Topeka Downtown
United States

The Rotary Club of Topeka has scheduled its signature event,  Rotary

Freedom Festival

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Downtown Topeka. 

 In case of rain, the event will be held at the Topeka Performing Arts facility.


FREEDOM Theme:  From fighting against slavery as a free state to bringing the landmark desegregation case, Topeka is a crossroads for the nation’s freedom’s struggle – a concept that has changed over time as events in Topeka’s history have evolved.  This Rotary Freedom festival will explore and celebrate our Kansas history, our diversity and our pride in being a community where important things happened.  


Planned Activities from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

  • Reenactments at Constitution Hall of the dispersal of the Legislature by Col. Sumner in 1854.
  • Displays of Military Hardware (500, 600 block of Kansas Ave.)
  • Children and Family Activities on Statehouse Grounds offered free by local agencies:
    • Bloomerang community Art Project – adults and children will explore diversity concepts o Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others provide fun, free activities for children o Tours of State Capitol
    • Peace Center Kids Corner – face painting and crafts for children
    • Run for Freedom –0.6 mile around Capitol for kids;  5 K timed races organized by Girls on the Run begins at 9:00 AM
  • Kansas Ave. Art Project I AM TOPEKA (for art students at Highland Park High School)
  • Tours of Post Office and Courtroom where Brown v Board was first tried
  • Freedom’s Frontier activities for children and families


Free evening concerts – starting at 4 PM in a band shell on 9th and Kansas

  • Kansas  Army National Guard Band, (invited) 
  • The Skirts – a women’s bluegrass group from Chase County playing at 5:15 PM o Maria the Mexican, an edgy, new group playing “roots rock” with a Mexican flair-6:45 PM o Kelley Hunt – Nationally recognized Blues singer-songwriter – playing at 8:30 PM
  • Pocket parks along Kansas Avenue will have music, storytelling, chess and other activities throughout the day from 9-3 PM.  Schedule will be published in May.


  • Rotary Beer Garden starting at 4:00 PM near music
  • Food Trucks on Kansas Avenue
  • Mater Dei Food Court near Capitol 9-3
  • Food concessions in the Rotary Pocket Park at Constitution Hall
  • We also need volunteers to help with activities, and organizations to provide family-friendly activities at the Capitol Grounds from 9-3 PM.  

Contact Joan Wagnon at joan101740@cox.net or 785-249-3464 for more information.