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Archive for Sunday, June 14, 1998

TONGANOXIE DAYS TAPS INTO FUN

June 14, 1998

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Thousands of people got out to enjoy sun, food and fun Saturday at Tonganoxie Days.

Halie Ketchum didn't want to leave the petting zoo.

She walked right over to get another handful of feed for the kids surrounding her, a bright pink balloon bobbing behind her.

``Mommy's calling you,'' her father said. She didn't seem to hear as she reached over to pet a tiny goat.

Sticktite Acres petting zoo, set up on the street fair during Tonganoxie Days, was filled with children and kids. Youngsters petted rabbits, sheep, goats and a turkey.

Breanne Somolik, 8, wandered to the front of the petting zoo in downtown Tonganoxie Saturday, complaining about the shin-high creatures trailing her.

``They're all following me,'' she said. She stopped to pet Gobbler, the turkey, near the gate.

``Pet his head,'' David Freeman, the animals' owner, told her. ``How does it feel? Like a rubber chicken?''

Along the street, people at dozens of stalls hawked crafts, clothes and jewelry. A line formed for bratwurst in front of the grill at Bichelmeyer's Meat and Groceries. Ballerinas, 8 to 12 years old, performed in blue floral leotards at Fourth and Bark streets.

Tonganoxie Days was in full swing Saturday. Pat Albert, president of the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce, said he expected 8,000 to 10,000 people to enjoy the festival. Events were held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Park, downtown and at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. A free shuttle ran visitors between events.

At the park, sun gleamed off paint and chrome at the car show. About 120 cars were on display.

``This is our third year,'' Albert said. ``The first year, we had 40 cars. ... We have everything from antique cars to highly modified.''

The smell of wood smoke and cooked meat wafted through the fairgrounds from 39 barbecues. The judges, including organizer Mike Kaiser, sat down to work just after noon. Kaiser normally competes in cookoffs but couldn't enter this one.

``I started this one, so now I'm sort of stuck with it,'' he said.

Events at Tonganoxie Days included a Children's Pet Parade, a motorcycle show and a street dance.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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