Fall festival to kick off

Jeff Guy

The 31st annual Wellington Fall Festival, sponsored by the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be underway in two weeks with such activities as the classic chili cook-off and entertainment such as dancing, music and a magician.

This year’s festival is starting with a new activity -- a scarecrow light pole decorating contest, open to individuals, businesses, organizations and clubs. People can start entering now by filling out an entry form, which is available on the chamber’s website, Facebook page and at the office at 208 N. Washington Ave.

“I just thought it would be something fun and free for anyone to do. It helps make our downtown district festive for fall and the coming of the Fall Festival,” Chamber Executive Director Valerie Earl said.

Rules for the decorations are:

Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m., Monday Sept. 21.

Decorations must be in place by Monday, Sept. 28.

Poles will be assigned by the Chamber of Commerce. Special requests can be made.

Judging is based on originality, materials and space.

Contestants may not decorate a pole higher than 9-feet.

Contestants may not use glue, packing tape or permanently fasten anything to the light pole.

Contestants are strongly urged to use painter’s tape, string or zip ties.

Decorations must be removed by Nov. 2.

Winners will be announced via the Chamber coffee livestream, shown on the Chamber’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1. Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of judges. The first place winner will be awarded $100 chamber bucks, second place will win $75 chamber bucks and third place will get $50 chamber bucks.

Tentative plans are to have a homecoming parade on Washington Street from Third to Eighth Street at 6 p.m. Oct. 1. The Wellington City Council approved the street closure request from the Wellington High School Student Council, pending approval from the Sumner County Health Dept.

The homecoming football game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 against Rose Hill. A 25 percent capacity crowd is allowed in the stands.

The council approved a street closure request from the chamber/CVB to close Seventh Street between Washington and Jefferson streets, Saturday, Oct. 3.

From 9 to 11 a.m., Oct. 3, the Wellington Noon Lions Club will be walking around Century Park for Diabetes awareness. The public is free to join in the walk.

Activities will get underway at 9 a.m., Oct. 3 at Heritage Park next to Memorial Auditorium. There will be a craft fair with a limit of six entries. The form is to be returned to the chamber and the booth fee is to be paid by Wednesday, Sept. 23. There will be a couple of food trucks on Seventh Street.

From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the South Central Kansas Hot Wheels Drag Racing Association and NAPA Auto Parts will present the NAPA Invitational Drag Race, another new event, at Heritage Park. People from ages 5 and up are encouraged to bring their Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars.

Other events scheduled include:

Encore Dance Company at 10 a.m.

Veterans Salute at 10:30 a.m.

Live music from Hardwood Cherry, a soul and funk band from Arkansas City.

Fall crafts, presented by the Wellington Recreation Center for children to do from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 31st annual Chili Cook Off. People will be given wrist bands and each booth will hand out cups.

A golf ball drop, sponsored by Newton Young Professionals, at 1 p.m. at Antler’s Lot.

Infinity Dance at 2 p.m.

There will be a 21 and up show at Memorial Auditorium, 209 N. Washington. Curtis the Mentalist, a magician and “mind reader” will perform an 8 p.m. show and a 9:30 p.m. show. Masks will be required when entering the auditorium.

Only 72 tickets are available per show to allow for adequate social distancing in the auditorium. To reserve tickets, call the chamber at (620) 326-7466 or email director@Wellingtonkschamber.com or admin@wellingtonkschamber.com.

“His shows are very captivating,” Earl said.