Yep, there’ll be the best meatloaf and homemade pie in the country.
And, a whole lot more, too.
“We have meatloaf and pie baking contests as special attractions, but a full packed daylong slate of additional activities are planned for our sixth annual Paxico Meatloaf Festival Saturday, June 28, at Paxico, right off Highway I70, Exits 333 and 335, west of Topeka,” announced Larry Winkler, official of the Paxico Merchants Association.
It seems appropriate to explain what the headline competitions are all about. Well, both the meatloaves and pies must be ready to display when entered at 11 o’clock, Saturday morning, in the hall located at 102 Main.
“The entries will all be displayed for the People’s Choice public voting from noon to 1:45, and official judging gets underway at 2 o’clock.
Meatloaf entries are to be formally evaluated on presentation, texture and, of course, taste. The pies are to be judged on appearance, crust and taste.
“Winners are to be announced from the festival’s main stage at 3:30,” related Winkler, who verified that all of the contests’ rules and regulations can be found at the Paxico website.
An outdoor Flea Market is planned all day Saturday, according to Winkler. Vendors of a wide array of unique merchandise will have their displays set up throughout the day, starting with kickoff at 9 o’clock.
“The Paxico antique shops also will open their doors at 9 o’clock, and will be operating for business throughout the day, along with the café, bar and grill,” Winkler emphasized.
Parade entries are asked to line up at the City Park at 10:30, with starting time being 11 o’clock, with the procession west on Main Street to Newbury Avenue.
“The Big Red One First Division from Fort Riley will be participating in the parade with their band, color guard, and the 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion equipment including several vehicles and field mess tent with even a meatloaf prep demonstration and an entry in the meatloaf cook-off contest,” verified Winkler.
Additional parade features, he pointed out, are to be an entry by the Sisters on the Fly, a ladies camping group, the Paxico Community Vintage Tractor Club, and the Cruzline, a precision drum line.
The Cruzline will present an “energetic street” performance immediately following the parade as the vintage tractors, along with classic and custom cars, are lined up for display throughout the afternoon, when historical re-enactors are set to educationally entertain.
Dinner will be offered by the local establishments, and a number of street food vendors, with a full meatloaf dinner on the menu.
“Kid’s activities begin at 1 o’clock, with a trackless train, face painting and various games including with prizes. Buchman’s Double B Ranch of Alta Vista will offer free rides in an 1800s two-seated, fringed-topped carriage pulled by a red-tasseled, red-white-and-blue-plumed bay mare called Mae.
The first winner in the antique shop drawings are to be announced at 2 o’clock, when Zerf-the-cowboy-minstrel starts entertaining until 4 o’clock. Then, following an additional antique shop drawing, The Oregon Trail Gang takes the Woodman Hall Stage to entertain with their unique style of country and bluegrass music until 6 o’clock.
“Whew,” evaluated Winkler.
“It’ll be a full day of good eatin’ and every type of fun for everybody of all ages. See you at the sixth annual Paxico Meatloaf Festival June 28,” he welcomed.
Complete line-up is at www.paxicomerchants.com.
“Located at the foot of the Flint Hills of Kansas, Paxico’s history actually begins with Newbury township, which is located just outside the city limits. The Santa Fe Railroad was selling Pottawatomie Reserve land at $5 an acre and up,” Winkler said.
In 1869, four industrious Germans purchased acreage to lay out the township of Newbury. Eventually, the community grew to about a dozen houses and various businesses including a drug store, variety store and lumber yard.
Meanwhile, William and Robert Strowig in 1879 constructed a mill on land purchased from an old Indian medicine man called Pashqua. After a store and post office were established near the bustling mill, this site, about a mile from Newbury, came to be known as “Paxico,” after the medicine man.
“You can still see Pashqua’s profile today on many Paxico-branded items,” Winkler noted.
“The mid-1880s witnessed a struggle between the communities of Paxico and Newbury to woo the Rock Island railroad. Paxico eventually prevailed, and the old depot can still be seen at the Mill Creek Campgrounds site. The town was officially laid out in 1886 and promoted by a Topeka concern,” Winkler informed.
“In the quiet Newbury township, now you’ll find the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Flint Hills,’ nestled among country homes and farmsteads. The stately twin spires can be seen for miles around,” Winkler said.
“Today in downtown Paxico, several historic Victorian-era buildings still stand, and the familiar whistle of the iron horses can still be heard. You’ll find collectibles, gifts, antique stoves and early Americana.
“Paxico also features an art studio, campground and RV park, and winery gift shop. On peaceful Mill Creek, visitors enjoy fishing, swimming, canoeing and taking in the local wildlife. Plus, the Mill Creek-Skyline Scenic Drive takes you through the rolling prairies and farmlands of the beautiful Flint Hills,” Winkler invited.