Kansas' birthday is right around the corner, officially to be celebrated on Jan. 29. North Newton's Kauffman Museum will get the party started a little early, though, with its annual Kansas Day festivities to be held this weekend. Here are a few things to look forward to:
1) Keeping with the theme
As part of the celebration, the museum will highlight its year-long focus on collections — with a number of presenters set to speak Jan. 26 about their personally-curated set of items.
Starting off the day, Keil Hileman — a history teacher at Monticello Trails Middle School in Shawnee — will lead a program at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel College campus. Hileman will present "Pieces of the Past — Hands-on History," highlighting the collection of artifacts he utilizes in his classroom that has gained him national recognition.
Other collections to be highlighted include those of the instrumental variety, with Bethel College professor emeritus of music Karen Bauman Schlabaugh presenting "Quirky to Sublime: Unique Musical Treasures from Kauffman Museum" at 1:15 p.m. on the museum grounds. Schlabaugh will also perform on the museum's one-of-a-kind Teschemacher-Deknatel-van der Smissen parlor organ as part of her program. Additionally, retired Newton teacher Raymond Olais will share about being a "Sci-Fi Enthusiast and Collector" at 2:15 p.m. at the museum, while collections of vehicles (tractors, trucks, cars, etc.), cookie cutters, Legos, and more will be on display throughout the day.
2) 'Stump the Chumps'
Visitors are invited to bring what they have collected as part of an interactive session that will be going on in the afternoon, with "Stump the Chumps Antiques Edition" to start at 3:15 p.m.
Retired Kauffman Museum Director Rachel Pannabecker, along with Jerry and Leann Toews of Goessel (long-time antiques collectors and enthusiasts) will try to identify and provide the provenance for items from the audience.
3) The old standards
Favorite activities from years past will be featured as well as part of the celebration, including a Native American teepee display, blacksmithing demonstrations by Bill Moffet, corn shelling, wagon rides from Country Boys Carriage, old-fashioned schoolyard games, a chance to visit the restored farmhouse and more. There will also be rope making, a branding station, a restored band organ and a pedal tractor race course.
If you go
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 26.
Where: Kauffman Museum and Krehbiel Auditorium, Bethel College campus, North Newton.
How much: Free.