The third weekend in October is like Christmas for shop and restaurant owners in Baldwin.
"It's just a rush, and it starts when you walk in the door," said Trina Schartz, co-owner of Espress Yourself, a coffee shop.
This weekend marks the 48th Annual Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin. Folks from miles around will flock to the rural Douglas County community in search of arts and crafts, music and kettle corn.
"There's a lot of tradition involved with the festival," said Nancy Crisp, chairwoman of the Maple Leaf Festival. "The people who started this 48 years ago had an idea of celebrating the community, like a lot of small towns. This is a celebration of the history and the community of Baldwin, and we really try to bring out those themes."
Last year, about 30,000 people attended the two-day festival in Baldwin, which has a population of about 3,400. Events actually kick off Friday evening with a carnival, tennis tournament and a performance of "The Ballad of Black Jack."
"We'll be ready for it," Schartz said. "I'm really interested to see how we do this weekend."
Preparations for this year's festival began not long after last year's ended. But in the past week, a gigantic orange banner reading "Maple Leaf Festival" was hung over the town's main downtown intersection at Eighth and High streets. Large trash cans have been strategically placed throughout the town and "no parking" signs have been posted along some streets in the quiet community.
The intersection of Eighth and High streets in Baldwin City
The festival will include about 300 arts and crafts booths; the oldest quilt show in Kansas; and live country, bluegrass and alternative music.
Schartz organized the live alternative music tent, which is in its third year at the Maple Leaf Festival. Bands playing acoustic sets and folk rock will take center stage.
"We had the country music tent, but we had a demand for other types of music," Schartz said. "Having it actually happen has been great. I'm really excited about the bands we were able to line up."
Schedule of events
Friday ¢ Carnival ¢ Maple Leaf Tennis Tournament, 6 p.m. ¢ "The Ballad of Black Jack" performance, 7 p.m. ¢ Open jam session, country music tent, 7 p.m.
Saturday ¢ 5K Run at golf course, 8 a.m. ¢ Maple Leaf Tennis Tournament, 8 a.m. ¢ Arts and crafts show, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., downtown and in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center ¢ Quilt show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center ¢ Children's parade, 10:45 a.m. ¢ Grand parade, 11 a.m. ¢ Midland Railway train rides with World War II live history demonstrations, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ¢ Free county music tent and variety music tent, noon to 5 p.m. ¢ Free performances by dancers, cheerleaders, martial artists and storytelling at Kids Zone, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. ¢ Kids Zone activities all day ¢ Carnival all day ¢ "The Ballad of Black Jack" performance, 7 p.m.
Sunday ¢ Maple Leaf Tennis Tournament, 8 a.m. ¢ Free quilt lecture, 8 a.m. ¢ Arts and crafts show, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., downtown and in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center ¢ Quilt show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center ¢ Volkswalk starting from Baldwin High School, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ¢ Country music tent all day with gospel music from 10 a.m. to noon ¢ Midland Railway train rides with World War II live history demonstrations, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ¢ "The Ballad of Black Jack" performance, 2 p.m. ¢ Variety music tent all day.