Over a year ago, a meeting was held in the Concordia Chamber of Commerce to discuss holding an event which would bring people to town, allow them to enjoy activities in a small town, and offer something unique, all while showcasing the Orphan Train Museum. If you attended any of the Depot Days activities held last week, you know what I’m talking about. If you did not attend any of the Depot Days activities, well . . . you missed it!
More than 30 people from North Central Kansas communities served on the Depot Days committee. These volunteers made it possible to put together an extensive offering, and took what initially were thoughts and ideas and transformed them into a reality. Depot Days included “The Work of Rural Kansas Children;” Doug Brush, author of a book on the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific rail lines; a cream can dinner to benefit NOTC; an ice cream social by the Girl Scouts; and a free band concert by the NCK Jazz Band. All were excellent! But there was more . . .
Depot Days included a Depot Dash; two genealogy-based presentations by Lori Halfhide; a beautiful quilt show presented by the Stained Glass Stitchers; and a huge model train display, constructed and engineered by the Cloud County Society of Model Train Engineers. Thanks to the American Legion, music and dancing were part of Depot Days, too, as “Left of Center” performed. The event concluded with a Pioneer Breakfast, a presentation of Rev. Richard Taylor’s sermon, “Life Is Like A Mountain Railroad,” and a hymn fest.
Concurrently, the National Orphan Train Celebration was held, pancakes were served, Orphan Train Rider descendants told their stories, there was an Orphan Train Rider program, and awards were presented.
At the same time, the community saw its first ever, “Cruise In Pig Out!” The Heartland Auto club, with help from some friends, put together a car show. The Rock Quarry sponsored a dance with “Sister Whiskey.” The highlight of their event was a barbecue; it was a barbecue contest, and voting required eating–a tough job, but somebody had to do it!
Although there are too many individuals to name, I applaud the Frank Carlson Library, the First Christian Church, the First United Methodist Church, the Stained Glass Stitchers, the Cloud County Society of Model Train Engineers, the National Orphan Train Complex, and the Heartland Auto Club and friends. What a joy to work with so many volunteers who didn’t worry about their name affixed to a project, but put the event out there for others to enjoy!
Depot Days Committee
Concordia Chamber of Commerce