Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Planes, Trains and Automobiles coming to Baldwin

June 16, 2005

This year's Planes, Trains and Automobiles festival in Baldwin City is expected to be a bigger and better version.

Last year's first attempt at a Father's Day weekend full of activities in and around Baldwin City basically had planes at Vinland Airport, the Midland Railway train and a car show downtown. There were a few other items, as well.

But, this time around, Planes, Trains and Automobiles organizer Rita Madl and many others have strung together a whole host of events for Saturday and Sunday in addition to those three main stays from last year. Among them are a vintage motorcycle show, a motorcycle poker run, draft horse wagon rides, horseshoe pitching contest, ice cream social and more.

"It's huge," Madl said of the two-days worth of fun. "We have more activities this year and more people involved with it. Everybody's been involved. The more people involved, the bigger it will be."

Also on the list of events are a quilt show, professional antique appraisals downtown, the Old Castle Museum will be open, there's a Victorian Tea at Three Sisters Inn, a sidewalk sale downtown both days and mini golf at the Lodge. For dads, train rides on the Midland Railway and mini golf are free.

The weekend kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with the car show downtown, quilt show at the library, motorcycle show at Antiques on the Prairie and the antique appraisals. Not far behind at 10 a.m. is a Cessna fly-in at the Vinland Airport, the Old Castle Museum opening and the sidewalk sale downtown. The usual Midland Railway schedule will be in effect, with trains leaving at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Rounding out the start times Saturday is the Victorian Tee from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Three Sisters.

Much of the schedule is the same for Sunday, with a couple of additions. The motorcycle poker run gets underway at 11 a.m. at the Lodge. The draft horse rides are from noon to 5 p.m. at the Lodge. The Old Castle Museum will be open from noon to 5 p.m. and the sidewalk sale downtown has the same hours. The ice cream social downtown is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., as is the horseshoe pitching contest.

"I think we've got our infrastructure set," said Madl. "Once you do that, it takes off. It's a good thing. It's just going to be a hell of a weekend."

The Planes, Trains and Automobiles effort is another aimed at drawing people to Baldwin. Most people think of the Maple Leaf Festival, Baker University and the Midland Railway when they think of Baldwin, but additional events such as this one and last year's first-ever Blues & BBQ event have broadened the scope.

"Tourism is critically important to many local businesses, including those who provide overnight accommodations, the Midland Railway, gift and antique stores, convenience stores and eating establishments," said Sandy Cardens, spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce. "The chamber has been extremely active this past year in encouraging visitors from other areas. We've had booths at two trade shows, including the Kansas Sampler Fest recently in Newton.

"This is also the second year for the Planes, Trains and Automobiles event on Father's Day weekend," said Cardens. "The purpose of this festival is to provide opportunities for increased sales and exposure for businesses in Baldwin City."

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