The elections are over, the ballots have been counted, the campaigning has ended, but wait! There’s one more vote to cast……. for your favorite privy at the 17th Annual Outhouse Tour in Elk Falls, KS. This popular event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving, November 16 – 17.
Once again about 10 outhouses will be competing for the votes of hundreds of smiling visitors in this tiny community that has decided to celebrate what it has rather than complain about what it doesn’t. Concerning the outcome of this vote, Steve Fry, president of the Friends of Elk Falls stated “We promise your taxes won’t be raised, your jobs won’t move to China and your social security won’t be taken away.” The only thing the winners of this race might raise is….. a stink!
A first this year will be a “dig” by expert outhouse digger Kenny Burbrink – a kind of outhouse archeologist! Burbrink, from Newton, has many successful digs under his belt and will have a display of some of the treasures he has unearthed from abandoned deposits. Assisting Burbrink from Oklahoma City will be Johnnie Fletcher, author of the Kansas Bottle Book. Fletcher has been digging Kansas privies for 30 years!
Returning will be the bluegrass band of Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival Stage 5 fame, Reach for the Sky, on Saturday and this year Clint Gilbert will be playing on Friday. Times and locations will be announced at the festival. A 40 foot inflatable obstacle course will be provided for the kids by Elk Konnected and Elk County, a craft show at the gym, the quilt show at Calvary Chapel, Homer Allison’s outhouse collection at the Prairie Gem Schoolhouse and the open house at the Elk Falls Pottery. In a sneak peek of things to come, Elk Falls Pottery will be having their first open house at their future location at the Rock Garden north of the highway. The Rock Garden, a popular attraction in Elk Falls during the 1930’s is slowly being brought back to life by the Frys, operators of the Elk Falls Pottery since 1976.
And of course, what would a festival be without food? From homemade pies to apple dumplings, from homemade soup to herb and garlic pulled chicken sandwiches. Jambalaya will be dipped out of the big kettle on Saturday. You don’t need a photo ID, but you do need to purchase a $1 Outhouse
Button at the Outhouse Headquarters downtown where you will receive a ballot and map for the self guided tour. And then, follow the laughter! We all need a little comic relief. The Elk Falls Outhouse Tour – ya gotta go!