Community festival well worth small inconveniences
This week will be a busy, hectic time in Bonner Springs, climaxing with the annual Tiblow Days celebration, which will be held Thursday through Saturday. It is a great event and brings big crowds to Bonner Springs for a variety of events ranging from a barbecue contest, Mayor’s Banquet and craft booths to the annual parade on Saturday.
First, let me point out that Tiblow Days brings a lot of traffic to the city and there will be parking problems. During my 21 years as chairman, the complaints that I heard most often were about traffic and parking problems. Well, depending on the year, we also got gripes about the hot weather.
There isn’t a whole lot that can be done about traffic congestion. I have always told people who need to leave town to either depart very early or find an alternate route. Remember that the Tiblow Trot starts at 7 a.m., and there will be contestants running on various streets in town. Things really get locked down with the parade at 9:30 a.m. My suggestion is to study the schedule and do some advance planning.
Probably the funniest complaint I ever got was in the mid-1990s as we were lining up the parade. A very angry woman demanded to get through and not take a detour. When she was told this was impossible, she fumed, “When did they start this?” I told her about 35 or 40 years ago, and her retort was that she’d lived here for 20 years and never heard about. My opinion is that this happens only once a year, so relax and enjoy the celebration.
I’ve answered this many times before, but Tiblow Days is sponsored by the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce. The Jaycees started it in the 1960s, and when they folded in 1979, the chamber accepted the responsibility. The date each year is the weekend ahead of Labor Day. The date was set during a meeting of area communities with July, August and September events to try to prevent duplication of activities.
We’ve had had some blistering heat but have never had to postpone or cancel the event. A lot of folks thought it should be in September, but if you remember when the Edwardsville Autumnfest was in the fall, the weather caused a couple of cancellations.
One of the major changes this year is that the Mayor’s Banquet will be on Friday. Originally, it was a luncheon, but was moved to the Thursday evening in the 1980s, which allowed more people to attend. Reading The Chieftain for the 25 years ago column, I noted that that year we had John Wathan, Royals’ manager, as the speaker. I believe that was the last year it was a noon event, since a lot of folks wanted to hear Wathan speak and were busy working at booths.
The Bonner Springs City Band Concert this year will be at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. In the past few years, it has been on Friday night. I wonder how many people remember when the concerts were on Saturday afternoons?
I still get questions about the name. The event is to honor one of the city’s founders, Henry Tiblow, who was quite a leader when Bonner Springs was a Delaware Indian community.
I really believe that Tiblow Days is one of the most successful events in the area. It is managed by volunteers, and the entire community has become part of the event. To have a successful celebration it takes dedicated effort on the part of many individuals and organizations.
Certainly, the city can be proud of Tiblow Days, and I sincerely hope that you come out and attend the celebration.