By Roger McKinney

rmckinney@joplinglobe.com

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. - Descendants of the founder of Baxter Springs will be honored during Cowtown Days, the annual celebration of the town's history.

The event begins today, with a full day of activities on the final day, Saturday. Most activities are in Kiwanis Park.

"We need it just to raise the spirit of the community and raise the pride in Baxter Springs," said Steve Minor, president of the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce. The chamber produces the annual event.

Minor said the celebration also serves as a reunion for residents and former residents.

Mayor Huey York agreed.

"That's the event of the year," York said.

Phyllis Abbott, president of the Baxter Springs Historical Society, said eight direct and indirect descendants of town founder John Baxter have been located, and they will ride in a position of honor in the Cowtown Days Parade at noon Saturday in downtown Baxter Springs.

Events begin at 5:30 p.m. today with gospel night. Performances will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday is country music night, with performances scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m.

Unless otherwise noted, events are in Kiwanis Park.

Other Saturday events include:

9 a.m. - Classic car show at Johnston Public Library.

9:30 a.m. - Pie and cake contest at the community center.

11 a.m. - Boy Scout bean feed at the`library.

2 p.m. - Memorial service.

3 p.m. - Battle of the bands.

7 p.m. - Duke Mason and the Heartlanders.

9 p.m. - Cowtown Queen ceremony.

10 p.m. - Drawing for a Chevrolet Aveo.

The Border Creek Raiders will perform shootout re-enactments at 2:45, 4:30 and 6:15 p.m. Saturday in Kiwanis Park.

'First Cowtown'

Baxter Springs was founded before the Civil War and later became known as the "First Cowtown in Kansas." Cattle drovers found Baxter Springs a welcome break after months on the dusty trail.

Source: www.theroadwanderer.net

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