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Sports and games bring lots of active fun to annual Kansas Day celebration

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. — Connected to its current special exhibit, the theme for Kauffman Museum’s annual Kansas Day celebration is “Sports and Games Through the Years.”

Programming this year includes a full day of events Jan. 30. The sports theme goes with the ongoing exhibition “Root for the Home Team: Building Community through Sports.”

Celebrate Kansas Day! kicks off at 11 a.m. with a free presentation for all ages on “The Common and Quirky Mascots of Kansas” by Jordan Poland, director of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita.

The family-friendly program is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council and will be in Krehbiel Auditorium in Bethel College’s Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Poland’s presentation will be followed by a special Kansas Day lunch in the cafeteria of Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus (adjacent to Luyken Fine Arts Center). The all-you-care-to-eat lunch is $6.75 for adults (or 2 for $12) and $4 for kids ages 5–12.

Kansas Day events on the Kauffman Museum grounds begin at 1 p.m. – just across Main Street from Luyken Fine Arts Center and Schultz Student Center – and include wagon rides, popcorn popping over an open fire, make-it-and-take-it crafts, Native American teepee, silent auction, flea market, bake sale and more.

Many of the activities as well as make-it-and-take-it craft options will have a sports theme this year.

In addition to old-fashioned schoolyard games, a Celebrate Kansas Day! staple, there will be “Shootin’ Hoops” (basketball) and recumbent Fun Cycles, both in a no-cars-allowed area of the museum parking lot.

Ongoing demonstrations throughout the afternoon include a blacksmith, rope-making, corn shelling and woodsmen, continuing until 4 p.m.

Note that some activities are dependent on favorable weather.

Crafts activities include cup-and-ball toy, mini pom-poms and sports jersey puppets. There will be fitness stations, marbles, old-time table games, a sports card bucket toss and a scavenger hunt. Kids should also look for the storytelling corner.

Everyone is encouraged to wear items (shirts, hats, etc.) that showcase their favorite hometown team or teams.

Two special presentations will take place in the Kauffman Museum auditorium in the afternoon.

At 1:15 p.m., Brian Stucky, Goessel, a long-time student of history and retired art teacher at Goessel High School, will share “A Brief History of Basketball.”

At 2:15 p.m., students from Northridge and South Breeze elementary schools in Newton and Walton Rural Life Center will conduct a sport-stacking demonstration. This competitive game requires quickly and securely stacking plastic cups.

All events and activities at the museum are free and open to the public, and are supported through a North Newton Community Development Grant.

Also taking place from 1–4 p.m. inside the museum are a bake sale, flea market and silent auction of antiques and collectibles, sponsored by Friends of the Museum.

One of the most unusual items featured in the silent auction is a 1939 German-made DKW motorcycle with a 97cc engine.

Other items include a Native American stone club, a Log Cabin pattern wool quilt and a “Nine-Patch Variation” cotton quilt, a 1920s Whiting & Davis silver-mesh purse with a silverplate monogram closure, and a cast-iron mailbox bank.

Proceeds from the silent auction and flea market are deposited into the collections fund, which provides money for care of artifacts in the museum collection (conservation, restoration and acid-free storage materials for fragile textiles and papers).

For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit their 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.