Plans coming together for Chingawassa Days festival





The musical lineup for this year?s Chingawassa Days concerts on Saturday evening is (from top to bottom) featured band Starship, Last Child (an Aerosmith tribute band) and 7 Bridges Road (a Eagles tribute band).

Another top performing band, two tribute bands, the debut of Tug-O-War tournament and a special speaker for the community church service are only some of the new games and activities planned for this weekend?s Chingawassa Days festival in Marion.

Headlining Saturday?s entertainment is rock band Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, who was the main vocalist for Jefferson Starship in the early 1980s. Some of Thomas and the bands chart-topping songs included ?We Built This City,? and ?Jane.?

According to information about the group, Thomas revamped his band and show to include hits from the current band, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.

Mike Powers, chairman of Chingawassa committee, said Starship will deliver a show that includes all the hit songs and classics. The group is set to take the stage at 9 p.m.

Friday night?s headliner groups starting at 7 p.m. are 7 Bridges Road, an Eagles tribute band, followed by Last Child, an Aerosmith tribute band.

In addition to Friday and Saturday night entertainment, Lisa Vondenkamp, also on the committee, said there will be old favorites and some new events this year.

?One new event will be the Tug-O-War tournament starting at 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the sandpit,? she said. ?We haven?t done this before and it will require a three-person team.?

Money prizes, she said, will be awarded.

Another new event is the Rhino Sculpting Contest using clay, she said.

?The clay is from Flinthills Clay Works,? Vondenkamp said, ?and it will be starting also at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.? This event is sponsored by Tampa State Bank.

A frozen T-shirt contest is also new this year, she said.

?We will be taking T-shirts and wetting them down, wadding them up into balls and then putting them into a freezer,? she said.

Contestants will need to thaw their T-shirt and the first one to put it on is the winner.

?We will still have the petting zoo again,? Vondenkamp said, ?and Rock-Paper-Scissors, Heads or Tails, Bingo and Texas Hold ?Em.

?People absolutely love these games,? she said.

Margo Yates, Marion Chamber of Commerce director and committee member, said other new features at the 16th annual event will include the Sunflower Stompers of McPherson performing wearing their clogs; Bob Phillips of Wichita entertaining everyone with magic and balloon art and the Wild Women of the Frontier, who will be on Main Street at 9 a.m. Saturday.

For those who want to do some racing, Marion?s Amazing Race, sponsored by Marion Historical Museum and Tampa State Bank, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

First prize is $100; second, $75; and third, $50. For more information about the race, call Gary Ewert, 620-382-3498.

Bed races begin also at 9 a.m., but prior to that, the Kiwanis Club is serving a pancake feed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Case & Son Rhino Run?s 5K and 2-mile run/walk starts at 8 a.m.with registration.

Vondenkamp said a community barbecue is Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. with an ice cream social at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by St. Luke Hospital.

?The event is open to anyone with a Chingawassa Days button,? she said.

The Sunday Community Church Service will feature Joe White of Topeka at 10:30 a.m. in the Marion High School Performing Arts Center.

White was in Marion April 25 to talk with students, parents and community members about the consequences of underage drinking.

In his presentation, White recounts the chilling events leading up to what happened to him when he decided to drink and jump out of a moving car.

The program is sponsored by the Marion Ministerial Alliance, who asked White to return to Marion and for the Chingawassa Days Sunday service.

This year?s committee members include Yates, Powers, Vondenkamp, Paige Brunner, Dave Crofoot, Darla Gore, Clayton Garnica, Davey Hett, Misty Hett, Chris Meierhoff, Jandee Moore, Jessie Nikkel, Christian Pedersen and Danny Sherbert.

For a full schedule of events for Chingawassa Days go to

Chingawassa Days admission buttons went on sale in May. Between now and this weekend, buttons will cost $35 at the gate and can be purchased with a credit card by calling 620-382-3425.

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