If You Go
The festival runs all day Sunday in Baldwin City, 20 minutes south of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 56
Train rides at the historic Sante Fe Depot on West High Street available. $8 per person
Food and craft booths
Black Jack Battlefield guided tours
Leave Fido home: no pets allowed
Full carnival all day Sunday.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on High and 8th streets and in old gym at Eighth and Chapel streets
Gospel music in the morning in the music tent
Historical site volkswalk 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Begins at the high school. 785-233-4385 for more information.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Parking for a fee is available at the Baldwin Intermediate and Primary centers with shuttle service to the festival. The Intermediate Center is west of town on U.S. Highway 56 and the Primary Center is west of town off of U.S. Highway 56, south on Lawrence Road.
Everything was in place for smooth sailing at the 56th annual Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin City on Saturday. U.S. Highway 56 reopened just in time, allowing easy travel for the thousands of vehicles streaming into the town. And once people arrived, the sunny, mild weather kept them there until the vendors began to close up shop.
After the parade Saturday morning, people grabbed some lunch at one of the dozens of food vendors, and kids navigated their way to the carnival by City Hall. Many spent most of the day roaming between the 300-odd booths, looking at everything from holiday gifts and décor to tie-dye T-shirts and homemade jewelry.
While attendees found a taste of fall in the autumn-inspired treats and rustic arts and crafts, vendors used the opportunity to build their customer base.
“Today has been great for us,” said Michele Campbell, owner of Campbell Gardens located near Centerville. “We have a reputation, and people look forward to seeing us.”
Campbell sells candied jalapeños, a recipe that has been in her family for more than 30 years. She and her husband began seriously selling the product after a successful trial run at a craft fair.
Though her jalapeños are now sold in more than 40 stores across Kansas, she continues to travel to fairs and festivals in order to get the word out.
“We tend to build up a very good relationship with our customers,” said Sean Jasperse, who works for Campbell Gardens. “Our main seller is word of mouth, and that’s how we get into stores.”
As Campbell put together samples in the back of the booth (a tortilla dipped in cream cheese topped with the candied jalapeños), Jasperse stood at the front of the booth, calling people over to try one.
“Howdy!” Jasperse would yell into the crowd. “Ma’am would you like to try a sample?”
Most of the time, he was met with skeptical looks.
“They’re surprised,” Campbell said. “They’ve never tasted a sweet jalapeño before.”
Just a block away, Cindy and Bruce Silvest of Osawatomie were having similar success at their booth selling glazed pecans and homemade jams.
They brought their booth to the Maple Leaf Festival for the first time six years ago, and the event now serves as the bookend on their season of fairs, festivals and shows.
“We have repeat customers here,” Cindy Silvest said. “They expect us.”
The Maple Leaf Festival continues tomorrow, with craft booths opening at 9 a.m.