Fairs, Parades, Celebrations, Concerts & MORE!
Allen County offers multiple annual events that you won’t want to miss. Some are traditions that have been around for generations, while others are new or resurrected and revamped from times past. The county hosts multiple events for each season appealing to a range of interests. Allen County welcomes you to join the fun, friendly atmosphere that it has maintained over the years.
Join the community on the Iola downtown square for an annual Easter egg hunt. The Iola Area Chamber of Commerce partners together with local businesses and organizations to provide fun activities for the area children. Activities include an Easter egg hunt, free rides on the Kiwanis train and pictures with the Easter bunny. Enjoy a fun, free family event in the beautiful Iola downtown, with opportunities for food and shopping before and after.
To find out specific dates and times, call the number listed above or check out the chamber website or one of its social media pages.
Shop local vendors at the Allen County Farmers’ Market, starting in late spring to early summer and ending in late summer to early fall. Vendor items range from fresh produce to farm-raised eggs and honey, home-made baked goods to various craft items. The Market hosts four locations throughout the week–along State Street in Iola on Tuesday afternoons, the Iola downtown square on Thursday evenings and the Humboldt downtown square and the corner of 54 and 59 highways in Moran on Saturday mornings. Enjoy live music and performances on Thursday nights, and take advantage of the Market’s participation in Vision, SNAP and the Double Up Food Bucks program.
For specific dates, times and locations for each Market season, call the number listed above, visit the Market website or check out its Facebook page.
Owl Creek Jamboree is an annual Acoustic Music Festival held anywhere from the 2nd to the last weekend of April. Celebrating its 10th year in 2023, the OCJ is an unofficial kick-off of the year’s many bluegrass festivals which end in Winfield. This festival is three days of pickin' and grinnin' with a great reunion feel. Artists from all over the Midwest entertain music lovers with a variety of genres, including Red Dirt, Country, Rock, Bluegrass and some that are too hard to specifically classify. Be sure to bring your tent and your own guitar because acoustic stages and campfires go all night long.
For specific dates, times and locations, visit the website or Facebook page listed above.
Join the community on the Humboldt downtown square once a month from May through the fall. Movies screen on the third Saturday of each month just before sunset and are free to attend. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets, drinks and snacks and enjoy an evening under the stars. Make sure to check out the Facebook page listed above to see if any special activities are occurring before the movie showings. Occasionally A Bolder Humboldt will organize a beer garden, snacks and/or games prior to the movie screening.
For specific dates, showings and possible pre-screening activities, check out the Facebook page listed above.
Join the community in the biggest garage sale event of the year. Each spring to early summer, the community participates in some spring cleaning and hosts a huge selection of garage sales put on by various individuals, businesses and organizations. So that you have the opportunity to hit as many sales as you can without having to search for them, the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce posts a Google map to their website and Facebook page. The map contains pins showing each garage sale location, along with the times the sales will be open and the type of items they’ll be selling. Come prepared with your truck, van or trailer to pick up some unique, bargain finds!
For specific dates, map locations and sale details, check out the website and social media pages listed above, or call the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce.
On the third Saturday of each month, the Mildred Store hosts a Block Party and Music Night, and the small, unincorporated town of 17 bursts to life. The Mildred Band plays live country music starting at 6:30 and ending around 9:30, and the dance floor fills with swing-dancers. The Mildred Store deli counter serves sandwiches, and the Lazy Daz RV Park sits available for those who have come from longer distances.
Join the community in fun, free family entertainment that has been described as having a Branson-esque quality. For updates on specific Music Nights, follow the Facebook page listed above.
Iola Ice Cream Socials & Municipal Band Performances
Organized by Iola Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
Join the community every Thursday evening during June and July to listen to the Iola Municipal Band play from the old bandstand located on the northwest side of the courthouse on the Iola downtown square. The band plays at 8 p.m., but the crowd gathers around 7 to enjoy ice cream and sweet treats served by local businesses and organizations.
The Iola Municipal Band has presented these free summertime concerts since 1871, making them the longest continually performing city band in Kansas and one of the oldest in the country. Every concert begins with The Star Spangled Banner and ends with a John Philip Sousa march. Broadway medleys, the State Song and Home on the Range often get top billing. Performances draw people of all ages, and listeners sit on park benches, blankets, lawn chairs or in their cars.
For event schedules, band programs and weather cancellations, visit the *Iola Municipal Band Facebook page listed above or check in with the Iola Chamber of Commerce at the information listed above.
If you have little kids, you won’t want to miss out on the Fourth of July Pedal Parade located on the Iola downtown square. Kids are invited to decorate their bikes, trikes, strollers, scooters and all other forms of wheels in whatever way they wish. Then they parade around the town square’s sidewalk. Various businesses and organizations set up stands at the square’s four corners so that kids can collect various goodies along their route.
For specific details and times on the year’s event, contact the Chamber using the information listed above or check out their website and social media pages.
Celebrating its 130th annual County Fair in 2023, Allen County holds this event as a long-standing tradition. The County Fair carries on for a week at Iola’s Riverside Park, with events and activities including livestock showing, 4-H and FFA competitions, a petting zoo and various rodeo shows. Riverside Park offers playgrounds, picnic areas and the public pool for people to enjoy as well.
For details on yearly fair themes, activities and events, dates and times, visit the website and Facebook page listed above.
Each year, the Iola Rotary Club organizes a car show and BBQ cook off to coincide with the Allen County Fair. BBQ teams pay a fee to enter the contest for the chance at large cash prize winnings. Teams set up in Iola’s Riverside Park with access to free electricity, ice and pool passes, indoor showers and toilets, and nice shaded areas for them to cook under.
For specific dates, registration details, fees and prize amounts, please visit the website and Facebook page listed above.
On the first Saturday in August, participating Iola shops open early for a big before-school sale. Shops offer some of their best sales of the year, and Iola’s downtown sidewalks fill with shoppers. Each year, the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce provides a list of the participating businesses so that shoppers can come prepared.
Check out the Iola website and Facebook page for specific dates, sale times and participating businesses.
On the second Saturday in August, Humboldt’s Water Wars festival celebrates the heat of summer in the wettest and wildest way imaginable. The event kicks off with an interactive parade where the water-themed floats and fire trucks wage battle on the crowd using water guns, water cannons and more–while the crowd returns it with their own pre-provided water arsenal.
After the parade, multiple other water events open, including a 100-foot slip-and-slide, polar plunge dunk tanks, water balloon dodgeball competitions, water bottle rockets, inflatable water slides, bubble stations, a giant foam pit, water balloon slingshots, fire truck tours, water hydrant playtime, kiddie pools and a watermelon feed. Those who prefer to stay dry can hang out in the DMZ (Dry Man Zone) where they can watch live surf rock, a watermelon eating contest, frozen t-shirt races and multiple other showcases of talent and competition. A beer garden and food trucks are also available throughout the day. Don’t miss out on this amazing family fun!
For specific dates and times of events, visit the website and Facebook page listed above.
Enjoy the last long weekend of summer listening to smooth eclectic grooves of Blues and Roots. The Middle of Everywhere Music Festival takes place at Camp Hunter in the happinin’ town of Humboldt, Kansas. This beautiful 1800’s park has the space for people to spread out under the big canopies of old oak trees while enjoying the fresh air and music that will soothe your soul.
Starting at sunrise on Friday, the campgrounds open for attendees to pick their perfect spot. Be sure to check out the town and grab a quick breakfast, coffee or even some fresh baked cookies to take back to the camp with you.
On Saturday evening, Revival Music Hall opens for a more stripped-down show of talented songwriters from the region.
Sunday offers a full day of award-winning musicians at the campground. The festival is all about “coming together,” and artists come from all over Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma ready to rock the stage. Sound is cut at 11 PM, but the fun doesn’t stop. Plenty of folks strum around a campfire and enjoy the music. Come join us! You won’t be disappointed.
For specific dates and times, check out the Facebook page listed above.
On the third Saturday of September, the community gathers to enjoy a day full of food, fun and family. A parade and bean feed act as the main highlights, while local vendors, prize drawings and various kids’ activities and community traditions provide further entertainment throughout the day. Enjoy this unique, small-town event that has been around since 1938 and savor the feeling of home.
For specific dates, times and schedules of events, visit the website and social media pages listed above.
On the first Saturday of October, Humboldt holds the only biblical-themed parade in America that was started back in 1958. Starting in the early-to-mid morning, churches and religious organizations set up tents across Humboldt’s town square. Some hand out Bibles and pamphlets, some host various youth activities like face painting and bean bag tosses, while others sell baked goods, grilled kabobs and frito chili pie for fundraisers. Live gospel music plays throughout the day, and a free bean feed is provided to the community in the early evening. The event’s main highlight, the parade, includes marching bands, equestrian units, floats with live Bible depictions and some classic floats that have been around for decades. Join the community in a unique event that celebrates the area’s deep religious heritage.
For specific dates and parade times, visit the website listed above.
Held in mid-October, Iola’s Farm City Days last from Thursday through Sunday and encompass a slew of events and activities. A carnival sets up along the north side of the downtown square for the entirety of the event, while the majority of the events and activities occur on Saturday. Early Saturday morning, food trucks and other vendors set up on the east side of the downtown square, while a car show fills the square’s west side. Usually in the late morning, a large parade files through the downtown, and marching bands play. Throughout the day, live music and other performances happen by the vendors, kids enjoy a petting zoo on the town square lawn, while various other activities keep attendees entertained throughout the day.
For specific dates and schedules of events, visit the website and Facebook page listed above.
Each year on Halloween, numerous businesses, churches and organizations decorate car trunks and line the street along the Iola downtown square. Hundreds of costumed kids and families file along the rows of trunks and fill their jack-o’-lanterns with goodies. Music plays, and people stop to take pictures at the photo booth. Each year, the event continues to get bigger and bigger as more businesses participate and the fun draws more crowds. Enjoy this family-friendly event, and stop at one of the area’s restaurants for some good eats before or afterwards.
For specific times, street locations and other details, visit the website and social media pages listed above, or call the Iola Chamber at the number given.
Before you store your bikes away for the winter, load them all up for one last late-Fall ride in historic Humboldt that will mark the beginning of the holiday season this Black Friday. Decorate your bikes so they GLOW and ROLL! This casual and relaxed annual ride kicks off at 5:00 PM, with no endurance goal or prize for going the fastest. For one evening, the streets surrounding Humboldt's historic city square are closed to vehicles and open for bicycles only. Riders pedal around the square as many times or as few times as they like, in similar fashion to a skating rink. No need to wear cycling clothes! Dress for brisk evening weather with your scarves, mittens, hats and winter coats to stay warm instead. If you get too chilly, warm up in one of Humboldt's exciting downtown shops or have a s’more by one of the many fire pits set up for this special event.
Humboldt offers a gorgeous, vibrant and growing downtown. The square will be decorated with holiday lights, while Santa will be present to listen to children's wish lists. New, bright lamp posts light the smooth road for safer, traffic-free cycling, and flags decorate Humboldt's downtown to create a unique, spirit-lifting ambiance for cyclists, pedestrians and shoppers. You'll have the freedom to create a lasting, cherished memory with those you love in a one-of-a-kind setting, in a one-of-a-kind town, Humboldt.
The Downtown Christmas Block Party kicks off the Christmas season for Iola on the first Friday in December. Downtown Iola businesses keep their doors open later into the evening to host the many people bustling to do their Christmas shopping. Some businesses offer drinks and refreshments, and several offer special sales and holiday deals. Christmas music drifts out of the shops and onto the sidewalk where people peruse the storefronts and watch for Santa or live carolers who mingle with the shoppers.
People can also participate in the punch card contest for the chance at prize winnings. Punch cards are available at each participating business and list the name of all business participants. People who stop by each participating location and get a punch beside the business name get their cards entered into the Christmas drawing. Completed punch cards can be left at any of the participating locations, and winners are announced a few days later by the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce.
For specific dates, times, locations and drawing details, visit the website and social media pages listed above, or call the number provided.
Santa’s bright red house adorns the corner of 54 Highway and Jefferson Avenue in time for Thanksgiving, and shortly after the Iola Christmas Block Party event, Santa makes his official large entrance onto the Iola square. The local fire department escorts Santa to his house in a blaring truck, while children and families line the sidewalk waiting for a chance to meet with him. While Santa gets comfortable in his house and invites families in one by one, a local business hands out cookies and hot chocolate to the people waiting in line. Professional, affordable photo opportunities are usually available, and the Kiwanis train gives children free rides around the square. Santa makes several appearances at his house throughout the Christmas season so that families can find a time that works best for them to come and enjoy the small-town, holiday charm.
For specific dates and times, visit the website and social media pages listed above, or call the number provided.