Starting in 1958, the Maple Leaf Festival began as a community event inspired by Dr. Ivan Boyd, a biology professor at Baker University as well as Dr. Charles Doudna, Bill Horn, Leo Smith and C. R. Whitley. Dr. Boyd noted that the third weekend in October was the optimum time to view the changing colors of the Maple Leaves in the area and the perfect time to celebrate the successful harvest.
Over 50 years later, with over 300 craft exhibits, quilt shows and displays, performing arts, music, unique food items and activities for the family, the Maple Leaf Festival is the biggest fall family event in the area and provides an opportunity for local non-profit organizations to raise funds.
The two day festival occurs on the third full weekend of October. Saturday begins with a parade at 11:00 am. Complete with a children's competition, marching bands, floats and antique cars, the parade starts the festival off with a bang. Sunday concludes the festivities with additional events and crafts for sale and a quilt show. Review our Schedule of Events to see all that's offered.
Craft booths (both indoor and outdoor) are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday. Throughout the day, families can enjoy the Kids Zone with crafts and rides for children 10 and under, ride the historic Midland Railroad from Baldwin to Nowhere, KS and enjoy dramatic arts and music. Food for every taste abounds.
And when the fun is over, the Maple Leaf Festival committee continues to enrich the lives of the Baldwin City, KS community. Two scholarships are offered yearly as well as donations to local educational institutions and non-profit organizations to enhance arts, education and community pride.
Visit our Contact/Volunteer page for additional information on scholarships and requests for assistance.
Join us this year and create a family tradition.