ATCHISON -- Nearly 75 years after her doomed final flight, people in Atchison still gather every July for one of the major summer events of the season.. the Amelia Earhart Festival. The 15th annual Earhart Festival is being held this Friday and Saturday in her hometown, offering many events and activities.
A few of the planned activities include the 2K and 8K Fun Run and Walk; a Fly-In at the Amelia Earhart Airport; breakfast with the books at the Atchison Library, a car show, and even an ice cream social Thursday at 5:00 to get things warmed up.
Downtown Atchison activities also include street performers, crafts and live music. During the Festival, fans can join in the panel discussion, "Soaring to New Heights," featuring women who share Amelia's spirit. The annual Pioneering Achievement Award Luncheon honors Eileen M. Collins, a retired Air Force Colonel and the first female pilot and commander of a Shuttle mission. (Ric Gillespie will also talk over his research of where rescuers thought they had found Amelia's remains, and the DNA testing on that, conducted in Oklahoma.)
This weekend's bash to honor Earhart is highlighted by LakeFest 2011, starring Darius Rucker; carnival rides; aerobatic performances and a "Concert in the Sky" fireworks finale. This location has been moved this year because the road to the normal park is flooded by swollen Missouri River waters this summer. To find out the times, dates and locations for all these events, check out www.atchisonkansas.net.