This coming fall, on Oct. 07, 2023, Shawnee, OK is set to hold its annual Scarecrow Festival at the City Hall Parking Lot from 9:00 to 11:30 in the morning. Come rainor shine, this free family-friendly festivity has lots of fun things to offer everyone, including free decorations and supplies to use, while stocks last.
Actually, businesses in downtown Shawnee will also be participating in the scarecrow making and pumpkin decorating contests. The event will have a flea market plus a broad variety of local vendor booths. There will be a baking contest and will also showcase the culinary talents of Shawnee’s local chefs.
As Downtown Shawnee will be a huge part of this year’s Scarecrow Festival, visitors are invited to view all the creative crafts and fall- -themed decors on display in front of City Hall and in businesses along Johnson Drive.
Some Interesting Facts About Shawnee’s History
Shawnee’s origins have been traced as coming from the early 19th century Native Americans who inhabited the land located at the south of Kansas River. In the 1850’s, the community was known as Gum Springs and was recognized as the capital and home of the first legislature of Kansas. However, during the American Civil War, William Clarke Quantrill, a Confederate guerrilla leader and a known mass murderer had looted and ravaged the town.
Later, during the aftermath of the civil war, and between the late 19th and 20th centuries, strong and powerfully-built immigrant farmers helped rebuild the town and called it Shawnee.
Today, no other town in Kansas, Oklahoma has a richer history than Shawnee. The town is in fact filled with monuments and statues such as the life-size statue of Chief Charlie Bluejacket located in the northeast corner of Cody and Johnson Drive. The statue was built in honour of the Shawnee Native American Chief who was also the minister and farmer who led in the rebuilding of Shawnee.
The success of the city’s yearly events like the Scarecrow Festival, the Old Shawnee Days, the Duck Race and the Shawnee St. Patrick’s Parade are attributed to the townspeople’s unrivaled sense of camaraderie and fellowship.
Shawnee City through the Shawnee Parks & Recreation is encouraging its young people to engage in business by holding a KidsFest Business Fair. Held last September 07, 2019,
Shawnee youths, at ages ranging between 6 and 16, promoted their business in booth spaces that cost them $10. Around 25 to 30 of Shawnee’s young entrepreneurs participated by displaying and selling crafts, as well as advertising and performing services.
According to Shawnee Park recreation coordinator for Youth and Special Events, Matt Mann, they wanted to provide ways by which the young people of Shawnee can avail of opportunities for themselves at an early age. Mann said the city also engaged adult entrepreneurs to provide support and tips that will further encourage their younger counterparts to grow their entreprise.
As part of the KidsFest Business Fair’s educational aspect, kids gained actual experience by presenting their business ideas. They also received advice on how to go about related business plans.
After all, the main goal of the kid’s business fair is to boost the confidence of Shawnee’s young people not only by acquiring valuable lessons but also in providing a venue in which they can start getting the feel of business even at their young ages.
Applicanta to the fair were asked to develop their respective brand, craft a product or conceptualize a service, and devise a marketing strategy. Those who qualified then launched their own startup business during the holding of the one-day KidsFest Business Fair.
Mann met with young entrepreneurs who have been running their crafting businesses for several years now, including a pair of Shawnee sisters
Enterprising Shawnee Sisters Get their Chance to Go Public at Shawnee’s KidsFest Business Fair
Ten-year old Kinley Wohlgemuth and her 8-year sister Rylan, own and operate a business that they privately call “Shawnee Sisters,” which produces and sells various crafts. Their mom, Ashley Wohlgemuth, said the sisters are constantly crafting and are able to sell their creations; but stressed that those are all the girls are selling.
Rylan is in charge of baking and making beads, while Kinley creates scrunchies. They are also into baking goodies, like muffins and scones. The sisters started selling their crafts and fresh-baked goods at garage sales where they are allowed to display their products.
Participating in the KidsFest Business Fair enabled Kinley to pick up entrepreneurial skills that make her even more excited in continuing the “Shawnee Sisters” crafting business.
Shawnee’s oldest natural art gallery, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (MGMoA), is poised to mark its 100th year. The museum actually started out in the 1900s as a collection of artefacts from ancient civilizations and medieval paintings in the studio of Father Gerrer, the then Benedictine monk at St.Benedict’s Church.
To mark its more than 100 years of bringing art and cultural education to the people of Oklahoma, the MGMoA will be holding an exhibit entitled “Journey Back in Time: The History of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art,” from July 13 to September 01, 2019; showing photographs of the museum and its collections during Father Gerrer’s time,
History of the MGMoA
Delaynna Trim, the current Curator of Collections at MGMoA narrates the story of how the museum first started. Based on stories told over the years, Father Gregory Gerrer started collecting artefacts and paintings while in Europe, training to become an artist. It is said that the European museums had inspired the Benedictine monk to collect magnificent paintings, ethnographic objects, and wood and seashell samples collected from a variety of cultures across the world. That way, he could bring the world to the people of Oklahoma by way of a local museum in Shawnee.
Although the collection brought home by Father Gerrer started small, it eventually grew through his travels and the people he met. He was said to have told them of his dream of bringing culture and art to Oklahoma. In turn, they gave him their valuable pieces of art and artifacts to help him fulfill that dream. One such artefact is the Egyptian mummy exhibited by the Glen Island Museum of Buffalo, New York, which he brought to Shawnee in 1921.
Ms. Trim said that by 1919, Father Gerrer’s collection had outgrown his studio, making it necessary to display the objects at the newly built Benedictine Hall of the St. Gregory campus. The hallway came to be known as the Gerrer Museum, where pieces of medieval and Renaissance artworks hung, while the artefacts were housed on the second floor.
The museum organized by Father Gerrer was described as encyclopedic, with its exhibits of taxidermied animals, Renaissance artworks, weapons collected from different parts of the world, and displays of woods and seashells as artefacts of natural history. Yet unlike other museums, the collection of the Gerrer Museum never belonged to any affluent individual.
Gerrer Museum Becomes the Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art
Father Gerrer passed away in 1946. Left without a director, the museum was temporarily closed. In 1957, Stephen Gyermek was hired as the new museum director and was tasked to oversee the renovation of the museum, as well as create programs for children and adults. However, St. Gregory’s High School and College had also grown and needed to use the rooms occupied by the museum. A new but temporary home for the gallery was found at the Kirkpatrick Science and Arts Foundation, until such time that a new building could be erected.
In 1977, the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, agreed to sponsor the construction of a new building in which to house the Gerrer Museum collection. The Mabee Foundation is a non-profit establishment founded by John E. Mabee and his wife Lottie for the purpose of giving aid to religious Christian organizations, charitable institutions, hospitals, institutions of higher learning and the likes.
In April 7, 1979, the Gerrer Museum reopened in its new building as the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.