Archive for Thursday, August 27, 2009

Celebrating Tiblow Days

August 27, 2009

Believe it or not, another year has rolled by and it is time for the Tiblow Days celebration in Bonner Springs. The celebration is one of the highlights of the year in the community and provides entertainment opportunities for persons of all ages.

I will admit that I’m a bit prejudiced since I was general chairperson for 20 years and parade chairperson for 21 years. For me it was a labor of love, however, it was probably the least favorite time of year for my employees at the Chieftain who were besieged with phone calls.

This year marks a couple of anniversaries for the celebration. In 1978, the Bonner Springs City Council created the Marion Vaughn Community Service award and presented the first award to Vaughn. The following year, 1979, the award was given to Ken Tewell, who was superintendent of schools and remains a volunteer for the community. At that time, the award was presented at the mayor’s luncheon on Saturday. In the mid-1980s, the event was moved to Thursday night and was the first event of the Tiblow Days celebration.

I was discussing this recently when a young person asked: “Who was Marion Vaughn?” Yes, time does dim memories and I quickly explained that Marion Vaughn was a long-time publisher of the Chieftain newspaper and served as mayor of Bonner Springs after he retired. He started the Marion Vaughn Christmas Fund, which has evolved into Vaughn-Trent Community Services, Inc. Vaughndale was also named in his honor. He continued his community service for his entire life and died on Aug. 4, 1979.

The plaque states: “Presented in honor of outstanding leadership and personal contribution to the progress and betterment of the city of Bonner Springs, Kan., all exemplifying the life of Marion W. Vaughn, a truly unique individual whose love for the community and compassion for the people in it greatly surpassed the capabilities of any ordinary man.”

The winner should be a resident of Bonner Springs and not a city employee or hold a city office. Until this year, the winner’s name was a secret until the presentation, however, it was determined to make the announcement ahead of time so that friends and family can attend the event.

Dave Pierce, this year’s winner, certainly continues that tradition. He will receive the award at a banquet tonight at the Bonner Springs High School cafeteria. The dinner is jointly sponsored by the city and the Bonner Springs Rotary Club.

For all of its success, Tiblow Days might have died three decades ago. This year is the 30th anniversary of the sponsorship of Tiblow Days by the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce.

Tiblow Days was started in the 1960s by the Bonner Springs Jaycees. Of course, the name of the celebration was in honor of Henry Tiblow, the Delaware Indian, who was one of the founders of the community. I might add that there were fall celebrations in Bonner Springs that flourished and then faded. By 1979, the Jaycees did not have sufficient membership to continue sponsoring the event.

The Chamber of Commerce stepped in and accepted the challenge of sponsoring the event and in 1979 it was scheduled for Sept. 8. Bob Osburn, chamber president, was chairman of the event, which featured the mayor’s luncheon at the Commercial State Bank, auction, craft show, white elephant and bake sale and a parade.

The Chamber Auxiliary conducted the white elephant sale and there was a consignment auction with Bud Leininger and Howard Miller serving as auctioneers. Jack Rehm was the clerk for the fundraising event.

The flea market and craft sale was successful. Booth space was rented to individuals for $10 for a single space and $20 for a double space. The parade, headed by Ed Forbach, featured a variety of floats and Kansas Honey Queen Charlotte Brame. As is the case today, the top entry in the parade received the mayor’s trophy presented by Mayor Al Ramirez.

Certainly, the celebration has grown dramatically over the past three decades. One of the major reasons for its success is its community support. Groups and organizations in Bonner Springs and surrounding communities take part in the celebration. In addition, Tiblow Days brings people together to have fun and enjoy a true community event. Literally hundreds of volunteers work each year to make Tiblow Days a success.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this weekend and the Chamber of Commerce will have another successful celebration.


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