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Kauffman Museum’s Kansas Day event to look at “going green”

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – At the 13th annual Kansas Day event at Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum, the focus will be on using resources in ways that are both smart and fun.

Celebrate Kansas Day! is the museum’s annual family event marking the birthday of Kansas, which turns 149 in 2010. This year’s Celebrate Kansas Day! is Saturday, Jan. 30, with the museum and all activities open free to the public from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

In keeping with the theme “Going Green in Kansas,” the popular make-it-and-take-it craft stations “will use primarily re-directed, previously used supplies,” said Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator of education. “Think: old socks, plastic bags, toilet paper rolls, plastic containers, newspapers, old maps, old calendars and cloth remnants becoming something useful or fun.”

Craft stations will offer weaving, musical instruments, newspaper pots, corn shelling, Kansas gift bags, bird feeders, plastic bag art, pinwheels, rag dolls, spool snakes, sock puppets and paper making.

Some demonstrations will center on earth-friendly topics: worm composting (vermiculture), loom rag rug-making and soap-making, which all use materials that might otherwise be considered trash. There will also be displays featuring a section of a wall of a straw bale house and a collection of wind turbine parts.

There will also be demonstrations of spoon-making, blacksmithing, log hewing, wood turning, wood splitting and Dutch oven cooking over an open fire.

The presenters of the afternoon’s special programs will all focus on “green” topics, Andres said. “At 1:45, Jesse Graber of North Newton will present ‘Homemade Music,’ using items from home to make music,” she said. “At 2:45, Enertech Inc., a Newton business that produces wind turbines, will present ‘Wind Energy in Kansas.’ And at 3:45, ventriloquist Larry Temple and friends will interview a couple from Pawnee Rock who are building a straw bale house, and then Harvey County Extension Agent Scott Eckert about vermiculture.”

As in past years, the Friends of Kauffman Museum will sponsor a bake sale, a silent auction of original art and antiques, and a flea market, which this year will feature “all re-used items,” Andres said.

Other activities include wagon rides by Country Boys Carriage, old-fashioned schoolyard games and kettle-popped popcorn.

The Voth-Unruh-Fast farmstead, with its wood-heated house, along with a barn and windmill, will be open for visits during the afternoon, as will a replica of a Plains Indian teepee, a popular exhibit from previous years.

Celebrate Kansas Day! is supported by a community development grant from the city of North Newton.

All Celebrate Kansas Day! activities will be held at Kauffman Museum, 27th and North Main in North Newton. For more information, call Kauffman Museum at 316-283-1612, e-mail or visit the Kauffman Museum Web site at

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