For roughly five years, just before the Civil War broke out in 1861, a key question centering around the Kansas Territory rattled the nation: Would Kansas come into the Union as a free state or slave state?
During those tumultuous years, the Kansas Territory capitol was the small town of Lecompton, 16 miles east of Topeka. Today, Lecompton’s well-preserved history is celebrated over two days in June at the annual Lecompton Territorial Days festival. The event began in 1975 in a ceremony marking the dedication of the town’s Constitution Hall as a National Historic Landmark.
Event HighlightsMost of this year’s events at Territorial Days are scheduled for Saturday, beginning with a 7 a.m. pancake feed and ending with an evening concert in the park. Other highlights include friendly competitions, such as frog-and-turtle and three-legged races, horseshoes and a softball tournament. Demonstrations of pioneer skills are also offered, including blacksmithing, broom making and wood carving. Enjoy carnival rides, a church dinner, an ice-cream social in the park, old-time musicians and more.
Date: Friday, June 24-Saturday, June 25
Time: 6-9 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m.-midnight Saturday
Location: LecomptonLearn more about Territorial Days and Lecompton.
Becky Blake is the Director of the Kansas Department of Commerce, Travel & Tourism Division, and has been involved in the Kansas tourism industry for the past 30 years. TravelKS Blog provides a brief update from Becky each week, featuring communities, events and attractions throughout the state.