Tonganoxie After nearly a month of repairs and recovery from last month's tornado, Tonganoxie residents could use a little diversion.
Luckily, the annual Tonganoxie Days festival starts this morning.
"I think everyone is ready to have a day to relax and enjoy," said Connie Torneden, chair of the Tonganoxie Days Committee.
The 15th annual festival kicks off at 8 a.m. with a 10K/5K run and a 5K fun walk, sponsored by the town's Friends of the Library. The registration fee is $17 per entry or $28 per couple. The run and walk will start at the library, Third and Bury streets.
At 9 a.m., Torneden said, several vendors will begin selling various homemade arts and crafts items and food until 4 p.m. downtown.
"We've got everything from ceramics to crochet and cedar boxes," she said. "You name it, you'll probably find it."
New to this year's Tonganoxie Days are sand volleyball tournaments. They're scheduled to start at 9 a.m. in the city park on Main Street.
Visitors also can hop on a miniature train, made by a man in Mount Vernon, Mo., and ride through downtown.
"Little kids and big kids really seem to enjoy it," Torneden said.
If good barbecue tempts your taste buds, you can stop by the fourth annual Leavenworth County State Barbecue Championship, said Jim Gambrill, one of the contest's organizers.
At least 16 entrants will be smoking ribs, chicken, beef brisket and pork shoulder, which are the contest's four categories, he said. The judging begins at noon. Samples are available, and there also will be barbecued food for sale.