St. John's Jubilee: Ribbon-cutting will open 2021 festival on Friday

Billie Blair
St. John News
A Friday, May 28 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the bigger-than-life mural will kick off the 2021 Julbilee event in St. John.

The St. John Jubilee is “On the Road Again” in 2021. The pandemic of 2020 kept the community from this decades-long annual Memorial Weekend event for families, friends, and visitors. Planners have been working to create an exciting summer festival for folks, plus the yearly USD 350 alumni reunion gatherings, bringing the town’s former high school graduates together for fun, floats, and fellowship.

The event begins Friday, May 28, at 6 p.m. with the opening flag ceremony. The evening will include carnival rides and a beer garden located at the old Ford Garage. Vendors and the information booth will open at 6 p.m. A cornhole tournament starts at 6:30 p.m. next to the beer garden. The entry fee is $20 for each team of two and includes four drink tickets. To register for this competition, call (620) 549-3295 or text (785)324-2388. Cash prizes will be given to the top two teams.

Also at 6:30 p.m. is the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new mural painted on the south facing wall on the northwest corner at Main and 2nd. The project was sponsored by the Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission and The Church of Jesus Christ in St. John. The mural, designed and painted by artist Inga Ojala, is a depiction of the “founding of the town…as settlers arrived and saw it as a Utopian place to begin their community” (www.staffordecodevo.com/mural).

A street dance is scheduled for Friday evening beginning at 9 p.m. The Andy Capps Band will be performing. Band members include Adam Capps, lead guitar player Walt Moore, Danny Burt on the drums, and Norm Bennett playing bass. According to the band’s Facebook page, “their blend of classic rock, country, and southern rock …[is]like [nothing] else on the radio today.

Saturday, May 29, begins with the IOOF Lodge providing a free breakfast at the Shell Building at 7 a.m.

Several activities begin at 9 a.m., including the opening of Shear Madness, the street vendors and the information booth. The Lucille Hall Museum, showcasing life in St. John over the last 100 plus years will be open from 9 a.m. to noon. The USD 350 5K run also begins at 9 a.m. Carnival rides will start up again at 10 a.m.

Parade participants will start lining up at Triplet Enterprise Auto at 12:30 p.m. The parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. “On the Road Again” is the theme for this year’s class floats. Judges will consider how well each float represents the theme and the execution of the theme on each float. Cash prizes of $100, $75, and $50 will be given to the top three floats by the local TV station, SSC TV3.

Immediately following the parade will be the USD 350 run with participants lining up at 4th and Broadway.

The Shepherd’s Center will have an open house until 4 p.m. This is an opportunity to tour the building and see where the local news on SSC TV3 is produced. The veteran’s pictures that were displayed at Hood’s Haven will be available for pick up during the open house. There will be refreshments, free pens and mugs for those who attend.

A prize drawing and the announcement of the class float winners is planned for 3 p.m. The weekend events will then come to an end with a closing ceremony. The location of these events will be announced later.

"This weekend festival has a long history in the community. It will be a great time to be “on the road again” to see neighbors and friends after a year of concern over the pandemic," Getty said. "We can’t wait to see everyone this year and have another great Jubilee in the books."