Baldwin will be bustling this weekend.
About 30,000 people are expected to attend the town's annual Maple Leaf Festival. A full slate of activities are on tap: a 5K run, Volkswalk, parade, carnival, quilt show and more than 300 vendors selling homemade crafts and food.
"If you love to shop, this is a great place to shop. If you love to just have fun with your kids, we do have the Kids' Zone," said Donna Curran, chairwoman of the festival committee. "It's a great place to walk and see and enjoy the wonderful outdoors."
And residents said the maple leaves have turned brilliant colors just in time for the festival.
"The downtown stretch along High Street was just gorgeous when I was out yesterday," said Nancy Brown, a secretary of the event's organizing committee.
Ivan Boyd, a Baker University biology professor, inspired the event that began in 1958 as a way to celebrate the abundance of maple trees in Baldwin, which is about 15 miles south of Lawrence.
The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the downtown area. The parade, which will feature election candidates, will start at 11 a.m. today and is expected to be about 90 minutes. It will travel along High and Sixth streets.
Curran said she hoped the rainy forecast for today would go away.
National Weather Service forecasters in Topeka have predicted a 90 percent chance of precipitation today with a high temperature near 51. Sunday looks to be better, with a mostly sunny forecast and a high of 54.
"For someone who has lived here forever, it's a great reunion," Curran said. "Everybody comes back for Maple Leaf. My husband is a high school teacher, so we see a lot of past students. To me, it's like a big family reunion."
For a complete schedule of the weekend's events, visit www.mapleleaffestival.com.