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Santa Fe Trail Days in Larned for Memorial Day weekend
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LARNED — There’s nothing like an early-morning pageant to kick off three days of events and activities.

With the Santa Fe Trail Rodeo a big part of Memorial Day weekend in Larned, Friday’s 8 a.m. Miss Santa Fe Trail Rodeo Queen Pageant begins the first full day in the Larned Area Chamber of Commerce’s 31st annual Santa Fe Trail Days May 26-28.

“It isn’t a new event, but I wanted to make sure it was added to this year’s schedule,” noted Alex Filbert, Larned Chamber executive director. 

The event coincides with the community’s traditional summer opening of the Larned Municipal Swimming Pool and equally traditional Memorial Day living history activities at Fort Larned National Historic Site. This year is also the community’s sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary.

Saturday’s events start bright and early, with the inaugural SFTD 2-mile run/walk at the Pawnee County Fairgrounds. The event is coordinated by the Chamber Ambassadors and the Pawnee County Humane Society. The 7 a.m. registration for that event includes a ticket to the all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy feed that follows, Filbert said.

“That way, if you participate in the run/walk, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in biscuits and gravy afterward,” Filbert said. “You will have already run or walked 2 miles, so it can be sort of like a reward.”

A no-miss event is the traditional Santa Fe Trail Days Parade at 11 a.m., followed by a community ice-cream social downtown.

The afternoon is chock full of things to do, Filbert noted. The Santa Fe Trail Center will host historical talks on the early days in Larned in Pawnee County; Touch-a-Truck, a balloon artist, and bouncy houses will also be downtown.

Another no-miss event is the celebrity dunk tank. 

Participants will have three tries to dunk Larned’s new Police Chief Lance Duft, Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King, Assistant Fire Chief Kyle Beckwith along with Jim Delaney and Tammy Keenan and Pawnee County Commissioner Bob Rein Jr.

“Their dunking sentence is only 30 minutes, so you have to check in often and get in line to pay and get your throws in,” Filbert said.

Ax-throwing is another new activity, and a mechanical bull makes its re-appearance.

Homebrew has been retained as musical entertainment to cap off Saturday’s events from 10 p.m. to midnight at the Fairgrounds.

When and where

The three-day schedule follows:

Friday, May 26

8 a.m. — Miss Santa Fe Trail Rodeo Queen Pageant at the Pawnee County Fairgrounds (PCF)

12-8 p.m. — Swimming at Larned city pool

5-7 p.m. — Hamburger/hot dog feed at USD 495 District Office

7 p.m. — Great Plains Spring Livestock Show (PCF)

7 p.m. to midnight — Beer garden and food trucks (PCF)

8-10 p.m. — Santa Fe Trail Rodeo (PCF)

9:15 p.m. Movie on the Courthouse Lawn (Showing: Homeward Bound)

10 p.m. to midnight — DJ Dance (PCF)

Saturday, May 27

7:30 a.m. — SFTD 2-Mile Walk/Run, registration 7 a.m. at Larned Community Center (LCC)

8-10 a.m. — AYCE Buscuits & Gravy (PCF)

8 a.m.-2 p.m. — Car Show & Shine at Auto Museum

8 a.m.-3 p.m. — Great Plains Spring Livestock Show

11 a.m. — SFTD Parade in downtown Larned (DL)

11:30-a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Ice Cream Social (DL)

1-3 p.m. — Painting Pop-up (LCC)

1-3 p.m. — SFTC History talks at SFTC

2-5 p.m. — Celebrity Dunk Tank (PCF)

3-5 p.m. — Touch-A-Truck (PCF)

3-5 p.m. — Balloon artist (PCF)

3-6 p.m. — Bouncy house & slides (DL)

3-10 p.m. — RC Racing (PCF)

6-9 p.m. — Ax throwing (PCF)

6-10 p.m. — Mechanical bull (PCF)

7 p.m. to midnight — Beer garden (PCF)

8-10 p.m. — Santa Fe Trail Rodeo

10 p.m.-midnight — Homebrew concert (PCF)

Sunday, May 28

10 a.m. — Community worship service (LCC)