Nashville sound pairs with Tonganoxie charm
Tonganoxie Nashville or Tonganoxie?
Tonganoxie isn't quite the country music hub that Nashville claims fame to, or even Branson, Mo., but a downtown Tonganoxie music venue is a popular local spot for country music on the weekends.
Annie's Country Jubilee, at Fourth and Main, brings in area music fans weekly. The venue offers local and national acts. Johnny Lee, who's known for hits such as "Lookin' For Love" and "The Yellow Rose" and songs from John Travolta movie "Urban Cowboy," has played at Annie's Country Jubilee. And earlier this month, American Idol contestant Rachel Wicker performed along with her father, Jack Wicker.
"What's nice about our show compared to Branson is you get to see an outstanding show every Saturday night, it's always different, it's a third of the price and you get to sleep in your own bed," owner Annie Dunavin said.
In addition, Dunavin has worked with other Tonganoxie businesses, such as local restaurants and the nearby Amanna Elan bed and breakfast, 220 Main, to offer packaged discounts to visitors.
The downtown area offers restaurants and specialty shops, such as Vintage Soap and Bath and The Royale, an antique store/pawn shop.
Another attraction is the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site, 201 W. Washington St., which is open Wednesdays and Sundays. The campus includes historic area buildings - a church built in 1918 and a one-room schoolhouse built in 1916 - which were moved to and renovated at the site. A dairy barn, which houses a museum, community room and kitchen - also is at the site.
This summer, the Tonganoxie Aquatics Center will open across from the Amanna Elan on Main Street. The center will replace Chief Tonganoxie Swimming Pool, which was torn down last year after more than 80 years of use. A walking trail connects downtown to the pool, as well as scenic VFW Park - which includes an Army tank and helicopter - and Chieftain Park.
For visitors interested in seeing a local woodcarvers' work throughout the area, map brochures are available at Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce, 304 West St., (913) 845-9244.