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A variety of activities for all ages sponsored by Park and Recreation District During Sept. 17 Johnson County Festival
POSTED: 09/07/2005
Johnson County’s Sesquicentennial Celebration and Community Festival will be held on Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Theatre in the Park area of Shawnee Mission Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee. The event, with free admission, also will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The District will sponsor a variety of activities throughout the festival site, including entertainment, children’s activities, and historical re-enactments.

Interpretive staff from Ernie Miller Nature Center will set up camp in a teepee near the festival entrance which will feature living history programs, including presentations on Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Other interpretive staff members will have animals from the nature center which visitors can see up close and learn about at a separate booth on the rim of the theater bowl.
At 11 a.m. and again at 3 p.m., interpretive staff members will also present “Enchanted Tales” on the Kids Stage.

For the kids, there will be a Bitty Basketball Shootout and a Challenger Soccer arena. In conjunction with the annual Kansas City Senior Games, there will also be a Washers demo, a sport similar to horseshoes which is slated to be part of the Games beginning in 2006. The Children’s Services Department will emphasize the event’s birthday theme by giving away balloons and sponsoring a crafts table at which participants can decorate crowns and bags.

Also planned are aquatic safety demonstrations, an informational scavenger hunt sponsored by the District’s Corporate and Community Wellness Department, an Interactive Fitness Challenge presented by the Athletic Training Center, and a tree planting information booth and giveaway of more than 900 seedlings of 11 varieties of trees.
The closing ceremony at 4 p.m. will include a Monarch Butterfly Release near the main stage sponsored by the not-for-profit organization Friends for Parks & Recreation.

Also in conjunction with the Community Festival, at 10 a.m. the Great Outdoor Challenge will come to a completion at a finish line located near the vintage baseball field. For this first-ever event, teams of two will run a five-mile course through the diverse terrain of Shawnee Mission Park.

Contact Community Relations Manager Randy Knight (913) 894-3323 for more information about Park and Recreation sponsored activities.
In addition, the 150th Celebration will showcase booths of community organizations offering activities, souvenirs, and information from more than 50 local not-for-profit organizations, historic groups, and local governments. More information about the Community Festival is available on the county’s website or by calling (913) 715-0441.

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