Friday, November 27, 2009

Kansas Travel - Neewollah 90th Anniversary

Who would have guessed, 90 years ago, that Independence, Kansas, a town of less than 10,000 residents, would eventually host the state's largest annual festival? Held every October to coincide with Halloween, the Neewollah celebration in Independence has become a 10-day extravaganza of food, games, and hours of dynamite nightly entertainment. In fact, this year's signature Saturday evening concert event was by Smash Mouth, with tickets starting at only $25!

People from all over the state - and the world - attend this event. And locals, including public school students, often eat lunch as they walk along the main drag or sit at one of the many picnic tables placed on the sidewalk. Dozens of food vendors offer everything from luscious Strawberry Newberg to freshly squeezed limeade or chicken on a stick.

During each evening of Neewollah, and on the weekends, downtown Independence assumes the atmosphere of an old-fashioned carnival, with no cars allowed and dozens of visitors strolling from ride to game to performance stage, where they sit in the folding chairs they've brought along for the event.

If you're looking for a new way to enjoy Kansas' fall season, Neewollah is well worth making a special trip to Southeastern Kansas, and a perfect way to celebrate Halloween. But watch out - you're likely to return again and again. 

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