20th annual festival kicks off summer
Chingawassa Days turns 20 this year, and after two decades of family fun, this year seems to be shaping up to be another dynamic event.
Country music artists Lindsey Ell and Phil Vassar will headline Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.
Other musical acts include Christian rock band Cloverton on Friday and country music performers Pete Gile and Coco O’Connor on Saturday. Brody Caster also will play Saturday afternoon.
A beer garden, community barbecue, ice cream social, and Newlywed Game will return Friday.
A cute baby contest and a hula-hoop contest join event signatures such as horseshoe pitching, bed races, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, kids’ bike races, and dinky ducks races on Saturday. A dunk tank also will be available.
Other competitions will test competitors in Texas hold ’em, hot dog eating, and resistance to frozen T-shirts.
A Saturday watermelon feed might interest those with a passion for sticky, sweet smiles.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. Friday in Marion Central Park. A complete schedule appears in the centerfold of the Explore section.
More information is available at www.chingawassadays.com or (620) 382-3425.
Event takes its name from Indian legend
About 135 years ago, early settler William Carter homesteaded an 80-acre tract north of Marion that contained several springs, some of which were quite large and yielded mineral water.
The area near the springs became a site of picnics and celebrations.
Between 1873 and 1888, the date is not certain, the name Carter’s Mineral Springs was changed to Chingawasa Springs. The new, more colorful designation grew out of a legend concerning an Indian chief by that name.
Legend has it that Chingawasa and his tribe often visited the springs and that he was murdered by a jealous Kaw chief and buried near the springs by his warriors.
Though no proof of this exists, history records several Osage Indian chiefs named Chingawasa.
Some say the name was chosen for its meaning in Spanish slang. “Chinga wassa” means “cooked-up” water, a somewhat fitting name for springs that produced stinky water laced with sulfur.
Chingawasa Springs became the site of a short-lived health resort in the late 1880s and early 1890s. It now is part of a privately owned pasture.
Former player to speak at service
Former Kansas State defensive back and kick returner Morgan Burns will speak at 10:30 a.m. Sunday during Chingawassa Days community worship service at USD 408 Performing Arts Center.
One of the fastest players on the team last year, he tied the school’s career record for kickoff-return touchdowns (4), and ranked second in career average (30.8 yards), third in yards (1,572) and sixth in attempts (51).
Rather than pursue a career as a professional athlete, he has chosen ministry instead.
Carl Helm, pastor at Marion Christian Church, said he was excited about Burns’s appearance here.
“I saw him speak in Inman at an event for all the area athletes,” Helms said. “He was great. He’s just so tall and so big. I have no doubt that he could have made any NFL team as a return man, but he turned the Tennessee Titans down because he said it would require more time than he wanted to spend.”
Helm said Burns would likely share anecdotes from his career at KSU, and other personal stories and talk about faith.
Marion Ministerial Alliance sponsors the service.