Go to NEEWOLLAH
Go to NEEWOLLAH, the Halloween festival!
The last week of each October finds Independence hosting about 100,000 revellers. The streets downtown are closed to traffic and overtaken by food vendors selling smokey barbecue, gooey funnel cakes and fluffy cotton candy. There's a carnival midway, craft fair, street acts and several parades.
The Grand Parade on the Saturday of each Neewollah lasts upwards of two hours and features every high school marching band within one hundred miles. With all the flannel shirts, caramel apples and brass bands it's like a Tommy Hilfiger Halloween!
This is a home-grown event which also has an amateur musical production like The King and I, a beauty pageant and a street stage featuring local acts. Each week there is also a gala country music concert.
Originally envisioned as a scheme to keep pranksters distracted with harmless fun and games on Halloween night, Neewollah has ripened into the one of the state's largest festival. For more info visit Neewollah.com. As you can see, I LOVE Halloween!
There are many places in the surrounding area that are interesting, but that most people drive right past without ever noticing.
There isn't really a good way to describe most of these places, but if you want to find one, it's pretty easy to. Just buy $20 of gas, find a dirt road in the country, and drive down it, wandering wherever seems best to you. It shouldn't be long before you stumble across a small village, an old graveyard, a ghost town, or something else interesting!
I suppose, if you wanted to take all of the fun out of it, you could probably find a map somewhere....
On the way through Kansas, my family and I stumbled upon the city of Independence, where Laura Ingalls Wilder's younger sister, Carrie, was born. It is now a historical site where you can view the buildings and artifacts from Laura Ingalls Wilder's famous family!
Town's a little disappointing, area is nice
Independence is a town of just under 10,000 people in southeast Kansas. It is a fairly nice place to live, but there's not much to do for fun in the town. We have a movie theater, a couple of video rental stores, the Ash Youth Center (which is only for kids), and a city park, but that's about it for fun. Oh, and there's the William Inge Theatre, where they show the occasional low budget play that no one's ever heard of featuring student actors.
The community is a nice place to settle down, but apart from that there isn't a whole lot of reason to come here. The old saying sums up Independence nicely: "it's a nice place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit."
Though the actual town of Independence is pretty boring, the area makes for some interesting exploring. Independence is right by Le Hunt, an old ghost town with an interesting past and some intriguing rumors surrounding it. It is also near the Elk City Reservoir, a place with hiking trails of various difficulties and some campgrounds.
Aside from those well-known landmarks, there are also many little-known, interesting places tucked away in the surrounding area. Some of the places have folk names (such as Tarantula Hill) but many of them are so obscure that they don't have a name.
My Hometown - Independence, Kansas
Riverside Park is one of the nicest things about living in this town. The park is beautiful and include a train ride (just $.25) and a carousel ride that costs a nickle - that price, they say, will never go up.
Independence is a great town to visit but a nicer town in which to live. I've lived here three (3) years and love it!