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News for 11/6/2019

Veterans’ Day Celebration in Kensington

Attend the 100th Veterans’ Day Celebration in Kensington this Saturday, November 9th.  The theme this year is “A Century of Service” with activities starting at 9:00am. Visit the Scholastic Book Fair at the Kensington Library from 9am-2pm and the Fall Festival Craft Fair at the Legion Building from 9am-3pm. The American Legion Auxiliary Pie Stand will be open for desserts and is located at the Vo-Ag building across the street from the high school. 100th Anniversary t-shirts will be for sale as well as raffle tickets for a quilt, several firearms, and many other prizes. The speaker this year is Marti Mace, a retired Master Sergeant. She plays the bagpipes at Army Memorials and was asked to represent the United States at the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at Normandy. She will address the crowd at 11:00am and the parade will follow at approximately 11:15. Marching bands, school floats, businesses and organizations will be announced as they ride, walk or drive down main street. Be sure to bring containers or tupperware for the FREE BBQ after the parade at 12:00 noon.  Volunteers will be dishing up beans and handing out sandwiches made from the recipes used now for 100 years. A Flag Retirement Ceremony will take place at 1:30pm in the vacant lot ¾ block east of the grocery store and just north of the library. Guns and prizes will be announced starting at 9:00pm at the Legion. A dance will follow with Kill Creek Rising as the entertainment until 1:00am.

Here is some history behind the celebration, gathered by Erica Barnes from sources including "The History of Kensington Centennial Edition" and locals still living here in town.

This year, 2019, is the 100th anniversary of the first Veterans Day celebration in Kensington. Here is a little history behind the celebration.

On the 11th month, the 11th day, and the 11th hour in 1918 was the signing of the Armistice, which was not the actual end of the war, but the end of hostilities.

When the news came to Kensington, Kansas that November 11th, that the Armistice had been signed, the citizens of Kensington celebrated by having a barbeque. 

The following year, on November 11th of 1919, the veterans joined with the other citizens in sponsoring a like event. This was the first annual celebration of the Armistice of WWI held in Kensington. The Veterans went to the country and purchased critters, which were brought to town and butchered in Gene Wolfe’s Butchering House. Freddie Bierman, Vince Dilsaver and Douglas Dimond were part of this “critter” committee for many years. The celebration has been held nearly every year since as the Kensington Free Barbeque and Homecoming. What later became known as Kensington’s Veterans Day Celebration has been held annually with the exception of at least three years locals say. 

The 1st year missed was due to a snow storm in 1923.  One year was skipped due to WWII in 1942. The boys that were overseas found out those back home did not hold the celebration. They wrote home to their parents requesting and insisted that the celebration continue on after this. Then again in 1957 was a blizzard and the celebration was cancelled.

In the early years, they had school kids collect dry wood along the creeks and stock pile firewood at the bbq location/cook shack. In the 60’s, they changed from the trenches in the ground they had cooked food in and set up vats with briquettes for cooking. They felt this wasn’t working so well and in the 70’s started using old, used milk coolers heated with propane. The same recipes for the meat and beans have been used over the course of 100 years. 

The American Legion Post #166 sponsors the parade. Local schools and organizations from both Smith and Phillips county would participate with numerous floats and bands. For many years a Football game was played in the afternoon. Following the BBQ, Kensington high school would hold their school play before the football game. The band would provide a halftime entertainment. This was discontinued in the late 60’s. A memorial program also used to take place. Now, a flag retirement ceremony is held.

For many years the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary have made a quilt on which they sell chances and hold a raffle of the quilt. They also bake pies and various desserts and sell paper poppies.

In more recent years, the SALS have provided a Gun Raffle with chances to win guns and various consolation prizes, such as half a hog and more. 

Fall Festival Craft Fair

Support your local vendors this holiday season by attending the festive, Fall Craft Fair in Kensington on Saturday, November 9th. Open from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the American Legion on Main Street. Stop in before or after the annual Veterans’ Day parade for great gifts! Event sponsored by the Kensington Commercial Club.

Book Fair at the Kensington Library

The Scholastic Book Fair has arrived! It will be set up and open for sales through the week of November 4-9th. Our special Family Event will take place during the Veterans Day Celebration in Kensington on Saturday, November 9th, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Stop in for great books for the kids, nick-nacks/stocking stuffers for Christmas, pencils, erasers and posters too! Give the gift of reading.

TR KAYS Are Busy Sharing Blessings and Gathering Food

Each month, the Thunder Ridge KAYS make decorations for the nursing home and Long Term Care residents in Smith Center. It takes around 60 decorations to do both facilities. This month the students made fall leaf wreaths with the words "Blessings" or "Thankful" on them. Jaden Boden got them delivered to Smith Center for the group. We sure hope the residents feel blessed by the KAYS efforts!

KAY members Maggie Nech, Sydni Rust and Jaden Boden showing the wreaths made for the elderly.

October 27, the KAY did their annual reverse "Trick-or-Treat So Others Can Eat" in the neighboring towns. They collected several needed items for the Kensington Food Pantry. A huge thanks to everyone who donated food and to the kids who collected food for others. After collecting food, the group also took what they collected to the food pantry where they helped sort what they collected with the help of the ladies from the food pantry. It does them good to serve others. That's what KAY is all about!

KAYS Sydni Rust and Saige Kirchhoff “trick-or-treat” for canned goods.

KAYS “Pink Out”, October 25, was a huge success! Many fans wore pink, and the group collected nearly $200 to donate to cancer research. Pink ribbons were pinned on fans before the game, and pink caps were thrown out to the crowd after half time. Thanks to everyone who donated to this great cause!

KAY members Brittany Atchison, Iva Rust and Brennan Kirchhoff greet Amber Hardacre and her daughter, Cameron, as the enter the football game.

Mat Makers Are Still Busy

Mat Makers met October 19 and gathered and completed 11 more mats. The group has delivered 40 sleeping mats to the homeless since last December. The number of people who help keeps pretty consistent, and people are always welcome to stop in and see how they can help. They will meet again at St. John Lutheran's Church November 16, from 9-noon.  There is also a group that will meet at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Stuttgart, November 9, from 9-noon. Dianne Conn is that contact person. Contact Robin Billings for any other questions. 

Several ladies working on mats at the St. John Lutheran Church.

St. John Lutheran Youth Are Helping

Each year, the Sunday School kids of St. John Lutheran Church collect school items and pack them into homemade bags to send to Lutheran World Relief. They have sewers who sew all year around so when fall rolls around, all the bags are ready to go. Each bag contains 3 notebooks, 5 pens, 5 pencils, a ruler, crayons, pencil sharpener, an eraser, and a pair of scissors. This year, the church sent 144 kits to LWR to be shipped to children around the world. 

The ladies of the church also assembled 68 personal  health kits and the quilters made 136 quilts for Lutheran World Relief. Lots of busy hands!!

Turkey Dinner Drawing

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner? Let the Kensington Community Store take the stress away of preparing the meal. Come in and purchase tickets for a turkey dinner for 10! Meal includes mashed potatoes/gravy, dressing, green bean casserole, and dessert. All you have to do is warm up meal and enjoy that day. The  tickets are $5 a piece. The winner will be announced Nov. 16th and meal can be picked up Nov. 27. 

KCS is thankful for all the support.


Notice: Please get your news items to Erica no later than Sunday afternoon at 5:00pm. News submitted after Sunday will be in the paper the following week. Send your info to Erica Barnes at with subject line: NEWS; or feel free to call 785-476-8185. For the full, in color edition, visit

Weekly Inspiration

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. - Oscar Wilde

Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company. - Booker T. Washington

Thank God for your life tonight. For your health, your family, or your home. Many people don't have these things. - Unknown


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