Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Maple Leaf a Huge Success, Despite Early First Day Closure

 Kevin Surbaugh

The 59th annual Maple Leaf Festival began as usual with a large crowd of people from a diverse area descending upon the city of Baldwin City. However, pending storms forced the closure of the first day of the festival. Normally the Saturday events are open until 6 P.M. while Sunday the event closes at 5 P.M.
However, this year, forecasts of storms moving in the early evening forced the decision to close an hour and a half early on the first day.  With forecasts of potential wind and hail, the committee wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
Once the storms moved in, Baldwin City seemed to be spared of the hail and strong winds. Though portions, of the city, did lose power for a couple of minutes.  In the morning, the rain gauge at the Baldwin Gazette held just under three and a half inches.  Officially that rain gauge held, three and two-fifths.  According to a committee, via their Facebook page and messenger,
The vendors we spoke to said that it was a wonderful show even with the weather. They were also appreciative that we shut down early on Saturday so they had time to store their items without damage over night.  It was a wonderful weekend!!
 Something, we at the Gazette had also heard from several of the vendors.
Overall, the committee estimated that the event attracted  25,000 attendees this year. Property owners around the city, who had turned their yards, or at least part of their properties into temporary parking reported two days of full parking.  Parking lots in the area of Ninth and Jersey reported turning away people because they were full.  In their opinion, the crowds were huge.

Area parking lots range from $5-$15.
Though there were unconfirmed reports one was even charging $20.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Terri Sumner and her son Dagon enjoy a
funnel cake during Maple Leaf 2017.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Jody and Kathy Slaughter, Olathe, KS of JK Woodworking
displayed their handmade benches that convert into a table.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Jo Demeresseman, Vinland, serving roasted sweet corn at the
Vinland Methodist booth.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

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