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Famous Kansans will star in museum’s Kansas Day celebration

January 20th, 2022

Trying out stilts at Kauffman Museum's Kansas Day celebration

Famous Kansans, and also books, will headline Kauffman Museum’s annual Kansas Day celebration for 2022, to be held Saturday afternoon, Jan. 29.

There will be food trucks in the museum parking lot at the corner of North Main and 27th Streets in North Newton beginning at 11:30 a.m. The museum and grounds open at 1 p.m. for an afternoon of special programs and activities.

Attendees are asked to park in the Thresher Stadium parking lot or the Luyken Fine Arts Center parking lot to leave the museum lot open for food trucks and handicapped parking.

Admission to the museum and all activities are free on Kansas Day. Face coverings will be required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Programs begin at 1 p.m. in the museum auditorium with Kirk Sharp, executive director of the Gordon Parks Museum at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, speaking on “Gordon Parks: Renaissance Man.”

At 2 p.m., Erin Raux, director of the Mid-America All-Indian Center in Wichita, will present “Blackbear Bosin: The Man Behind the Keeper” (referring to the iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture in downtown Wichita).

Finally, at 3 p.m., retired USD 373 librarian and local author Bev Buller will speak on “William Allen White: A Kansas Wonder.”

Seating in the auditorium will be limited, and programs will be livestreamed (see the museum website and Facebook page for details).

Special activities inside the museum will also focus on famous Kansans such as Amelia Earhart, Walter Chrysler and others.

Plus, there will be books for sale with a half-dozen different authors available to sign them: Buller with From Emporia: William Allen White; Warren Ashworth and Susan Kand of Newton with We, the House; Gretchen Eick of Wichita with Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-72, the novel Finding Duncan, and her most recent, They Met at Wounded Knee: The Eastmans’ Story; travel writer Roxie Yonkey with 100 Things to Do in Kansas Before You Die; and Chuck Regier, Kauffman Museum curator of exhibits, with a cookbook he contributed to, No Recipe, No Problem.

There will also be signed copies of Blackbear Bosin: Keeper of the Indian Spirit by David Simmonds available for sale.

In addition, from 1-4 p.m. inside the museum are a bake sale and a chance to enter a raffle for a dozen pints of Salted Creamery ice cream, with proceeds of both to benefit the Kauffman Museum Association.

Outdoor activities planned are Buffalo Chip Tic-Tac-Toe, Prairie Dog Cornhole, old-fashioned schoolyard games, a basketball game called Nothing but Naismith (another famous Kansan), rope-making, corn-grinding, horse-drawn wagon rides and the always-popular popcorn popped in a kettle over an open fire.

Bill Moffett will demonstrate blacksmithing, and Adam Akers will show his vintage washing machine collection.

The historic farmhouse will be open, with a George Washington Carver activity, and the Native American teepee will be set up for visits.

Please note that some activities will depend on good weather.

The food trucks this year are LeJ’s BBQ and Tacos Ana’s of Newton and Ken N Barbie’z Rollin Diner from Wichita, plus coffee, hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls for sale.

Kauffman Museum’s 2022 Celebrate Kansas Day! partners are the City of North Newton, Bethel College and the Newton Public Library.

For more information about Kauffman Museum, including regular hours and how to become a museum member, visit its website,, or Facebook page.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.