Archive for Sunday, October 16, 2011

Maple Leaf Festival provides fall fun

The annual Maple Leaf Festival parade is led by a Baldwin City Police Department car as the parade heads west down High Street before turning at Sixth Street and heading north.

The annual Maple Leaf Festival parade is led by a Baldwin City Police Department car as the parade heads west down High Street before turning at Sixth Street and heading north.

October 16, 2011

Hundreds of cars poured into Baldwin City on Saturday for the annual Maple Leaf Festival — a huge tradition in this small town.

The Maple Leaf Festival started in 1958, “inspired” by Baker University professor Ivan Boyd, who suggested the third weekend of October as the “optimum time to view the changing colors” of the area’s leaves, according to the event’s website. This year boasted more than 300 registered booths and unseasonably warm weather.

The big sun and big crowds were good news for Jenny Degenhardt, who spent the day selling pumpkins from her farm outside Topeka. It was the first time she participated in the festival, and she said the $300 or so she had made by about 2 p.m. was a great help to her business.

Ardie Grimes, a Baldwin City resident who’s been coming to the festival for seven years, said that it’s more than just entertainment for those who come to the weekend-long event; she said it’s a really important event for the whole community, especially the local businesses that sell food and for the volunteer groups.

“It’s a major fundraiser for the whole year for many community-based organizations,” she said.

Kitty Glass, co-owner of Whispering Cedars Farm and Gardens, 657 E. 850 Road, has been selling mums at the festival for 13 years. In that time, the farmers, crafters and volunteers who work the festival become a part of the “close-knit community” present in Baldwin City, she said.

“We’ve become like a big family,” she said of the vendors who participate in the festival. “It’s not only a good (income) for us, but also a lot of fun.”

Comments

occupant 2 years, 6 months ago

I have attended your Maple Leaf Festival for decades and always look forward to the next year. The sights, sounds, and smells delight all of one's senses as you make your way to the next booth. This year was EXCEPTIONAL in that experience. Hats off to the person or committee who was in charge of this year's booth layout. The layout offered plenty of room to accommodate the large crowd that enjoyed the festival. Outside it was easy to move about freely without being shoulder to shoulder with a stranger. Inside still needs some work - however, it too seemed better this year. Even the Porta-A-Potties were in good shape! I just love the donuts, turkey legs, funnel cakes, jewelry, crafts - the list goes on and on. This year was the best Maple Leaf Festival I have ever attended. October 20, 2012 is already circled on next year's calendar. Keep up the good work - I will be back EVERY year.

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