It’s back! Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus returns

Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus group in 2009
One of our favorite events is back this year—the infamous Rocky Horror Picture Show party bus!

We started this tradition in 2009, after Peach renovated the movie theater in Ottawa and we had a place to watch the show, yell as much as we wanted and throw things. And get up and dance in the middle of the movie. (We won’t talk about the time that couple tried to ‘shush’ us during the movie.)

The party bus went on hiatus the past couple of years, but this year we’re excited to bring it back.

Here’s the drill: you MUST dress in costume. That’s rule #1, and the most important rule.

Everyone meets at the Sandbar around 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. FYI, that’s also Homecoming weekend for KU, and a pep rally will be happening on our block that night. It’s also Final Fridays, so downtown Lawrence will be BUSY. Plan accordingly and carpool if possible.

The bus leaves the Sandbar promptly at 9 p.m. and heads south to Ottawa. The bus ride is FUN. Some refreshments will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own for the bus.

Once we get to the Plaza Cinema in Ottawa—the oldest operating cinema in the world, in case you didn’t know—you’ll enjoy a tour of the Movie Memorabilia Museum, followed by the main event—the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

After the movie is over, we’ll load the bus back up and head back to Lawrence.

All this for just $36! Sign up in advance at the Sandbar to save your spot.

And in case you need ideas for costumes, check out some of the stories and pictures from past years’ trips, or use our good friend Google to find something. But remember: costumes are required!

ICYMI, this year is the 40th anniversary of Rocky Horror Picture Show. The cast recently reunited on The Today Show. Check out the video here.

Rocky Horror Picture Show 2015 flier

Want to see our float again?

Then you’ll want to get downtown in Baldwin City this weekend!

Several years ago, we decided to buy a new-to-us trailer that could be dedicated to our annual parade float. Before that, we were using one of Ted’s farm trailers, which was fine—except he needed to use it for the farm, so we had to tear down the float right away and give it back.

Now that we have a dedicated float trailer, we can leave the float intact year-round.

That also means we can use it for a stage at our block party—saving ourselves a ton of money on stage rental!—and loan it out to other people in need of a fun stage for a band.

This weekend is Get Downtown Baldwin!, a fun event in downtown Baldwin City with everyone’s favorite cover band, Sellout!, performing once again on our lime-green stage.

The family-friendly event includes a chili feed, beer and wine, and a bounce house (that’s quite the combination!). Dinner starts at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 8 p.m. And, the event is free! You can also enjoy an art exhibit by Tom Russell.

Stop by the Lumberyard Arts Center for a fun family evening this Saturday!

Thanks to the sponsors: Mid America Bank, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, City of Baldwin City, and the Baldwin City EDC.

Throwback Thursday: Cardboard Boat Races

Throwback Thursday: Cardboard Boat Races

We heard that Student Union Activities at KU is holding a Cardboard Boat Regatta at Potter Lake on Saturday, and we got a wee bit nostalgic.

You see, eleven years ago, we built a cardboard boat and sent four of our people onto Clinton Lake in it. They’re all still alive. In fact, we had so much fun, we did it again the next year.

I think it was an event put on by the Chamber of Commerce for a couple of years back in 2004 and 2005. But you all know how much we love building floats, and a cardboard boat didn’t seem all that different.

Here’s to the SandBarge of 2004:

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004
This one paid homage to our St. Patrick’s Day float, the Love Boat, on a much smaller and less-sturdy scale.

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004

Cardboard Boat Races, 2004
You might be wondering about that last photo. Someone thought it would be a good idea to bring along a bunch of water balloons and a giant balloon slingshot, and launch the balloons at the boats on the water.

I’ll let you all decide who that “someone” was.

Most people thought it was funny. But there were a few who didn’t, and we kind of got in trouble. As much trouble as you can get in at a cardboard boat race, anyway.

We built another cardboard boat in 2005:

Cardboard Boat Races 2005

No, Target did not sponsor this creation. Though they should have, for as much money as some of us have spent in their stores.

Cardboard Boat Races 2005
Clearly, we didn’t learn anything the first time, and brought a giant cooler full of water balloons again.

You probably aren’t surprised that Dave is manning the slingshot. He likes pelting people with water balloons. He’s also way too big to be on the cardboard boat, so this was the next best thing.

And finally, our favorite. We wish this was our boat.

Cardboard Boat Races 2005
So, students of KU: do you have what it takes to build a boat out of cardboard that can float on Potter Lake? We can’t wait to see them.

Saddle up your (sea)horses for Ottawa’s Cowboy Days

Ottawa Cowboy Days promotion
Boots? Check. Cowboy hat? Check. Old West spirit? Check.

Aficionados of all things western will celebrate the return of Old West Cowboy Days after a six-year hiatus during a day-long festival Sept. 5 in Ottawa, Kansas.

“The cowboy culture is not dead,” organizer Peach Madl said. “From campfires to cattle drives to concerts, we wanted to bring people together to celebrate the western way of life.”

A kick-off to the event is the Bourbon Train ride on the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at 7 p.m. Sept. 4. Passengers will ride from Baldwin City to Norwood while enjoying five unique bourbon tastings and appetizers. They’ll also experience an old-time wagon ride and a roaring campfire with a Western theme. For more information and to make reservations, contact the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at (785) 594-8505.

Want to see dozens of Longhorn cattle being driven down Ottawa’s Main Street? Don’t miss the cattle drive at 10 a.m. Sept. 5. The drive is sponsored by the Plaza Cinema and Burkdoll Brothers of Garnett, Kansas.

Participants can enjoy many other activities throughout the day in and outside of Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., including vendors, Wild Women of the West, local horse breeds, a horse video and a barbecue dinner. Miniature horses will be on display from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, as well an opportunity to take photos with CoCo Chanel, a live “unicorn.”

Activities around the city of Ottawa include an exhibit at the Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St.; western movies and a Buffalo Bill exhibit at the Plaza Cinema, 209 S. Main St.; a shooting presentation by the Lebo 4-H club at The Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St.; and carriage rides throughout downtown Ottawa.

The night will conclude with performances by the Travis Marvin Band and Rusty Rierson, plus recognition of the Kansas Cowboy of the Year, all at Ottawa Municipal Auditorium.

Don’t forget to follow the festivities on Facebook at Ottawa Cowboy Days and on Twitter @Ottawakscowboy. Use hashtags #ottawaks and #ottawacowboy throughout the day!

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit

Bourbon Train+Cowboy Days

img_cowboy_daysDon’t miss these fun events over Labor Day weekend!

We can’t ever resist a good beer, wine, or other tasting—especially a bourbon tasting. On September 4, board the Kansas Belle Dinner Train bound for Norwood and enjoy a bourbon tasting, appetizers and a real cowboy experience.

The train departs from the Baldwin City Depot at 7 p.m.; guests must be at least 21, of course. The cost is $75 per person—call 785.594.8505 to make your reservation.

Then the next day, on Saturday, head over to Ottawa for the Cowboy Days celebration at the Plaza Theater and Municipal Auditorium. This has something for everyone: educational seminars, shopping, food, horses and more—including a cattle drive downtown!

Local favorite Travis Marvin will also perform a live concert, with an opening performance by Rusty Pierson. And, food and drink will be catered by Sandbar Subs!

Spend your Labor Day weekend doing something unique!

Celebrate Django’s Birthday with us

It’s Django’s 10th birthday! Many in Lawrence don’t know about Django, or that it was created right here, and we want to change that.

Our friends at Revolution Systems are hosting a one-day tech conference in downtown Lawrence, complete with a block party so all of Lawrence can come down and help celebrate, instead of having it just be a small gathering of geeks (their word, not ours!).

Learn more about the conference and the Django birthday celebration here.

We don’t know a lot about Django, but we do know a thing or two about block parties. We’re excited that Frank and company requested our help in throwing a bash for their conference attendees—and the public’s invited, too.

6 p.m. Buskers including balloons and a robot
7:30 p.m. Live music

Live music kicks off with Adrian Holovaty (a co-creator of Django), followed by the Douglas County Quintet at 8:15 p.m., and at 9:15 p.m. Billy Ebeling takes the stage.

The event is free and family-friendly! Kids will enjoy the bounce houses, buskers and snow cones. We’ll also be selling drinks on the street in a beer garden area, and there’s no cover charge.

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends

P.S. What is Django? “Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.” Basically, they make the internet for the rest of us.