Faron Wahl, Manager
You can certainly tell it’s spring at Prairie Village. The grass along historic main street is emerald green, camping families are staking their summer claims, and sunlight is streaming regularly through open roundhouse doors onto locomotives simply begging to roll. A magnificent season is about to kick off, creating an exhilarating pulse that ripples through every corner of our 120 acres.
Our gift shop manager has been busily bringing that hub of village activity out of dormancy and making it into a centerpiece you simply must visit, complete with some fun new offerings this year. The spring wheat destined for August threshing is popping nicely out of black, fertile soil that only weeks ago comprised a frigid winter landscape. And our two maintenance men are crisscrossing the grounds from one project to the next like beavers building a dam. There’s a ton of work to do, and they’re on top of it.
You can feel it from the gate to the Goodwin Church – splendid days are just around the corner at Prairie Village!
Since we started taking regular season camping reservations April 3, our gift shop manager’s cell phone has been smoking. During those first five days alone, she booked 180 campers eager for their summer outings. After a major electrical up-grade last summer to the north and east trees, we’ve now fully updated our mapping, and we’ll be chalking those site boundaries for a while this summer to give folks a chance to visualize the improved layout. Ten new sites offer 50 amps and are extra wide, and coupled with a few additional 30’s, our sum of electrical sites on the grounds now exceeds 300.
The annual consignment auction will lead us off just over a week from now on Saturday, May 6. We’re taking consignments daily, and the listing has long since eclipsed its one-page mark. See the current register of consigned items at prairievillage.org/auction (updated daily). We appreciate our many great consignors, the countless folks who come out to enjoy some friendly bidding, and our skilled and generous volunteer auctioneers: Rick Becker, Mike Corcoran, LD Henrichs, Al Kooima, and Duane Schmidt. We will take items for the sale right up through Friday, May 5, with a hard cutoff of 8:00 pm (no rummage or garage sale items again this year please).
After auction day, you’ll find pleasing familiarity in the return of many events you’ve come to know and expect at the village, beginning with opening day on Sunday, May 7. Our railroad equipment will put an aesthetic touch to the overall visual that day by pacing our property at 2:00, a sign of great railroading to come. Don’t miss the free train ride for moms on Mother’s Day, and for fathers on Father’s Day! From there, you’ll see the return of the pageant, bull riding tour, variety show, railroad days, car show, pumpkin train, and of course, our 55th annual Jamboree – featuring the grand orange hue of Allis-Chalmers.
Sandwiched amongst the lineup of regular features, at least three specific items call for special attention this season, and I’ll visit these additionally in next week’s column: the return of our fully restored carousel, dual steam on the PV, H & M Railroad, and a concert lineup to beat all. Do stay tuned – fantastic things are happening!
We invite you to re-discover Prairie Village this season. There’s so much in store for you here!