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...
As the St. Patrick's Parade continued to grow each year we felt like it was time to pass the baton to younger, more energetic leadership. Nancy's grandson Cameron expressed an interest so we took him on as an apprentice to learn the ropes with the intention of handing it off to him in 2018. We will still be helping with the event but it will be in more of an advisory and support role.
After spending the previous year planning for the Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary our attention turned to making sure things went as planned. Although the details of most of the events in Sedgwick County were planned by the various venues, our committee was in charge of promoting the events and coordinating with the City and County on certain things. We also planned to attend each CT-150 event with souvenirs and information on the Chisholm Trail.
In March the City finally agreed to a review of the Delano Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (2001). With everything else that was going on the timing was not ideal, but we were eager to finally get the review underway.
Whatever time we had that wasn't devoted to the Delano Plan or the Chisholm Trail events was spent working on the Open Streets ICT event with the Wichita Parks and Recreation staff which was scheduled for September.
Then in October we turned our attention back to Delano for the newly re-imagined Campfire Ghost Stories event and the Delano Fall Fair - A Chisholm Trail Celebration.
To round out the year, in December we sponsored a Cowboy Christmas Dinner for the CT-150 Kansas folks at Old Cowtown Museum.
It was indeed a very busy year!
It was certainly a full year - attending CT-150 statewide meetings, events in other Kansas cattle towns, as well as all of our events in Sedgwick County.
Without going into detail, there were events at the following venues: Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Kansas Masonic Home, Wichita Public Library (a book club, a film series and several speakers), Union Station, Great Plains Transportation Museum, Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper Club, Great Plains Nature Center, Exploration Place, Botanica, Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita Union Stockyards Event Center, and Mid-America All Indian Center.
There was also another Chisholm Trail Bus Tour to Caldwell, a Governor's Proclamation, a Cemetery Tour, and a Longhorn Cattle Drive.
In April there was a Public Engagement session to gather input from citizens on various aspects of the plan. In May the City partnered with a group of students from Kansas State University - Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning to study the existing plan as well as current conditions and come up with proposals to guide future planning efforts. The students spent the summer creating a document titled Delano's Turn: Directions West of the River. The document presented 4 development plans which the students had created.
The first meeting of the Delano Plan Advisory Committee was held in August with monthly meetings to follow. The goal of the committee was to review the document created over the summer and make recommendations on which parts of it to incorporate into an update to the Delano Plan to be presented to the City and County for adoption. The committee completed it's work in November and the Planning Department staff began working on a draft of the updated plan to be presented for public comment early in 2018.
On September 24th, 2017 the City of Wichita tried something new. Over 4 miles of Douglas Avenue was closed to traffic and opened up to people. The event was designed to encourage people to get out of their homes and be more active with a goal of increasing public health.
The street was closed from west of the Shamrock Lounge all the way east past Clifton Square. Thousands of Wichitans of all ages came out to walk, run, skate, ride bikes, and a host of other methods of getting from point A to point B. The Kansas weather cooperated and gave us a beautiful sunny day. Everyone that came by our checkpoint at the clock tower was full of praise for the event and looking forward to it happening again the following year.
As Ghost Stories of Historic Delano grew, it began to become unmanageable. Locations on the tour extended from the river as far west as the Shamrock Lounge, and from Douglas Avenue down to Maple Street. As a free event on a shoe-string budget it was challenging to secure trolleys for transportation between the venues.
The event was very popular, so rather than cancel it we wanted to try it as a static event. Since we had already scheduled the Delano Fall Fair for the first weekend in October, we decided to incorporate it into the fair. We set up several fire pits and people sat around on hay bales and listened to a narrator tell stories of real life people who had died in peculiar ways as actors portrayed the unfortunate souls.
The evening ended with a flashmob organized by some of the dancers in Delano doing the Thriller dance.
The Delano Fall Fair originated as a celebration of the completion of the Douglas Avenue Streetscape in 2003. We had hoped that it would become a signature event for Delano, but was held for only a couple more years and then forgotten. When we were recruited to produce an event for CT-150 there was no hesitation that this would be the event.
The first Fall Fair was only a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, but we knew that would never do for a once-in-a-lifetime 150th anniversary. We set out to organize a 3-day event spanning an entire weekend. It turned out to be probably the largest (and the most expensive) event that we had attempted. We would need help.
Our first big break came when Naama Marcos at Visual Fusion offered her company's assistance. We could not have pulled it off without them. A HUGE thanks to everyone at Visual Fusion for their assistance. They did all of the promotional materials for the event (digital and print) and they produce top-notch work.
The next big break was when Mike & Tina Andra with KWLS-107.9 came on board as our media sponsors. They were able to obtain some great country artists as our Saturday night headliners - Del Shields and Suzy Bogguss. They also supplied Longhorn cattle for several of the events throughout the year, and were invaluable in their assistance with the Longhorn Cattle Drive.
There were many other fantastic sponsors and volunteers - too many to mention here - but we would be remiss if we did not mention Old Cowtown Museum and the Cowtown Re-enactors. They are always quick to step up whenever Delano is doing an event. They really bring the western feel to everything we do.
The event was an awesome finish to a whirlwind year of CT-150 events. People are still asking when the next one is.
Thank You to everyone who gave money or time to making this the crown jewel of the CT-150 events! We simply would not have been able to pull it off without everyone's help.
Once all the events were over, we were ready for a relaxed time visiting with new friends from the trail and reviewing all of our trials and successes. CT-150 Sedgwick County hosted all the rest of the CT-150 Kansas folk for a Cowboy Dinner of smoked brisket, pulled pork, cowboy beans, roasted potatoes and cherry cobbler for desert. The food was great, and it was nice seeing the others without having to discuss pressing business.
We will all be staying in touch and continue working to get Congress to declare the Chisholm Trail a National Trail.
Copyright 2019 - Historic Delano, Inc.