Cowley County is rich with community events to attend all year round. Winfield’s Kanza Days, Horsefeathers and Applesauce Community Theatre presentations of well known plays featuring local talent, the Possum Run in Cambridge, not to mention the Fall Festival in Udall and the Arkalalah Festival, Prairiefest and Last Run Car Show in Arkansas City are just a sampling of what’s available.

graphicJanuary-February

Eagle Viewing at the Chaplin Nature Center
Take a hike down to the river, search for Bald Eagles and enjoy the Chaplin Nature Center in winter. Bring your own binoculars and they will provide the spotting scopes. Call ahead to the Nature Center to ensure a place in the group.

The Annual Farmer/Rancher Appreciation Day and Farm Show Showcases the agricultural community in Cowley County with displays, booths, demonstrations, music, drawings, and a BBQ dinner. This event is co-sponsored by the Winfield and Arkansas City Area Chambers of Commerce.

Chocolate Festival
The Denton Art Center sponsors a Chocolate Bakeoff and Valentine Contest each year to tempt the chocolate-lover’s appetite. Great ideas for valentine gifts and recipes. Contact the Denton Art Center for times and reservations.

March

Winfield Soroptimist Annual Antique Show and Auction (1st weekend in March-alternate years).

April

The Annual Health & Safety Fair
Sponsored by the Arkansas City Fire Department, the Health and Safety Fair offers the community education, information, and demonstrations about health issues and safety for the whole family. Kids can see the fire trucks, and talk to the firefighters. Food and giveaways make this a fun and educational time for everyone.

Cherokee Strip Region A.A.C.A. Car Show & Swap Meet
Held at the Cowley County Fairgrounds. Car show featuring antique vehicles up to 1968 models. One of the largest swap meets in the area.

Stone Bridges of Cowley County Tour/Spring Tour
Guided tour of the historic stone bridges in the area. Bus leaves from the Denton Art Center in Arkansas City in the morning, stops for a chuckwagon lunch, and ends in the early afternoon back at the Art Center. There are many opportunities for photographs and sightseeing. Advance reservations required.

May

KANZA Days
This three-day event, held the first full weekend in May, is Winfield’s way of celebrating the unique history of the city and of Kansas. A community-wide event, KANZA days are made possible through the community at large. All events are sponsored by Winfield’s many civic groups, businesses, and individuals. Through the organization efforts of the KANZA committee, the three-day weekend, Friday through Sunday, is full of events and activities for the entire family: crafts, games, parade, food, musical events, entertainment, pageants, and other cultural events. (1st full weekend in May).

Kansas Voices Readings
Held in conjunction with KANZA Days, this event highlights literary works by Kansas residents. Sponsored by Winfield Arts and Humanities Council.

graphicJune

Arkansas City Band Concerts
Free band concerts are given at the Wilson Park Rotunda each Thursday evening for eight weeks of the summer. The City Band has been in existence since 1871, entertaining the Ark City community for 131 years.

Winfield City Band Concerts
Free community concerts are presented at Baden Square every Friday evening during the months of June and July. The Winfield City Band was formed in 1895 and has been performing in the Winfield community continuously ever since. It is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the state of Kansas.

Horsefeathers and Applesauce Dinner Theatre
"The best dang dinner theatre this side of the Mississippi!" Fun, family entertainment, each season includes two musicals and two plays. (Thursday-Sunday performances thru June and July).

Special Olympics Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament
This tournament is held annually at Quail Ridge Golf Course as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Kansas. (3rd weekend in June).

MAYB Basketball Tournament
(Various sites throughout Cowley County).
The Mid-America Youth Basketball Tournament is a multi-state, high-quality youth basketball program for girls and boys in the 5th through 12th grades. Pool-type play guarantees each team a minimum of five games. Team and individual awards are presented to the first through third place finishers. With teams from Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arkansas, this tournament draws over 2,000 players, coaches, parents and friends to Arkansas City and Winfield.

PrairieFest... An Art Festival and A Music Festival
Held in Arkansas City at Wilson Park and other sites around town. PrairieFest is two festivals in one. Initiated in 1963 and formerly known as the River Valley Arts Festival, the art festival is one of the oldest events of its kind in the state of Kansas. It provides a showcase for visual artists, craftsmen, performing artists, and encourages the creative talents of youth. Featuring approximately 100 juried artists, there is also a variety of entertainment, food vendors, and creative activities for children of all ages. Now held in conjunction with the arts festival, the former Flint Hills Music Festival, provides opportunities for participants to attend presentations featuring internationally and nationally-recognized performing artists who will give concerts at night on the weekend and throughout the previous week. A variety of beautiful, acoustical settings and outdoor venues are utilized for the concerts. This festival is unique to the region, as it provides high-quality music artists (either jazz, classical, blues, ethnic, or a combination of each) all performing in a single week. (First full weekend in June).

Maverick Rodeo
Sponsored by the local Maverick Rodeo Club, this IPRA-sanctioned event promises all the excitement of larger rodeos.

July

Annual City-wide Fireworks
Displays are held in Arkansas City and in Winfield, KS (July 4th).

Wheatland Jam
Held at the Winfield Fairgrounds, this musical event features live bands from the 70’s & 80’s. (3rd weekend in July).

Kansas Special Olympic Softball Tournament (Last weekend in July).

Dexter Barbeque
A community celebration held each summer, complete with BBQ, games, rodeo and family fun.

Eastern Cowley County Fair & Rodeo At Burden.

graphicAugust

Cowley County Fair
At the Fairgrounds in Winfield. Livestock shows, 4-H displays, merchant displays, live entertainment, grandstand shows, and the annual carnival. (1st weekend in August).

Possum Run in Cambridge
Fun for the entire family, held annually.

Demolition Derby
Sponsored by the local Maverick Rodeo Club, All Pro and Wix, this annual event brings in some of the top demo car builders in the area. Exciting demo derby action is followed by Powder Puff (Ladies) after the main event. Held at the Maverick Arena, south of Arkansas City.

Maverick Rodeo
Sponsored by the local Maverick Rodeo Club, this IPRA-sanctioned event promises all the excitement of larger rodeos. Local and visiting cowboys and cowgirls compete for prizes, while the clowns entertain the crowd. Held at the Maverick Arena, south of Arkansas City.

Truett & Osborn Bike Drags
Held annually, in August, at the Mid-America Dragway, west of Arkansas City on Highway 166. Sponsored by the Wichita bike shop, a variety of motorcycle races and eliminations are featured.

WAHC Annual Toy, Doll, Bear, and More Show
This unique show has a variety of category entries including favorite, antique, international, cloth, collectible, and handmade. Sponsored by the Winfield Arts & Humanities Council. (3rd Saturday in August).

K&O Steam and Gas Engine Show
Features antique tractors, steam and gas engines, along with a parade and other activities for the enthusiast. Attractions include: Tractor Pull, Threshing, Hay Baling, Saw Milling, Shingle Making, Buzz Sawing, an Antique Auction, and an Arts & Crafts Show. (3rd weekend in August).

September

Labor Day Festival in Atlanta
A community celebration held each year with fun, food, and crafts for the entire family.

Cowley County Multi-Cultural Festival in Arkansas City An opportunity for the community to share in the diversity of our ethnic heritage. Highlights include a community picnic and various ethnic performances which in the past have included bloodless bullfights, and dance performances of varying ethnic backgrounds.

Walnut Valley Festival at the Cowley County Fairgrounds For one fall week, Winfield is the center of the bluegrass world as thousands of music lovers from all over the world converge on the fairgrounds. Featuring the best in bluegrass and acoustical musicians. Parking lot and campground picking allows visitors to play with some of the best known musicians in the field. Crafts are on display from over 100 exhibitors. (3rd weekend in September).

The Last Run Car Show
Hosted since 1976 by the Ark City Tumbleweeds, the Last Run Car Show is a tradition on the fourth weekend of September. It is the largest car show put on by an individual car club in Kansas and reached a record number of over 1,000 entries for the 25th Anniversary in 2000. Added events include games, swap meet, craft show, model car contest, flame-thrower contest, Friday night entertainment, and Saturday evening "Rock ‘n Roll" dance. Nostalgia drags are on Sunday at the Mid-America Dragway, west of Arkansas City.

October

Arkalalah
An annual fall festival held the last weekend of October since 1928 in Arkansas City. Drawing crowds as large as 30,000 people into town for the week-long event. The highlight of this event is the Friday evening crowning of Queen Alalah. Saturday festivities get into full swing with the street games, marching band contest, Arkalalah Run and concessions. The parade lasts around two hours and begins at 2 p.m. Throughout the festival there is a wide range of family activities including a carnival, a craft show, and a "Parade of Lights." Arkalalah was started in the Depression as a means of lifting up local spirit and its name comes from the "Ark" in Arkansas City and "alalah," believed to be an Indian word for "Good Times."

All Nations Native American Pow-Wow
Cowley County has the 10th-largest Native American population in Kansas. This powwow offers a chance for them to take up traditions once again and to meet with friends and participate in the culture that has sustained their people for generations. For others, it is a chance to sample such traditional foods as fry bread and Indian tacos, buy Indian arts and crafts, and experience some of the excitement and pride of the Native American culture. Large money prizes attract the best Native American dancers.

Winfield’s Art in the Park
This event features the exhibition and sale of original art works of local and area artists. Food booths, entertainment and children’s activities make it a fun day for all. Sponsored by Winfield Arts & Humanities Council. (1st Saturday in October).

Winfield Community Theater
Performances featuring local talent and well-known plays. (October through April).

Stone Bridges of Cowley County Tour — Fall Tour
Guided tour of the historic stone bridges in the area. Bus leaves from the Denton Art Center in Arkansas City in the morning, stops for a chuckwagon lunch, and ends in the early afternoon back at the Art Center. There are many opportunities for photographs and sightseeing. Advance reservations required.

Couples Golf Tournament
Held at Quail Ridge and Winfield Country Club Courses; two-day event is sponsored by Winfield Convention & Tourism (first weekend in October).

Fall Festival in Udall
Delicious food, a medallion hunt, and games are the highlight of the festival held each fall.

November-December

Winfield’s Isle of Lights
Hundreds of thousands of bright, twinkling lights greet visitors as they drive through this mile-long holiday extravaganza held annually at Island Park. Last year the Isle of Lights attracted over 20,000 carloads of visitors. (The hours are from 6:00 to 10:00 nightly and this event opens yearly on the third Sunday in November and remains open thru December 30th).

Xi Alpha Upsilon Craft Show in Arkansas City
Held in mid-November at the Agri-Business Building, this fair is the perfect opportunity to purchase those unique holiday gifts.

Visions of Childhood Doll & Miniature Show
Beginning in 1994, the Arkansas City Area Arts Council has hosted the "Visions of Childhood" event as a benefit for the fine arts program at Cowley County Community College. In cooperation with the College Endowment Association, the project is centered around an exhibit and tea room. Original and kit designs of miniature houses and other types of dwellings will be shown along with collectible and individually created dolls and other miniatures. New to the show is the round robin workshop providing "hands on" activities and sharing ideas for working with miniatures.

 

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