Kansas will mark 157 years as a state on Jan. 29, and several museums are holding special events to celebrate the history, people, culture and industry that brought us to where we are today.
Free Kansas Day activities will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Kauffman Museum, 27th and North Main in North Newton.
"The Chisholm Trail is the theme," said Kauffman Museum's Curator of Education Andrea Andres. "2017 was the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail."
Food and drinks will be available from LeJ’s BBQ Food Truck, Mojo’s Coffee Bar and Monica’s Homemade Mexican Food Truck beginning at noon and ending at 5 p.m. in the museum's parking lot.
"We only had one food truck last year, and there was kind of a line, so we've added to it," Andres said.
Programs in the museum's auditorium will include "Bluegrass Tunes" by The Regier Family at 1:15 p.m., "Know Your Beef: How to Identify a High Quality Animal" by Harvey County Extension Agent Ryan Flaming at 2:15 p.m. and "Riding for the Brand: A History of Brands in Kansas" by Kansas Department of Agriculture Brand Recorder Kendra Frasier at 3:15 p.m.
Other indoor activities featured are a cowboy card toss, stick pony barrel racing, horse gear and tack display, storytelling corner and the chance to design your own brand.
Outdoor activities will include roping, cowpie tic-tac-toe, corn shelling, wagon rides and old-fashioned schoolyard games.
Visitors can talk with woodsmen, watch blacksmith Bill Moffet and view longhorn cattle.
"Little kids, even grandma and grandpa would have fun," Andres said. "...Families are very, very welcome."
Those coming to the Kansas Day activities at Kauffman Museum are encouraged to dress in Western wear.
"It's just for fun, to see what they come up with," Andres said.
Homemade baked goods will be sold and attendees can also bid on a silent auction of antiques and collectibles such as a souvenir Santa Fe Trail pocket knife in a custom case, 1930s doll bed cover and pillow, dime store “Made in Japan” small china doll, scrimshaw bolo ties, antique doll bed and a horse collar repurposed with a mirror. Funds from the bake sale and silent auction will be put into the museum's collection fund and used to maintain and store artifacts.
Participants will also be able to view "The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West," an exhibit that highlights the lives and work of cowboys who came through Kansas.
Life-size longhorn cattle sculptures anchor the center of the exhibit's space, while western movies featuring cowboys of the cattle drive era play on one wall panel. An interactive audio component lets visitors listen to "The Old Chisholm Trail," a song sung by Yodeling Slim Clark.
Items of cowboy wear, including a hat, chaps, boots and spurs are hung on one panel of "Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West." Graphics show the route the cattle herders followed and the order they generally rode in as they traveled northwards.
Other pieces for viewing include items commonly associated with the period, including a saddle, dime novel and stereograph viewer. A branding iron and Dutch oven can also be seen as part of the exhibit.
Kansas Day at Kauffman Museum is supported by a North Newton Community Development Grant. Bethel College and Newton Saddle Club are partners.
For more information about Kauffman Museum, call 316-283-1612 or visit www.bethelks.edu/kauffman.