Toronto puts focus on Fourth fun

While other communities are altering their Independence Day activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto organizers are planning a full weekend. Festivities kick off tonight and run through Sunday.

By

Local News

July 2, 2020 - 10:18 AM

The action heats up during the mud volleyball tournament at the 2019 Toronto Days celebration. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Hunting for an authentic experience of Americana over the long Independence Day weekend?

Toronto Days 2020 has just what you’re looking for.

Tonight starting at 6 o’clock, the pizza party and “mud stomp” begin at the mud volleyball pit on South Stockton Street.

The first round of major events kicks off on Friday evening, with everything taking place at the corner of Main and Broad Streets downtown.

Food trucks start serving at 6 p.m., as does registration for the 6:30 p.m. cornhole tournament.

The cornhole registration fee is $20 per team. You can text 620-490-0101 to pre-register.

At 6:45 p.m. live performances begin, with music from Cedar Creek Crossing at 7 p.m., followed by Val Ventro & the Motor City V8s at 9 p.m.

Cedar Creek Crossing plays a mixture of country, bluegrass and folk; and Val Ventro & the Motor City V8s plays a number of classic rock and hard rock covers (as well as originals).

Saturday, July 4 features a full day of non-stop fun, starting with a biscuits and gravy breakfast served at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street from 7 to 9 a.m.

(There will also be periodic raffles scattered throughout the day, with some pretty big prizes and prize-packages, for example, backpacks, zoo tickets, pet supplies, kitchenware and even furniture.)

Shriners wave to the crowd during the parade at 2019 Toronto Days. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Throughout the day vendor booths will be set up around the downtown area, and will have all manner of foods (like cotton candy and sno cones), light-up items, novelty gifts and more.

At 9 a.m., registration begins for the 10 a.m. classic car show.

At 11 a.m. the parade begins on Main Street, which features vehicles, horses, floats and organizations.

If you didn’t grab a free burger during the parade — or even if you did — stop by the hamburger feed at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The ice cream social runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the senior center, as does registration for the mud volleyball tournament.

Mud volleyball starts at 1 p.m. at the mud pit on South Stockton Street, with competitions for both kids and adults.

At 2 p.m. the class car cruise lineup begins on Main Street, which is a must for anyone who loves antique vehicles; and there’s no entry fee required for those interested in participating.

Those on the cruise will drive through the Toronto Lake campgrounds and across the Toronto Dam, so there are multiple opportunities to check out the rides.

On Saturday evening, the block party begins at 6 o’clock at the Toronto baseball park.

The party will feature live music, food and fun for the whole family.

At dusk, the fireworks display begins, sponsored by the Woodson County Chamber of Commerce.

If you aren’t camping at Toronto Lake, or aren’t already at the festivities, never fear, as you can see the display from several different vantage points even while several miles away.

A rider holding an American flag leads the 2019 Toronto Days parade. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Still have energy on Sunday?

The final event is a horseshoe tournament starting at 1 p.m. at the City Park.

While at Toronto Days, also make sure to pick up a commemorative t-shirt, featuring the recently demolished Toronto High School.

For more information, call 620-637-2985 or follow Toronto Booster Club on Facebook.

Interested in deepening your Toronto Days experience? Why not camp out or go fishing at Toronto Lake?

Campsites and cabins are available by calling the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (620-637-2213), and you can visit their website at ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Cross-Timbers.

A “Big CAT” catfish contest will also take place during the weekend, with registration ending at noon on Friday and weigh-in from 4:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Registration for the fishing contest is $10, and prizes in both catfish categories are $100.

As of right now, despite COVID-19, all events are to continue as scheduled.

However, organizers ask that you please practice social distancing, wash your hands and wear a mask when outdoor distancing isn’t possible.

If you don’t feel safe participating in a traditional way, the organizers would also like to let you know that the bands will be louder, parade route longer and fireworks show bigger than ever, in order to help people enjoy festivities even at a great distance or from their vehicles.

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