New ideas generated during preliminary Santa Fe Trail Days meeting

Friday, April 13, 2012
The Santa Fe Trail marker on the northwest corner of the Saline County courthouse lawn reads: "Santa Fe Trail 1821-1872." It was marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the State of Missouri in 1909. (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

Dedicated to recognizing the historic trade route that stretches through Saline County, organizers of Santa Fe Trail Days met Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary look at this fall's celebration.

Their planning seemed as sturdy as the Santa Fe Trail marker situated on the Saline County courthouse lawn. A group of six organizers discussed the 2011 event and weighed the options for this year's two-day event.

Some ideas traded Wednesday included providing a live music concert Friday evening, a baby contest and a pie-eating contest again for 2012. Showcasing art and craft booths at Indian Foothills park was cemented in as a primary event on the second day.

New ideas abounded too, as organizers hope to attract larger crowds than this past fall. Inviting local bands to perform at the skate park, hiring a caricature artist, securing historic reenactors, and incorporating presentations on the history of the Santa Fe Trail and county Civil War battles crept into the discussion as possibilities.

In years past, the history of the Santa Fe Trail seemed to have been lost in the shuffle, according to a guest at the meeting. It was present Wednesday, though, and could grow into the established annual festival. No final scheduling decisions have yet been made, and organizers plan to meet again in May to create a concentrated plan for 2012.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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