Chamber Chatter: Looking back at 2017

Information from Jeanette Swarts
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce had a busy year in 2017, welcoming several new businesses to the community. Ribbon cuttings were held Jan. 17,  at That Other Place; Feb. 14, Eclipse Computer Solutions and Erin’s Sewing Center;  June 27, Garrett’s Fireworks; and Aug. 15, Branded Graphics.

After hours mixers

Throughout the year, several Osage City Chamber of Commerce members hosted after hours mixers showcasing their businesses. Members enjoyed the hospitality of Ecumenical Christian Action Team (ECAT) in March, the Osage City Public Library, celebrating its a new addition in September, and Designs by Diane in December.

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 28th and final annual Kansas Sampler Festival was held in Winfield on May 6-7, 2017. Dave and Tara Azwell have been loyal representatives of Osage City for a number of years as well as Wayne White and Jan Williams. Julie Carlson also went and helped out at the booth.


The Osage City Chamber of Commerce announced Tracy Wilk and Trey Tomlinson were the 2017 recipients of the $250 scholarship. Tracy, daughter of Sally and Ken Wilk, will be attending Colby Community College, and Trey, son of Paula and Robert Tomlinson, will be attending Wichita State University in the fall. The revenue from the $5 that sellers pay to be listed on the maps for the spring and fall garage sales goes directly for these two scholarships.

Osage County Fair and parade

Diane Michael was in charge of the fair parade, which was June 29. Along with the floats, band and other entries, decorated golf carts and ATVs were invited to participate in the parade this year. The theme for the parade was “Summertime Fun”.  Diane had several new entries in the parade and is hoping that the parade will continue to grow. Parade honorees were Ann Lusk as the 2017 parade marshal, and Richard and Jeanette Swarts selected as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce Festival of Beer 

Sept. 30 marked the fifth annual Osage City Chamber Festival of Beer. The event was located at the 4-H pavilion. Patrons were able to enjoy beautiful weather, live music, good food and most importantly taste more than 100 beers. The funds from this event helps the Chamber with many different projects around Osage City, such as scholarships for high school seniors, the Warmth Fund, ECAT,  the Fourth of July fireworks and much more.

Osage City Flint Hills Nature Trail Fall Fest, Rush the Rails event

On Oct. 7, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the Flint Hills Nature Trail fall festival, which was incorporated into the “Rush the Rails” event held along the entire trail. More than 100 bicycle riders and eight relay teams traveled through Osage City during the day.

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. There were numerous activities taking place at Santa Fe Park, the Santa Fe Depot and nearby vacant lot. The day included business sidewalk sales, bouncy house, food vendors, ice cream social, children’s activities, craft show, stretching sessions and a fine arts display. Plans are to make it an annual event, so the Chamber of Commerce are looking forward to having a bigger and better event for 2018.

2017 Christmas on Market Street – Treasured Memories

2017 Christmas on Market Street – “Treasured Memories”, was a successful event. Mother Nature provided a beautiful day, starting with Santa and two elves arriving downtown on a fire truck and greeting a crowd of anxious children. All of the events, including the 5K run/walk, Kiwanis breakfast, Senior Center Sewing Chics, retail poker run, store events, emergency services showcase, fire truck rides, craft show, ping pong drop, photo booth, outside dining court, story time, live reindeer,  gingerbread building, Santa visits, chili cook-off, chili feed, raffle drawing, and lighted parade were well received and attended. Proceeds from the activities go to the Warmth Fund, ECAT, ECKAN and Chamber of Commerce.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce home town Santas revealed

Christmas on Market Street was the first day to start asking anyone if they were the Home Town Santa and it continued to Dec. 24, with all Santas revealed; winners received a $20 Chamber Buck Certificate to be used at the business. Home town Santas and winners included: Santa Shawn Valentine, Kathy Ayers, Osage City; Santa Rick Bryan, Kathy Isaacs, Osage City; Kevin Swindale, Jessie Kirkpatrick, Osage City; Santa Nancy Washburn, Judy Downey, Osage City; and Santa John Gill, Heather Jones, Reading.

Osage City Holiday Tour of Homes

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce Holiday Tour of Homes was held Dec. 10, with the Travis Bowin, Terry and Mica Lindbloom and Alex Boss homes featured for the event. There was perfect weather for the late afternoon and evening, which contributed along with the beautiful homes to the participation of the visitors for the event. Approximately 90 visitors went on the tour. All proceeds from the sale of tickets will be used toward the maintaining and improvements at Santa Fe Park.

2017 Chamber Bucks

If you happen to have won any Chamber Bucks during the Christmas on Market Street events or received one as a gift, use them at the store designated on the Chamber Buck or any local business of your choice as soon as possible. For more information, contact Jeanette Swarts at 785-249-5451.

Looking ahead

2018 fireworks displays

The Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the July fireworks display. Plans have started in creating a spectacular display for 2018. The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 1, 2018. For recommendations regarding the event, contact Jeff Pearson, Jeanette Swarts or Thelma Humerickhouse a [email protected].

2018 membership drive, new or renew

2017 membership reached a total of 70 members. Executive director Jeanette Swarts would like to see the membership surpass 2017 and also see 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 meetings start at noon and are held at the Flint Hills Beverage hospitality room. A light lunch is always available 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 continues and if you have not yet joined, please consider the opportunities to grow your business and connect with the community and send in your membership now. We would also like to encourage existing members to invite potential new members.

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

2018 officers and directors

2018 Chamber officers include: President, Don Shaw; vice-president, Patrick Gardner; secretary, Diane Michael; and treasurer, Jan Ogleby. Directors are Jodi Smith, Kathy Ayers, Barb Pope, and Jeff Pearson. Executive director is Jeanette Swarts.

For more information about the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, contact [email protected] or 785-219-2510.

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