Perhaps last week’s weather is the culprit, but I cannot wait for autumn to come to Arkansas City.
Soon the weather will be cooler. Cold winds will swirl around the tall downtown buildings and we will welcome the sun’s presence.
In two short weeks, the Walnut Valley Festival will begin. Thousands of people will descend upon the Winfield Fairgrounds for the better part of an autumn week.
Musicians from near and far will roam the area, picking and singing for small favors such as cookies or a beer.
There is barely enough space between stages to lose the sounds of one group playing before finding another stage.
Sometime before the weather gets too chilly, the end of September will arrive and with it, the Last Run Car Show.
The first year I attended the show, I was amazed by the sheer number of cars that fit in Paris Park.
We entered the park from Washington Avenue, so the venue seemed smaller than it actually was.
But I soon realized just how many cars there were, as they stretched from the very corner of the park to Paris Park Pool and the Agri-Business Building.
It looked like I was in the middle of a sea of automobiles.
My awe did not stop in the park, though. Later that night, I attended my first drag on Summit Street.
No other car show I have been to included such a mobile demonstration of the raw power under the hoods of the beautiful show cars that had been on display.
Neither was any other car show I’d ever attended so well supported by the hosting town.
Last Run quickly will be followed by Arkalalah. The smells of deep fried foods will permeate every street near to Summit Street.
Pork burgers, which only are available from the Optimists a few times a year, will be cooked by the hundreds.
People roam downtown with smiles on their faces, often carrying their favorite fair food or perhaps a prize won at the carnival.
The entire town seems to get along for those five short days. Some members of the police force even trade in their cars for bicycles.
Untold numbers of people flock to Arkansas City to attend class reunions or family reunions, which always seem to fall during the annual celebration.
Arkalalah still boasts one of the longest parades in Kansas — but as it ends, so does the somewhat magical phenomenon that completes autumn in Ark City.