This weekend's Lecompton Territorial Capital Festival is really two celebrations rolled into one.
For some, it is a celebration of the town's history as the first capital of the Kansas Territory and where a pro-slavery state constitution was written, helping to fuel the violence that led to the Civil War.
For others, it is a celebration of summer and a good excuse to get together over homemade ice cream or a game of horseshoes.
Whatever brings people out, they tend to have an awful lot of fun, said Brenda Hastert, who is on the organizing committee.
"It does all work together," she said.
One of the highlights will be live re-enactments Saturday and Sunday of the 1856 pre-Civil War battle of Fort Titus fought between groups of free state and pro-slavery men.
The re-enactment is done only every third year, said Paul Bahnmaier.
"It's very dramatic," he said.
Other historic features of this year's festival on Saturday include pioneer skills demonstrations at 9 a.m., the 2 p.m. performance of a 10-character play "Prelude to Civil War," and a dramatization of John Brown at 3 p.m.
Like every year, this year's festival will include both new events and old favorites.
New this year will be the Scenic River Road Bike Tour at 11 a.m. Saturday and L.C. Collier the magician, who performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Friday night will be family and carnival night with carnival rides provided by Ottaway Amusement Inc.
Among the annual favorites are the frog and turtle races at 8 a.m. Saturday and, of course, the parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Hastert said.
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.