Shawnee Trail Days is shaping up to be an event-filled celebration on many fronts.
Starting Friday evening, the city's second Night on the Bricks — or newly established Redbud Festival — will be start the fun, after being postponed due to severe weather in April.
First thing Saturday morning, the annual Juneteenth parade is scheduled, then Shawnee Trail Days will continue all day Saturday, with performances, vendors, bounce houses, as well as re-enactments and music.
A fireworks display will conclude the festival at 10 p.m.
The display will be set off near Kickapoo and Main, so they can easily be seen from open locations downtown, like the parking lot behind Neal's Furnishings.
Due to the threat of severe and dangerous weather, the Redbud Festival originally scheduled April 21-22 was rescheduled for Friday as a kickoff to Shawnee Trail Days.
“Redbud Night on the Bricks,” the city's second community dinner downtown — planned to become its own annual event — will be held on Broadway just north of Main Street, where a 40-by-100-foot tent will be set up.
Safe Events for Families (SEFF) Board Member Ed Bolt said volunteers will begin seating participants at 6 p.m. Dinner is between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“Last year we fed more than 800 people,” Bolt said. “This year we are preparing enough food for 1,500.”
There's no need for a meal ticket. As many may remember last year, tickets were distributed to secure a meal; that is not being required any more.
Residents are also welcome to bring their own meals or purchase one at any of the downtown restaurants that will be open during the event.
“The goal is to get together and get to know others in the community,” Bolt said.
For two days this year — starting Friday evening with the Redbud festival and then all day Saturday —Shawnee Trail Days returns to the downtown area. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.
Bolt helped organize the event that honors the history of the Shawnee community.
“It’s a festival that celebrates Shawnee’s history and specifically the Shawnee Trails that were used to drive the cattle from south Texas through Oklahoma and up into Kansas to the slaughterhouses,” Bolt said.
“We have a lot of historical re-enactors that folks can learn from and enjoy watching. We try to make it so there’s something for everybody,” he said.
“We have Marty Tipton who goes by The Oklahoma Kid,” Bolt said. “He’s a descendant of Will Rogers and he does a Will Rogers-type wild west show. He’s a very entertaining personality and gets the kids involved.”
Trail Days will have events located at intersections, like Broadway and Beard, along Main Street and will have parking all over the downtown area.
There will be plenty of interactive entertainment for all ages.
There is parking at the lot behind the library, as well as a public lot on 7th and Philadelphia streets.
Farming Heritage Show
Also, the 19th Annual Farming Heritage Show also will be held both days. Sponsored by the Shawnee Tractor and Engine Club, the event includes free admission and has something for everyone, from the youngest child sitting on a big tractor to the oldest person remembering what their dad had when they were growing up.
The show will be held at Shawnee Milling Company's Shawnee Feed Center, located at U.S. 177 and Hardesty Road.
Watch for a schedule of events.
You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.