Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Summer Baldwin events going well

June 24, 2004

One of those old adages is that bad news comes in threes. I'll have to admit that I buy into that one, but I'm not so sure it doesn't also hold true with good news, too.

As Baldwin City goes full swing into summertime, we've witnessed three top-notch good news events in the past weeks. First was the Baldwin City Community Theatre's summer play, "Big River." It was another in a long line of successes on the stage.

This past weekend, Baldwin -- and, especially, downtown -- saw two more big successes for community events. First was Friday night's first Art Walk of the year from the Baldwin Community Arts Council. Then, on Saturday, was the first-ever Planes, Trains and Automobiles festival which proved to be a pleasant surprise.

Art Walk packed the downtown on Friday, with people going everywhere to take in the art on display, as well as a great performance by the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band. The band includes Baldwin's Matt Kirby and Lawrence Journal-World chief photographer Mike Yoder. I'd never seen them perform before and they were really good. There was an exceptional turnout for the evening, but Art Walk always seems to do that.

The unknown was Planes, Trains and Automobiles. With a first-time effort, you never know what's going to happen. It's safe to say, though, it was a big success. Even better than that is it sure shows the potential for another draw to Baldwin, which is good for everyone involved.

All three main venues of the Planes, Trains and Automobiles were bustling Saturday. I've never seen so many people at the Vinland Airport. It's always fun to watch whatever airship is taking off or landing at the grass strip north of town.

The Midland Depot was full of visitors, too. As usual, it was a crowd that included young and old alike. Sometimes we take Midland for granted since it's right in our backyard, but people come from miles away every weekend for the chance to see and ride on trains from the past. Saturday was no exception.

In downtown Baldwin, there were the automobiles of the famed trio. The car show had a little bit of everything and was very interesting. The variety of cars and trucks shown provided something for everyone's fancy along those lines.

I was especially pleased with the number of Baldwin entries in the show. While I'd seen many of those cars and trucks around town, there were several I hadn't seen. They put on a real good show and there were plenty of locals who took the stroll downtown to look at the muscle cars and other vehicles.

There were other venues, too, such as the outdoor show at the Lodge. The whole weekend was "sold" as a Father's Day event and the outdoor show was one of the best on those lines. It was also going on Sunday and, of course, that was actually Father's Day.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event and put the lion's share of work into it. There was much learned from the first effort and everyone sees where the festival can be improved and expanded. It has the potential to become another major draw to Baldwin at a different time and is a very good thing.

Of course, summer just got started. There are numerous other events on down the line. Fourth of July is just around the corner and the Citizens for Baldwin City are again planning to put on another community good time for that.

There will be the July Art Walk, of course, and it will be different this year. Then, of course, there's what's become a major event for Baldwin -- Thomas the Tank Engine. This year's version is in July. Last year it was August and the inaugural year had June dates.

There's plenty to do in Baldwin during the summer. All you have to do is look.

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