Over a thousand area students and teachers are celebrating Kansas statehood in Salina all this week. Hundreds of grade school children are participating in special activities at the Smoky Hill Museum.
The children, all third-graders, have been learning what life was like for pioneers back in 1861, when Kansas became the 34th state. Activities include shelling and grinding corn, packing a covered wagon, and playing some of the same games pioneer children played.
Students and teachers from over a dozen area schools are participating. Museum Curator of Education Nona Miller tells KSAL News nearly a thousand students are part of the outreach effort this year to teach 1861 Kansas. Along with the Smoky Hill Museum Street Fair, it is one of the largest events of the year at the museum.
Miller credits volunteer help with making the effort such a success.
This weekend the museum is hosting a similar event for the public. Saturday afternoon a free Kansas Day Open House will be held from 1:00 till 3:00.
Visitors will be able to try their hand at a few activities pioneers would have done like churning butter or shelling corn. There will also be make and take crafts, birthday cupcakes, and door prizes.
Kansas entered the union as the 34th state on January 29th, 1861. Kansas Day has been celebrated around the state since 1877. Kansas Day is not a public holiday, but it is a state-wide observation.