Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Inaugural Dairy Days attracts a crowd

June 8, 2006

While the theme of the day Saturday centered on Basehor's dairy history, guests of Basehor Dairy Days enjoyed a lot more of what Basehor had to offer.

Natalie Johnson, dance instructor at Judy's Studio formed a huddle with her dancers Saturday afternoon for some words of encouragement before their performance in front of parents and other Dairy Days attendees.

"Full out," she said. "I want facial expressions, I want shake, I want the whole thing. Get into it."

Judy's Studio, which has been in Basehor for 34 years, focuses on jazz and hip-hop dancing and tumbling.

A wide variety of dancers were showcased from first time performers in tiny tutus to veteran high school hip hoppers. Tumblers also wowed the crowd with everything from cartwheels to back flips.

The studio, at 156th Terrace and Poplar, will have its recital June 10 at the Lied Center in Lawrence.

A striking resemblance

"Look at mommy," Lori Schulz said to her 2-year-old son, Andrew, who was posing to have his caricature drawn. "Smile, show your teeth," she said laughing.

Andrew's older sister Mercedies, 13, gave her brother a good example to follow when her likeness was drawn by caricature artist Scott Strickler minutes before, but Andrew was a little distracted by the dancers performing nearby.

A steady stream of Dairy Days attendees purchased tickets for $3 and headed over to Strickler's easel to have their portrait drawn. Strickler, who has been drawing caricatures for about seven years, said he was an artist before, but learned the craft of caricature while working at Worlds of Fun one summer in college.

Strickler works full time at an advertising agency in Kansas City, but he said he enjoys his part time gig as a caricature artist.

"Any party event, I'm there," he said.

Tantalizing treats

Duke the chocolate Lab sniffed each basket of freshly baked dog treats that the Spoiled Dog Barkery booth had to offer. After a long whiff, Duke and his owner, Lucus Tickles decided on two of the Barkery's best-selling flavors, cheese and peanut butter.

While the gourmet all-natural treats are made for canines, many customers commented they smelled good enough for human consumption.

"Humans can eat these," owner Amy Lionberger said. "But we wouldn't like them as much because they don't have sugar in them."

Lionberger created the business after her black Lab Alexandra was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She knew that along with the right treatment, Alexandra would need a healthy diet to help her get well.

Lionberger's rescued great Dane, Major, also inspired her to donate a portion of the profits from the Spoiled Dog Barkery to the Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue Inc., a non-profit organization that helps find homes for abused and neglected Great Danes in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah.

Along with several different flavors including "Refresh Your Doggie Breath," made from parsley, and "Tied to a Steak" with beef broth and vegetable oil, Lionberger also displays the all-natural ingredients next to each flavor of treat.

While Lionberger always has a free sample basket for dogs passing by her booth at outdoor shows, her four large dogs, which she lovingly calls her "little marketing team" get to taste all of her creations first.

The young company started in October 2005 and operates out of Lionberger's home in Lansing, off the Barkery's Web site, www.thespoileddogbarkery.com and through different shows she attends.

"It's going very well," Lionberger said about her business. "It started out slow, I did a couple of shows, and now it's picking up."

Lionberger also said The Spoiled Dog Barkery was a complete success with all the dogs who attended Dairy Days.

"I can't wait to go back next year," she said. "It was wonderful."

Got Milk?

Jeremy McDonnell, 9, and Jenna McDonnell, 6, along with Roman and Thaddeus Glenn, both 9, grinned from ear to ear showing off their milk mustaches as they posed for a picture with Jubilee the dairy cow.

The Leavenworth County 4-H Dairy Club charged patrons a couple of dollars to don a milk mustache, as so many celebrities have in the Got Milk? Campaign ads, and have their photo taken with Jubilee. The money raised will help the children in the club take a trip to Worlds of Fun.

"We're just beginning," parent volunteer Susie Schwinn said about the club. "We have kids here from several different clubs all over Leavenworth County."

Schwinn also said the club was not only a time for the children to interact with each other, but also a learning experience.

"All the kids get along very well," she said. "A lot of the kids are learning a lot about milk and cows. They just know you go to the store to buy it. Now they know the process from start to finish."

Colors and sounds

Brightly colored and metallic fabric shawls flashed in the sunlight as the Spotted Eagle Dance Troupe, a program at the Heart of America Indian Center, co-sponsored by Haskell Indian Nations University, performed a powwow dance for a crowd gathered in front of the stage.

Ed Smith, coordinator, said the young dancers are named after the Spotted Eagle, which is the youth version of the American Bald Eagle, a symbol of the country.

"The Spotted Eagle Dancers represent that youth," he said. "They will hopefully grow up to be leaders and symbols of our nation as well."

Smith along with two other men chanted and played a large drum while the dancers performed. The songs have been passed down orally from generation to generation.

After the first song, Smith explained each piece of clothing each dancer was wearing. The three girls wearing the brightly colored shawls were called "Fancy Shawl Dancers." Smith said they wore plain dresses underneath the shawls because the focus was on the ornate designs on the shawls.

"Shawls are considered appropriate for women to wear," he said. "It is also considered risque for them to come into the arena without it. These dancers represent butterflies."

Another girl was called a "Jingle Dancer" because of several cones that were sewn onto her dress. There were 365 copper colored cones, one to represent each day of the year, on the dress that clanked together to make noise as she danced. The cones are actually snuff can lids, which were introduced by white settlers.

"We used things in our own way," Smith said.

A small, colorful disk fashioned out of dyed porcupine quills on the "Jingle Dancer's" head was also pointed out and described as a lost art.

Very hairy

The long-awaited Basehor Brothers Beard Growing Contest judging ended in a tie Friday night. The honorary Basehor Brothers, Chuck Wilderson and Eugene Voigt, were announced co-winners and received an award from the city of Basehor.

Wilderson and Voigt, who had both been growing their beards since January, also received keys to the city and a cash prize for being the honorary Basehor brothers.

Paul Runnels, owner of Hair Mechanix and sponsor of the contest, said he would do a few things differently next year.

"Next year, we're going to start earlier, maybe in the fall," he said. "We just didn't get the word out well enough."

A history lesson

Basehor brothers Ephriam and Reuben also were immortalized Saturday in Frank Gilgin's play, "Basehor: The Musical," which tells the history of the city of Basehor.

Director John Robison, who also played Ephriam Basehor, said the first performance of the play Friday evening went very well.

"I couldn't be happier with the way it went," he said. "We told a lot of people about the history of Basehor they weren't aware of in an entertaining way."

Debbie Breuer, Dairy Days coordinator, described the first Basehor Dairy Days festival as a success.

"We were very pleased with the results," she said. "There were close to 400 or 500 people there and everybody was very surprised that our first festival went so well. I think everybody enjoyed themselves."

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