Chamber Chatter: Osage City’s first fall festival celebrates local nature trail

Bikers tank up at a refreshment station set up by the Osage City Chamber during Rush the Rails. Photo by Kareen King.

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

October 7, 2017, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the Flint Hills Nature Trail Fall Fest, which also included the Dirty Kanza Promotions Rush the Rails event. The event ran from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with more than 100 bicycle riders and eight relay teams, traveling through Osage City during the day.

Three starting locations designated the length of the route chosen by the participants: Osawatomie, full distance, 96 miles; Vassar, 54 miles; Admire, 25 miles; finish line was at Council Grove.

Dave Azwell passes out cookies to rejuvenate bikers and hikers.

The Gilday Gas Station was the designated stopping point for the participants coming through Osage City. Nourishing refreshments, drinks and first aid were provided at the stop. The Osage City Kiwanis Club hosted the refreshment area. Dave Azwell, Kathi Webster and Kareen King were great ambassadors for Osage City as they greeted and served the participants. There were numerous activities taking place throughout the Santa Fe Park, Santa Fe Depot and Theels’s vacant lot. The day included business sidewalk sales, a bouncy house, food vendors, ice cream social, children’s activities, craft show, restorative and stretching sessions, and a fine arts display.

Dirty Kanza Promotions plans to make this an annual event, so the Chamber is looking forward to having a bigger and better event for 2018.

Photos thanks to Kareen King.

Osage City Chamber Festival of Beer
By Jim Lohmeyer

The fifth annual Osage City Chamber Festival of Beer is in the books. On Sept. 30, 2017, at the 4-H pavilion, at Jones Park, Osage City, area patrons were able to enjoy beautiful weather, live music, good food and most importantly taste more than 100 beers. The Chamber beer festival has turned into a great event for local and area folk as it allows all to sample several Kansas breweries and many regional and national brews.

The Chamber would like to thank the volunteers that came out to help out, the Osage County Fair Association for providing the venue, Becky Siljenberg for her commitment to excellence in organizing the festival, but foremost all the customers who came out to enjoy the day. The funds from this event helps the Chamber with many different projects around Osage such as scholarships for high school seniors, the Warmth Fund, ECAT, the 4th of July fireworks and many more. Thanks to one and all.

Christmas on Market 2017: “Treasured Memories”

Planning is continuing for the annual Christmas on Market celebration on Nov. 25, 2017. We encourage you to mark the date on your calendar and plan to shop local that weekend as many of our hometown businesses will be offering great opportunities for holiday gifts. The theme this year is: Christmas on Market 2017: “Treasured Memories”. In addition to shopping, activities will be held throughout the day including breakfast, lunch, visits with Santa, a 5K run, chili cook-off and feed, gingerbread house building, craft show, raffle, live Nativity, emergency services showcase, fire truck rides, ping pong drop, live reindeer, and the traditional lighted Christmas parade. If you own a business or are a part of the community, this is a great time for you to be a part of a fun community event. Let’s get together and make this great. There have been a few changes or additions to the event this year. Be sure to watch for the posters that will be in the stores and also handouts for you to take home (available first part of November). Some of the main changes are that the craft show will be downtown this year at the COF building which is the old Dollar General Store and the north end of the Depot. The raffle will take place earlier in the day, starting at 1:45 and located on 6th street between Main and Market streets. This year, it will be required that winners must be present to win. This year, the raffle is including some very nice retreat packages, so look in the participating stores for the raffle can by the register and buy your tickets. An addition to the event this year will include a live reindeer that will be here for the day and will be available 3-5 p.m. at Santa Fe Park. Be sure to come by and take a look at a live reindeer and take some pictures. The reindeer will be pulling a sleigh with Santa and his elf in the parade.

Diane Michael, parade chairman, is working diligently to have a parade to remember. All individuals and groups are welcome to participate including individual floats, decorated golf carts, ATVs (age 17 or older required for golf carts and ATVs), marching bands, emergency service vehicles, cars, trucks, tractors. There will be prize money for float entries, decorated golf carts and ATVs. Prize money for float entries will be 1st-$125; 2nd-$100; 3rd-$75; 4th-$50. Prize money for golf carts/ATVs will be 1st-$30; 2nd-$20; 3rd-$10. The parade starts at 6:00 pm, judging for floats, golf carts and ATVs is at 5 p.m., lining up at the west end of Market street. For registration, contact Diane at 785-608-2277, 510 Holiday, [email protected]. The theme this year is “Treasured Memories”.

Chamber Bucks make easy gifts

Looking for a Christmas gift? Stay in town and support your local businesses. Consider purchasing “Chamber Bucks” through the Osage City Chamber of Commerce. These may be used in any local Osage City businesses to make a purchase. Contact Jeanette Swarts at 785-249-5451 and she will get them for you.

2018 membership drive

Jeanette Swarts, executive director, would like to see the memberships surpass 2017 and also the attendance grow at the member meetings. This year, mark the third Tuesday of each month on your calendar to attend the Osage City Chamber of Commerce member meeting. The meeting starts at noon at the Flint Hills Beverage Hospitality Room. A light lunch is provided and generally the meetings last approximately an hour. The Chamber of Commerce needs the support of the members to make Osage City a better community.

The membership drive will start on Oct. 28, aiming toward a promising year for 2018 members. Please consider the opportunities to grow your business and connect with the community. We would also like to encourage existing members to invite potential new members.

A membership is not restricted to business owners in the community. Any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership, non-profit organization or estate having an interest in the objectives of the organization shall be eligible for membership. Memberships are separated in three types.

Regular memberships – Any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership or estate having an interest in the objectives of the organization shall be eligible for membership. Any regular member shall have the discretion to designate their voting member.

Non-profit memberships – Non-profit organization being a regular member with a member designated for voting purposes.

Associate memberships – Any person having an interest in the objectives of the organization. Associate members have no voting rights, nor may they serve as an officer or director, unless otherwise approved by the Board, but they will have all other membership privileges and responsibilities.

For more information about becoming a member, email: [email protected], visit, or call 785-219-2510.

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