, one block west of City Hall on High Street. Rotarian tour guides describe Palmyra, Vinland, Media, Black Jack, Prairie City and other historical area sites.