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Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)


Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)


Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)


Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)


Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)



Scenes from the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, July 22. (Photo by Steve Rupert)

The Wyandotte County Fair opened Tuesday, July 22, for a five-day run at the fairgrounds at 13700 Polfer Road, Kansas City, Kan.

Temperatures on opening night were in the 98-degree range. Wednesday will be cooler, with a high of 87.

The schedule for Wednesday:

Wednesday at the Fair
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Daycare Day (call ahead)

5 p.m. Pie Contest at the Red Barn

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Carnival Wristband night

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hedricks Petting Zoo, Hedricks Camel Rides, Pony Rides and Pictures

6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Hedricks Pig Races

6:30 p.m. to dusk Hot air balloon rides

6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Free Magic Show, Red Barn

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sully Brothers, Free Stage Tent

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Arena, Horseshoe Pitching Contest (4 tosses for $1), Wyatt Earp interpreter, blacksmith demonstration

Admission to the fair is free and parking is $5. There is a charge for carnival rides; wristband nights are Tuesday and Wednesday, when a wristband admission will cost $15.

For more information about the fair, visit http://wyandottedaily.com/five-day-county-fair-kicks-off-tuesday-with-more-arena-events-than-last-year/

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by William Crum

The year was 2004 when the Fringe Festival started in the Kansas City area. Referred to by many as the new vaudeville, the Fringe Festival has gotten bigger and better every year.

This year it has 100 artists and groups in more than 422 performances in 18 venues from the Crossroads area to the University of Missouri at Kansas City. The performances range from dance to comedy and the visual arts.

The price for each event ranges from $10 to $15 and the tickets can be purchased at the venues 30 minutes before show time. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5 and are available at box office for shows that are rated family friendly.

One of the participants in the Fringe Festival is Heidi Van Middlesworth, who is known at the festival as Heidi Van. She is a 1996 graduate of Bishop Ward High School who now is the owner of the Fish Tank, a place where a new playwright can get a chance to show off his work.

Heidi started acting at a very young age; her mother was involved with the Theater League and they would have plays where children who are young get a chance to act.

“I really had fun doing these plays as a child,” she said. “As I got older my love for the theater has become a major part of my life. I really enjoy teaching acting to young people. This is how the Fish Tank came about,” Heidi said.

Another participant in this year’s festival is Wendy Wood, who performs with a group called Skin. She goes by the stage name of Emery. This is a Las Vegas-style ensemble that when you see it you think you’re right there in downtown Vegas, a group that Wayne Newton would have on stage with him. This performance is for adults.

Wendy Wood, a resident of Wyandotte County, appears in this year’s Fringe Festival. (Photo by William Crum)


Wendy lives here in Wyandotte County. Wendy is a graduate of Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kan., and has relatives who live in Bonner Springs, Kan., and Edwardsville, Kan. Like Heidi, she started off at a very young age and both Heidi and Wendy are proud of their roots in Wyandotte County.

“Eventually I plan to move back to Wyandotte County and bring the Fish Tank along with me. Especially with the redevelopment of Minnesota Avenue,” Heidi said.

There are lots of residents from Wyandotte County who really enjoy the Fringe Festival and every year they try to attend various performances. Two people who enjoy the festival are State Sen. David Haley and State Rep. Pam Curtis. “I tried to attend as many of the performances I can even though I have a very busy schedule,” said Sen. David Haley.

“Eventually we want to go to the Wyandotte County area, but nothing for me yet. They have been talking to the Alcott Center but nothing is firm yet. As soon as we close this year you start getting ready for next year immediately,” said Cheryl Kimmi, the executive director.

The Fringe Festival started July 17 and runs through Sunday, July 27, at 20 places in Kansas City, Mo. For more information about the performances of the Kansas City Fringe Festival go to the website, www.kcfringe.org.

Wyandot Inc. will hold a special reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, for Pete Zevenbergen, who recently retired as the organization’s president and CEO.

During the program at 5:30 p.m., speakers will recognize Zevenbergen for his visionary leadership in the mental health field locally, across Kansas and the country. The reception will be held at Savior Pastoral Center, 126th and Parallel, Kansas City, Kan.

Guest speakers will include Mayor Mark Holland, Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, Kansas; Mayor Jeff Harrington, Bonner Springs; and Mayor John McTaggart, Edwardsville.

The Rev. Ken Nettling, chairperson of the Wyandot Inc. Board of Directors, will welcome and introduce other guest speakers: Rita Hoag, chair, Western Wyandotte County Citizens’ Advisory Council; Denise Baynham, member, Wyandot Center Board of Directors; and Randy Callstrom, the new president-CEO of Wyandot Inc. Staff will make special presentations to Zevenbergen.

Zevenbergen was named Wyandot Center executive director in 2000. In 2010, he restructured the organization to create separate entities under the umbrella of Wyandot Inc.

Today, these include Wyandot Center, serving adults with mental illness; PACES, addressing emotional and behavioral health concerns of children and adolescents, and their families; Kim Wilson Housing, developing innovative housing solutions; and RSI, providing crisis stabilization services.

“Over the past 14 years, Pete transformed Wyandot Center and created our Wyandot, Inc., a family of organizations to meet needs of persons with mental illness and those who are homeless,” Callstrom said. “Most importantly, Pete put our consumers at the center of all efforts, and fostered compassion and innovative services to respond to the Wyandotte County community’s needs.”

Zevenbergen grew the organization from:

· A staff of 253 (full- and part-time) to 555 employees (full and part-time).

· An annual budget of $6.4 million in 2000 to $31.2 million in 2014.

Today, Wyandot, Inc. provides mental health services at six locations in Wyandotte County and offers housing programs across Kansas and into Missouri.

- Story from Wyandot Inc.

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