Ag Hall adds 5K to Santa Express events
Annual fundraising run will support historic building maintenance
There may not be snow, but locals will be dashing through Bonner Springs with Santa at the Dec. 5 Santa Express 5K in support of historic structures at the Ag Hall.
“A 5K Santa run/walk is new to the area and new to us, but we thought it was a perfect match for the tradition of visiting Santa at the Ag Hall,” said Dawn Gabel, executive director for the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame.
There is no cost to visit Santa at the Santa Express and there are no restrictions on families taking photos with their own devices.
“We specifically kept the event sponsor driven and not another cost to families,” Gabel said. “The 5K supports our living history services, but you do not have to participate in the run/walk to come out to see Santa.”
Santa Express has been around for many years at the museum dedicated to agriculture just east of Kansas Highway 7 in Bonner Springs. Santa is traditionally in the depot and after a visit, children ride the train around Farmtown USA and the pond. After the train ride this year, there are reindeer games, cookies and other treats in the barn. The one-room schoolhouse will also be open with special art experiences for the kids.
Santa will be available with the train rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 5, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 6 and 13. Events in the barn include crafts, a model train exhibit and cookies with hot chocolate for the children.
Adding the run/walk allows for some support of needed restoration on the depot.
“Our historic depot came from Morris, Kan., just east of 435 on Holiday Dr. near the Kansas River,” Gabel said. “It has held up very well but needs some siding replaced along with a new paint job.
“An annual 5K will keep the funds available for our historic buildings, and we will have a lot of fun hosting a Santa run.”
Runners will receive a red long-sleeve tee shirt with Santa suit print on the front, a finish ornament medal, and for the younger set there are reindeer antlers.
“For families, children and those worried they can’t complete a 5K, we have a one-mile Reindeer Route,” Gabel said.
The costs for the 5K are $25 pre-registration or $30 day of race. For the Reindeer Route, costs are $15 pre-registration or $20 day of race. Participants may sign up by visiting aghalloffame.com and following the prompts to the RaceDay Timing Solutions page.