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Rotary Freedom Festival 2017

Jul 1, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 PM
Downtown Topeka, Topeka, KS
Event Summary

The second annual Rotary Freedom Festival will be held Saturday, July 1, 2017 in downtown Topeka.

Download the activities map

In case of rain, the event will be held at the Topeka Performing Arts facility.

Join us for the Run for Freedom (5K), historical reenactments, military displays, children and family activities at the State Capitol, a Pop-Up park on the Kaw, food vendors and live music in the pocket parks on Kansas Avenue. The evening concludes with a concert headlined by Kelley Hunt.  You will need a ticket to get through the gate on Kansas Avenue at either eighth street or tenth street.

Event Schedule / Activities
List Calendar
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Event Details

    Freedom’s Crossroads in Topeka

From fighting against slavery as a free state to bringing the landmark desegregation case, Topeka is a crossroads for the nation's struggle for freedom-– a concept that has changed over time as events in Topeka's history have evolved.

This Rotary Freedom festival celebrates our Kansas history, our diversity and our pride in being a community where important things happened.

ACTIVITIES MAP (view and download)

Planned Activities from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Run for Freedom –0.6 mile around Capitol for kids;  5 K timed races  begins at 9:00 AM at Capitol grounds and 9th street.  Fun Run starts at 9:15 AM.

Reenactments at Constitution Hall of the dispersal of the Legislature by Col. Sumner in 1854.  Scheduled at 10:00AM, noon and 2:00 PM.

Pop-Up Park and Paddling on the Kaw - experience where the first settlers crossed, walk the levee, enjoy boating, music and stories about the river.  Catch the circulator bus  every 15  minutes at Constitution Hall.

Displays of Military Hardware (500, 600 block of Kansas Ave.)

Enjoy the Statehouse Sampler:  Fun, Free Activities for Children and Family on State Capitol Grounds

  • Tours of State Capitol 
  • face painting and crafts for children
  • sidewalk chalk art
  • 25 different exhibitors with information and activities.

Free bus rides on Kansas Avenue to get to all the locations beginning at 10:00.  Route takes about 15 minutes to complete the circuit.  Park your car and ride!

Pocket parks along Kansas Avenue will have music, storytelling, chess and other activities throughout the day from 9-3 PM.  Click here for the complete schedule.  

Free evening concerts – starting at 4 PM                                             Outdoor stage at 9th and Kansas

  • The Smooth Tones featuring Kelvin Ross plays at 4:00 PM
  • The Skirts – a women's bluegrass group from Chase County playing at 5:15 PM
  • Maria the Mexican, an edgy, new group playing “roots rock” with a Mexican flair-6:45 PM
  • Kelley Hunt – Nationally recognized Blues singer-songwriter – playing at 8:30 PM

Food and Drink

  • Rotary Beer Garden starting at 4:00 PM near music on Kansas Avenue.
  • Food Trucks on Kansas Ave between 8th and 10th 4:00 - 10 PM
  • Assumption Church Food Court near Capitol 10-3 PM
  • Food concessions by Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Rotary Pocket Park at Constitution Hall 10-3PM
  • Picnic Tables available in the Kaw River Pop-up Park; Bring your food or buy at food concessions  10-3PM


Tickets (free) will be required to enter the Concert, Music and Food area after 4 PM. 21 or Older ticket holders will be required to show proper identification to receive a wristband allowing alcohol purchases.

A limited number of reserved seats for the musical entertainment are available for $10 each.

Volunteer to Help

We also need volunteers to help with activities, and organizations to provide family-friendly activities at the Capitol Grounds from 9-3 PM.

Contact Joan Wagnon at or 785-249-3464 for more information. 

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When and Where
Downtown Topeka
9th and Kansas Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612

Jul 1, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 PM
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