The Rotary Club of Topeka has scheduled its signature event, the Rotary Freedom Festival on Saturday, July 1, 2017 in downtown Topeka. In case of rain, the event will be held at the Topeka Performing Arts facility.
FREEDOM Theme: From fighting against slavery as a free state to bringing the landmark desegregation case, Topeka is a crossroads for the nation's freedom's struggle - a concept that has changed over time as events in Topeka's history have evolved. This Rotary Freedom festival will explore and celebrate our Kansas history, our diversity and our pride in being a community where important things happened.
Planned Activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Reenactments at Constitution Hall of the dispersal of the Legislature by Col. Sumner in 1854: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
• Displays of Military Hardware (500, 600 block of Kansas Ave.)
• Children and Family Activities on Statehouse Grounds offered free by local agencies. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others provide fun, free activities for children, including face-painting, crafts and demonstrations. Make chalk drawings on the sidewalks with scenes of freedom by Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.
- Guided historical and dome tours of the Capitol available.
- Bloomerang community Art Project - adults and children will explore diversity concepts in art at 8th and Kansas, in front of the Ray Beers building.
- Run for Freedom: 0.6 mile around Capitol for kids; 5K timed races organized by Girls on the Run begins at 9 a.m. A half-mile race for those of all ages who want to walk around the Capitol on the sidewalk. Tricycles welcome!
Pop-up Park and Paddling on the Kaw
The Riverfront Authority will offer access in North Topeka to the levees on the Kansas River, as well as canoeing and picknicking and music from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can park in the lot at 4th & Kansas and catch the Circulator Bus at Constitution Hall to go to the Popup Park and return.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., musicians, storytellers and others will provide art and entertainment in the Kansas Avenue pocket parks on the south side of the river. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL LISTING)
Free evening concerts, starting at 4 p.m. in a band shell at 9th and Kansas -- Concert is free but tickets are required. CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOURS NOW. Entrances are on 8th, 10th and Kansas Avenue.
- Smooth Tones with Kevin Ross -- an R & B band that also loves jazz and rock 'n roll -- at 4 p.m.
- The Skirts -- a women's bluegrass group from Chase County -- at 5:15 p.m.
- Maria the Mexican -- an edgy, new group playing "roots rock" with a Mexican flair -- at 6:45 p.m.
- Kelley Hunt -- a nationally recognized Blues singer-songwriter -- at 8:30 p.m.
• Rotary Beer Garden starting at 4 p.m. near music
• Food Trucks on Kansas Avenue between 8th and 10th Streets.
• Mater Dei Food Court near Capitol 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Food concessions in the Rotary Pocket Park at Constitution Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Downtown Topeka
- Free admission; charges for food and drink and some activities