2007 Kansas Barbed Wire meet May 4-5
“A Taste of Cinco de Mayo” will spice up the 41st Antique Barbed Wire Swap and Sell Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5, 2007, in LaCrosse, Kan. Exhibitors can reserve tables to display, buy, sell, or trade their own wire, wire tools, and other antiques at the La Crosse City Auditorium at 5th and Main during the annual event, sponsored by the Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors Association (KBWCA).
Special FIESTA activities will go “south of the border” both days. Cinco de Mayo attire is optional. A special Military Exhibition, “Tribute to our Veterans” including many new items will also be shown both days.
The City Auditorium opens at 7 a.m. Friday morning for set-up with Exhibits opening at 8 a.m. for the public to view. There will be special “Su-prize Events” throughout the day, and Judging of Displays will take place in the afternoon. Exhibits close at 5 p.m. and activities will shift to the Museum Complex.
Friday afternoon, at 5:30 p.m. the Nekoma Bank Museum Dedication Ceremony will be held at the Museum Complex. The bank was chartered in the tiny community of Nekoma in 1916 with capital of $10,000. In the 1980s the financial assets were purchased by investors and operations were moved to LaCrosse. Fund raising by the Rush County Historical Society enabled the preservation and relocation of the historic building to the Museum Complex.
Visitors are also invited to an “open house” throughout the Friday evening events at the Museum Complex which includes the Barbed Wire Museum, Post Rock Museum, the Rush County Historical Museum housed in the restored Timken Santa Fe Depot, and the new Bank Museum. All the Museums will be open both days from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except the Bank Museum, which will not open to the public until after the dedication on Friday. According to Brad Penka, KBWM director, “No sneak peeks!”
An Old Fashioned Picnic will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in the adjacent Grass Park, sponsored by LaCrosse Food Pride. Donations can be given at the gate with proceeds going to benefit the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum (KBWM).
The KBWM/KBWCA Board Meeting will be held at 8 p.m. Friday evening.
The City Auditorium will open again at 8 a.m. Saturday for visitors to view the exhibits. The World Champion Splicing Contest will be held at 1 p.m. with special prizes awarded in Men’s, Women’s, and Youth Divisions.
The World Champion Splicing Contest features a splicing machine rigged with two posts allowing contestants to put their fence mending skills to the test. Judging is based on speed and the measured sag. The spliced wire must support a 40-pound weight.
The World Championship title is given for both a men’s and women’s class. A children’s division has been added, but their wire only has to support a couple of bricks, instead of the 40-pound weight.
The Public Auction at 3 p.m. is one of the main attractions of the weekend. Collectors can sell or bid on valuable 18-inch collector’s wire pieces or other antique tools for their own profit, with a percentage of the sales going to support the Barbed Wire Museum, headquarters of the KBWCA.
Exhibits close at 4 p.m. and displays are taken down. The “Cinco de Maya” Banquet and Awards Ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Auditorium. Advance tickets are required at $9 per person.
The convention also promotes a festive atmosphere throughout LaCrosse where community-wide Garage Sales are held all day on Saturday. The barbed wired activities are open to the public and there is no admission charge.
If readers can’t make it during the annual Swap meet the first weekend in May, they can still take a side-trip off I-70 to LaCrosse, south of Hays, to visit the Museum Complex. New RV hookups have been added in the lovely Grass Park adjacent to the museums.
The Antique Barbed Wire Society (ABWS), the only international organization in existence, is housed in a newly built addition to the Barbed Wire Museum which also includes the Hagemeier Conference Room, and the Larry Greer Research Center.
The ABWS Website, http://www.antiquebarbedwiresociety.com, provides current information about the activities of regional groups, including a listing of dates of other 2007 Barbed Wire Shows.
For a schedule of events or a registration form, go to the website: http://www.rushcounty.org/barbedwiremuseum. For more exhibitor information please call Mike McCafferty at (785) 672-4833 or Brad Penka at (758) 222-9049 or (758) 222-6149.
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