We welcome all those interested in learning what is being planned for 2018 Neewollah! One thing to be learned is that it takes hundreds of volunteers to make this festival work. Already the wheels are on the ground for what's to come. Your involvement can start with looking over the website to find what you might like to do. If you are an old hand or brand new, we want to utilize you. Ask any Neewollah Inc. Board Member, people whose names you recognize on this site, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
It should be noted that Neewollah 2018 signals 100 years since Neewollah's 1919 inception.
As generalissimo, I however, want to focus on the 60thanniversary since the 1958 re-invention which established the format for the Neewollah Festivals that we know. A sixtieth anniversary of a notable event can be called the Diamond Jubilee, and so 2018 is The Neewollah Diamond Jubilee. The musical production that will open the festival is The Addams Family Musical. So here is this year's slogan: The Neewollah Diamond Jubilee: Family Fun for more than sixty years. We are in the process of initiating a new Neewollah website which will be on line soon. Until it's ready, we will be using what we have.
Soon the new version of our website will be initiated and we will have a new look. Until then, we'll try to keep you up to date in this familiar format.
Neewollah celebration (Halloween spelled backwards) began in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community of Independence, Kansas. In the beginning the events centered on parades, morning, afternoon, and night on October 31. The parades consisted mainly of decorated cars and carriages. Queens and princesses from area festivals rode in the parades, along with our own Queen Neelah who was selected based on votes bought at a penny each. The Great Depression and World War II interrupted the Neewollah celebration but in 1958 four businessmen revived and elaborated on the Neewollah theme bringing it back as a 3-day celebration.
Today Neewollah is the largest annual celebration in Kansas. The city of Independence will grow from a town of just under 10,000 inhabitants to 75,000 in the final days of the now 10-day celebration. Today's celebration now includes 3 parades, a Doo Dah Parade (adult Kiddie Parade), a Kiddies Parade and a Grand Parade. Chili Cook-off, a hometown musical and queen's pageant also add to the festival activities. The main downtown is filled with 30 plus food vendors, a large carnival and bandstand for nightly entertainment. The Arts and Craft show, Great Pumpkin contest along with the Band Competition, Fun Run and Chili Cookoff provide activities for everyone. Great Bandstand Entertainment bring a conclusion to the diligent efforts of over 500 community volunteers.