A Timeline of Historic Delano
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Historic Delano was founded in 2007 to put on a St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Since then, we have organized or assisted with dozens of events bringing thousands of people to Delano.
Here is a retrospective of the journey.
Nancy has these visions... No, not that sort of visions! She sees possibilities in situations and finds ways to make things happen. Just beware whenever you hear "I have this vision..."
It all started with a simple parade...
The St. Patrick's Parade is what started it all. As we started planning the 2016 parade it started to set in - we've been doing this for 10 years! Some of our events have done really well, while others have only lasted a year or two. We have also been able to help other groups get events started. Over the years, Historic Delano has become known for great events.
In January we attended a meeting sponsored by Wichita Parks and Recreation about a new city-wide event called Open Streets. The concept is to close 4-6 miles of a major street through town for a giant block party and has been going on in other major cities for several years. Wichita's event will be called Open Streets ICT and is scheduled for September of 2017. They wanted Delano to be involved and they wanted to be sure not to conflict with our Delano Fall Fair scheduled for the first weekend in October 2017. Nice!
In late 2014 we were approached by Visit Wichita to create an event for the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail in 2017. Staying true to Delano standards, we took it upon ourselves to organize an entire year of events looking at the Chisholm Trail from all aspects. The result was over a dozen events at multiple venues celebrating what the Chisholm Trail means to Wichita.
Throughout the year we spent a lot of time on Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary stuff. We had meetings with the Tri-state group and the Kansas group and organized a Sedgwick County group. CT-150 Sedgwick County was put in charge of acquiring commemorative souvenirs for the Kansas group. We also commissioned a book on the Chisholm Trail and the origins of Wichita as well as a map of all of the Chisholm Trail markers in Kansas.
In October the Delano Senior Center hosted a lecture on the Chisholm Trail sponsored by WSU and we organized a Chisholm Trail Bus Tour to Caldwell and back featuring museums and other stops along the way. The bus tour was kind of a preview / trial run, there will be another one in 2017.
Over the summer, an old Wichita tradition returned - Dragging Douglas! It's great to see this resurrected.
As we prepared for Ghost Stories of Historic Delano we came to the realization that the event was getting stale and logistics were becoming difficult as attendance increased. The decision was made that this will be the final year for the event in it's current format.
This was the first year for a new Delano Safe Treat Halloween event coordinated by the Delano Neighborhood Association and Delano businesses. The businesses also continued their Holidays in Delano event and took over responsibility for raising money to light the clock tower.
The Delano Community Garden received some bad news - 2016 would be the final season for the garden. Senior Services received a large donation to expand and update the Delano Senior Center and unfortunately the garden does not fit into their expansion plans. We will miss the gardening community and the great Garden Parties. There are a couple of other properties that are being looked at as possible new locations.
On July 6th there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Downtown Advance Learning Library. Once again, we have mixed feelings. Along with the advancement of plans for the library comes an increasing push to develop all of the land around it. It's great to see the continued development in that area, but we continue to be concerned that Delano's wants and needs are subjected to what other entities want. Everyone should remain vigilant (see below).
Over the summer, an old Wichita tradition returned - Dragging Douglas! The roundabout at the Delano Clock Tower became the west end of the route, with the east end being at Hydraulic. For those of us in our teens in the 1960s-80s, it was a Saturday night tradition whenever the weather was good. Of course these days most of us would rather sit on the sidewalks (or at the clock tower) and watch. Still, it is another fun event that takes place at least partially in Delano.
The triangle of land that was considered for fracking operations in 2013 became a center of controversy once again in 2016. The Delano Revitalization Plan (2001) calls for that triangle to be public greenspace. We had plans to use the space for our upcoming Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary event; however, the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) has asserted their influence on the west side of the river and has come up with a conflicting plan for it's use.
The WDDC plan calls our planned greenspace the Delano Catalyst Site and they have been pushing to see it developed. A request for proposals (RFP) for the site was issued by the City over the summer and a Kansas City firm has been awarded the bid to build a hotel on the site. The City continues to reject our request for a review of the Delano Revitalization Plan and a reconciliation of the Delano Plan with the Downtown Plan.
2016 was the last year for Ghost Stories of Historic Delano in it's original format but don't despair, there will still be a ghost related event in 2017. Several things factored into the decision including the challenge of finding businesses willing to stay open after-hours and the logistics of transporting increasing crowds of people to the various venues. For 2017 it will become a static event and be incorporated into the Delano Fall Fair.
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