Monday, September 28, 2015


                                Alphonse Karr

     Did you hear that big sigh of relief Sunday afternoon around 4:30.  Well if you did that was the big WHEW that ends the 2015 Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Pageant.  Mark it on the calendar four years from now for the next one.  On Monday morning, after I am sure is a late wake up, Kay Kuhn (executive director) will be busy making notes and starting on the next one.
      The numbers are not in but for a community to take on an event, that is known worldwide, is an undertaking that the original founders may not have considered.  It is an event that focuses people, who may not always see eye to eye, to work on a common project that is a huge heritage for the area.
      Visitors from all over the United States, and the world, come to see the story of the 300 years of history here in the Gypsum Hills.  The number of events requires workers and organizers that come together from a wide range of volunteers.  Many friends and family come home to play a part.  The amount of behind the scenes things that have to be done is astounding.
      When you literally double the population of the county for three days there are hundreds of details that have to come together.  Safety is one.  The Sheriff, Medicine Lodge PD, and outside agencies come together to make sure things run smooth.  Lines trying to park for the Pageant itself can back up over a mile in each direction on US 160 highway.  You have to get everyone into the parking as well as keep the regular traffic moving on the state highway.
     We made it this year without a major auto accident and we are grateful for this.  All the EMS crews were on duty as well as the Life Flight Helicopter crew in case of medical emergencies.  Even with the added precautions against accidents there was a larger number of people brought into the Emergency room.  There were patients transported to Pratt by EMS as well as a helicopter transport to Wichita, and a ground transport to Wichita all on Saturday alone.  Everything went smoothly because of preplanning and team work.
     Barber County Fire Dist. and Medicine Lodge Fire were on duty and were not needed for anything major.  Over all it was a great event.
     If you came and did not do everything don't feel bad.  There was so much going on it was impossible to do it all.  There was a great parade all three days, night shows, new shops open, food vendors, helicopter rides, art showings, our own Navy Seal free falling into the football game and the Sat. parade.  The Stockade and Carey Nation house had activities and author book signings, plus lots of things for kids to do.  The Kansas State Ranch Rodeo Championship and trade show on Friday and Sat. night.
     At one time it was stated that it takes 5000 people to be involved with everything that goes on during this weekend.  In a county of 4500 you can see how much organization and volunteerism it takes.  With 28 pieces of rolling stock for the pageant alone plus the teams and saddle horses, a lot has to be practiced for a long time before this all comes together.
     Thanks to a great lady from the Mid American All Indian Center we have a permanent Pow Wow that takes place every year now at the City park.  Thanks to a lot of volunteer work and a grant of $75,000 from an un-named donor there is a new permanent Pow Wow facility.  The crowds were great at the Indian Village and the Pow Wow this year.
     The Longhorn cattle that is in the pageant is driven from Bucklin Kansas starting a week ahead.  Gypsum Hill Trail Rides at the Gant-Larson Ranch played host to the TV program BEST OF AMERICA BY HORSE BACK from the RFD Channel.  Look for the pageant and trail riding on TV later on RFD Channel.  Western music star, Hall of Fame member, and real cowboy, RW Hampton was the announcer for the Ranch Rodeo and performed several times.  It was great for him to be back to see all his old friends here and his family had a great time.
     There were so many small unnoticed acts of kindness that took place all over everyone was at their best.  A lot of us are older and more restricted than we like to admit and there was always someone close by to jump in and help everyone that started to get in a little over their head and needed assistance.
     Every group in town was involved in either breakfasts, concessions, and providing overflow camping.  One pastors kids come from California for every pageant to make the donuts for the breakfast that the church sponsors.  Almost every home in town had visitors staying with them and all accommodations were full.  As well as the hotels and motels in neighboring communities.
     I do not think I am stepping over my bounds to speak for everyone involved to say a big THANK YOU to all the visitors and everyone that is involved.

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