Category Archives: Entertainment

Christmas Parade Winners


 The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all who braved the cold for the 2018 Christmas Parade in Downtown Fort Scott Tuesday, December 4th. The theme was “It’s a Cowboy Christmas!” and the parade was sponsored by Briggs of Fort Scott.

The Chamber would also like to announce the parade entry winners: 1st place winner, receiving a $75 prize, was Fort Scott Community College; 2nd place winner, receiving a $50 prize, was Parkway Church of God Holiness. The 3rd place winner, receiving a $25 prize, was Twister Trailer.

Putting on such events takes many hands, time and talent. The Chamber is sincerely appreciative of all who volunteered, entered, and otherwise contributed to the parade.

Contact the Chamber for more information at 620-223-3566.

New Interpretive Signs Greet Kansas Byway Travelers

TOPEKA – Travelers on the 12 scenic or historic byways in Kansas will enjoy their trips even more this year thanks to new or upgraded interpretive signs at 39 locations across the state. Kansas Byways are a collection of routes that highlight the beauty, history and heritage of Kansas; help stimulate the economy through tourism; and promote a positive image of the state.


The Kansas Byways program is jointly managed by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), the Kansas Historical Society (KHS) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Nine of the routes are scenic byways (two of which are national scenic byways) and three are historic byways.


The latest $1.44 million project included construction of five new kiosks housing interpretive panels, the rehabilitation of 12 existing kiosks and their signs, 26 interpretive signage plazas and 12 Kansas Byway welcome boards which will guide travelers to the byways as they travel the state. In all, 142 panel surfaces were produced.


KDOT and KDWPT received a $220,000 National Scenic Byway grant from the FHWA in 2010 to develop the Kansas Byways Interpretive Plan. KDOT and KDWPT evenly split the required 20 percent match of $44,000. Fermata, Inc. of Austin, Tex., was awarded the contract for the plan, which served as the basis for the signage project.


In 2014, KDWPT received a two-phase Transportation Alternative Grant from the FHWA which was administered through KDOT for design and construction. RDG Planning and Design, Omaha, Neb., was responsible for the design phase ($235,560). GSR Construction, Inc., Lawrence, served as general contractor ($986,168) for the construction phase. KDWPT paid the required 20 percent match for each phase.

“The project is the result of a huge partnership, and we want to thank our partners in this effort,” said Scott Shields, KDOT Byways Manager. “They include the National Scenic Byway Program, the FHWA, local byway committees, KDOT and KDWPT staff, local Kansas Byway cities and counties and the KHS.”

Members of the local byway committees appreciate the enhancements to their byways.

“The kiosk and new interpretive signage add so much to the history and understanding of the surrounding area for tourists to stop and read,” said Kaye Kuhn, Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, south central Kansas.


Jayne Humphrey Pearce added, “The Western Vistas Historic Byway Steering Committee is delighted that these new features are now available to those exploring our byway.”

For information about exploring the Kansas Byways, visit

New Year’s Eve Party at River Room

Crooners & 56J Productions are Hosting a New Year’s Eve Party at The River Room!
Come celebrate with us on Monday, December 31st, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the
historic River Room
3 W. Oak, Fort Scott
Please join us for a festive evening as we ring in the New Year. Tickets are $50 per person in advance, $75 after December 15th. Price includes dinner, live entertainment, and a champagne toast at midnight!

Hedgehog.Ink: Storytime and Artist on Dec. 15

Jan and Dick Hedges, owners of Hedgehog.INK

Hedgehog.INK, a bookstore at 16 S. Main that opened recently, is having a children’s story time on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m.

Dick Hedges, co-owner of Hedgehog.INK, is the official book labeler, he said.

“Several people said they would like to take their children to the library story time, but work (makes it inconvenient), so we are offering one on Saturdays,” Jan Hedges, one of the owners of the Hedgehog.Ink said.

Following the story time, children will be able to decorate sugar cookies, she said.

“Rob Shaw, from Crooner’s, will be leading the children’s Christmas cookie decorating,” Jan said.

There is a story time each month, always on a Saturday morning, with some type of activity following.

Some of the children’s Christmas books offered at the bookstore.

A little later in the day, an artist will be featured, along with his work.

The store features a local artist each month.

Tony Fornelli, a local woodcarver, will be showing his wares and telling about his work, at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15.

Some of Fornelli’s wood creations.

In addition to the decor, Fornelli also offers carved knives made out of deer antlers.

“He will bring a couple to show, ” she said, “As well as talk about wood carving and how he does it.”

A bio of Tony Fornelli.

In addition to books, the store sells chocolate, lavender products, goat milk products, handmade cards and gift certificates.

Lavender products are produced locally by Betsy and Davin Reichard and sold in Hedgehog.INK.
Goat milk products for skin and hair are locally produced by Locust Hill LaMancha Dairy Goats.
Locally handcrafted Christmas and other cards by Jean Solomonson.
Cards produced by artist Paul Milks.
Jan Hedges shows the chocolates produced in Emporia that are for sale at the store.

Currently, the store is having a writing activity. Store goers are encouraged to write about “What I Love About Christmas.”



Santa at Walmart Dec. 7-9

Come visit Santa Claus at the Fort Scott Wal-Mart at the below days and times. 

December 7. Friday. 4 – 8 pm.

December 8. Saturday. 10 am – 2 pm.

December 9. Sunday. 1 – 5 pm.

There is no charge to take a photo with Santa.  However, donations are accepted on behalf of American Legion Post 25’s children and youth programs. 


Freezing Temps Did Not Deter Parade

Temperatures hovering at the freezing mark did not stop the Chamber of Commerce’s Fort Scott Christmas parade Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Following are some snapshots of the event.

Feel free to add photos.

Bethel Community Baptist Church provided a living nativity in downtown Fort Scott Tuesday evening.
Parkway Church of God’s float in the Fort Scott Christmas parade Tuesday evening.
Fort Scott High School Band students entertained the crowd at the Christmas parade.
The Buck Run Community Center staff offered free hot cocoa at the parade.
Customers view the offerings at Christmas At the Empress, a sale of local vendors, who set up a temporary shop Tuesday evening at the same time as the parade. The Empress Event Center is located at 7 N. Main.


Free 1800s Dance Lessons Dec. 8

1800s Dance Lessons this coming Saturday, December 8th in Fort Scott.

There will be free lessons in the Grand Hall on the grounds of Fort Scott National Historic Site this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Come join us as we do some period dancing and perhaps even dance to a holiday song or two!

If you have questions contact Dee  Young at 913-269-1632. This is the Candlelight Weekend at Fort Scott NHS. Check out for more information.

Submitted by Dee Young

A Modern Twist on a Familiar Christmas Tale at FSHS

The Fort Scott High School Thespians present their holiday children’s theatre production of “A 21st Century Christmas Carol” by Lori M. Myers.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Fort Scott High School Auditorium. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time and seating is limited.

“A 21st Century Christmas Carol” is a new twist on a familiar tale. “Eleanor Scrooge, a greedy old spinster, spends her days barking orders at her gift shop employees.  Though the mall will be closed, she still wants them to work on Christmas Day!  Then she’s visited by the ghost of her old boss, Mr. Marley, and a parade of zany spirits who materialize from cheesy collectible figurines.  … With great humor, contemporary references, and crazy characters, … audiences will fall in love with the classic story all over again,” according to Pioneer Drama Service.


Characters in the production are played by area children in 1st-8th grades. Regen Wells, a 7th-grade student at Fort Scott Middle School, plays the lead character of Eleanor. Eighth graders Anna Laubenstein, Kinsley Davis and Kaitlyn Leavell play the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. All are also members of the FSMS Drama Club which meets weekly at the Middle School.


The play is directed by FSHS senior Karina Kantilal and sophomore Ashanti Green. Music is led by freshman Christina Ramirez and sophomore Noah Martin with choreography from junior Mesa Jones and sophomore Avery Dorsey. About thirty other high school students are assisting with the direction and design of the show as a fundraiser for the State and International Thespian Festivals under the supervision of Thespian Director Angie Bin.


Tickets for “A 21st Century Christmas Carol” are $5 and available at the FSHS Office, 1005 S. Main; Common Ground, 116 S. Main; and at the door.


Library Christmas Party Dec. 17

Fort Scott Public Library will hold its 4th Annual Family Holiday Party on Monday, December 17, at 4 p.m.
 Activities for teens will be held upstairs, while games and crafts for children will be downstairs after group stories.
Children and teens of all ages are welcome, but first grade and below must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
The party will run from 4 – 5:30 p.m. and registration will open at 3:45.
Enjoy holiday stories, songs, activities, snacks, crafts, and prizes, free.
Volunteers are needed to help supervise the activities. Please contact youth librarian Valetta Cannon at, fill out a donation form at the library, or call 223-2882 if you would like to help. Happy holidays from Fort Scott Public Library!
Submitted by Valetta Cannon

Fort Scott Public Library
Youth Librarian & Assistant Director