Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Busy June in on Baldwin City’s horizon

April 26, 2007

There won't be a Battle of Black Jack sesquicentennial celebration, but there will be another historical event on Baldwin City's busy June schedule.

Once again the first month of summer will be packed with events such as Thomas the Tank Engine, city-wide garage sale, bike race and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

All of those will be returning to town in June, but there will be a new event this year. The Kansas Chautauqua will be taking over the Baker University campus June 18-24.

"This is going to be yet another big event in June," said Tony Brown, Baker University professor and co-coordinator of the event. "June is going to be like, 'yikes,' one thing after another. I think this is a great opportunity, although the timing isn't that great. It's something we don't want to pass up."

The Chautauqua is a historical festival that celebrates famous Kansans. It is a week-long festival that is highlighted by four nights of oral historical presentations, where people portray the famous Kansans.

Along with Chautauqua, several annual events will be keeping Baldwin busy during June. Thomas the Tank Engine will run off its annual event during the first two weekends, June 1-3 and June 8-10.

Thomas will be returning for its sixth year. It will take place at the Midland Railway Depot both weekends. Once again, there will be games, food, train rides and many more activities.

"It's a great event for Baldwin as a whole," Event Organizer Tim DeMott said. "We always have community groups involved and the school district gets involved. It's a fundraiser for those groups."

One minor snag for the event could be directing traffic to the depot. The renovation of the Women's Bridge on High Street between 10th and 11th streets will force visitors to take 11th Street or Lawrence Street to the depot. Parking will also be available at Baldwin High School with a school bus shuttle traveling back and forth between the depot and BHS.

"Traffic will be detoured slightly," DeMott said. "We try to take out of town guests through downtown Baldwin City to see the town. We will have to detour on 11th Street, but we are optimistic about the construction being done in time for Thomas."

Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling toll-free 866-468-7630 or logging onto For more information and directions contact the Midland Railway at 800-651-0388 or visit

Thomas won't be the only event during the first June weekend. The annual city-wide garage sale will run June 2. Participants can register for the garage sale by picking up applications at the Baldwin City Library or Baldwin City Market.

Friends of the Baldwin City Library will again be sponsoring the city-wide garage sale.

The third weekend in June will play host to the fourth-annual Planes, Trains and Automobiles. That event will take over Baldwin for one day only, June 16.

The annual celebration will begin at 8 a.m. with the vintage motorcycle show, antique car show and airplane flights. There will be several events happening throughout the day, most of which will take place downtown.

"We are looking to have planes downtown," said Stan Vickers, who is charge of the event. "That would be one of the newer factors. We will have one plane and a couple of ultra-light planes down also. We are looking to have those near the fire station."

The Father's Day speeches are back for a second straight year. They will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the production of "Grease" at 11 a.m. on the main stage.

There is a new contest this year. It is the '50s and '60s costume contest. Those awards will be given out at 4 p.m. There will be live music throughout the day with the street dance ending at midnight.

"I am looking for the event to continue growing," Vickers said. "This is a good thing for the merchants. Hopefully, the residents will be able to grasp some of these fun and adventurous activities."

The final event of the month will be the fifth-annual Baldwin City Bicycle Race. It will be here June 23-24. There will be a time trial on the morning of June 23.

Then the criterium will run during the afternoon June 23 and will have a new course. The race will run south on Eighth Street from Dearborn to Grove streets, west on Grove to 10th Street, north to Dearborn and east to Eighth. There will be races June 24 also.

"We've enjoyed having the event here," race organizer Tony Stewart said. "Last year a lot of people came out and watched the race. We get a lot of cooperation with the city council and Baker University.

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