The 12th annual Basehor Dairy Days kicks off next week and it is packed with family fun.

The 12th annual Basehor Dairy Days kicks off next week and it is packed with family fun. The event begins Thursday with an ice cream social, the first night of Toby’s Legacy Carnival, vendor booths and the Little Miss and Mister Dairy Days pageant. This year’s event will take place in the open field just south of Wolf Creek Parkway near Orscheln Farm & Home.

Basehor Dairy Days pays homage to the history of the many dairy farms in Leavenworth County and the Basehor area. Back in the 1960s, there were at least 100 nearby dairy farms and now there are only five. Anyone who has any specific knowledge of those early dairy farms is encouraged to stop by the Dairy Days information booth at the festival and share their stories.

Dairy Days has been so popular in the past that this year, the event has expanded to three days with plenty of family-friendly activities.

Registration for the Dairy Days 5K run/walk is still open through race morning on Saturday. Registrations can be completed online at www.BasehorDairyDays.com and all entrants who registered by June 1 are guaranteed to receive a commemorative race T-shirt. Joggers, walkers and strollers are welcome, but no pets are allowed.

Nine food trucks and the Basehor Lions Club will offer plenty of food choices throughout the event and the Basehor VFW will host a biscuits and gravy breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

One of the highlights of Dairy Days is Toby’s Legacy Carnival, an old-fashioned carnival with several full-sized rides for all ages. The Zipper, Mega Slide, Go Gator Coaster, boats and motorcycles are some of the rides patrons will be able to ride. Armbands are available for rides from 6-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, as well as 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Saturday. Carnival games and concessions round out the activities.

Free health screenings courtesy of the Basehor Lions and the Kansas Lions Mobil Screening Unit will be available during Dairy Days. Testing for eye acuity, hearing, blood pressure, blood sugar and field of vision will be available. The Fairmount Township Fire department will also be on the festival grounds as part of the touch-a-truck experience.

Several Basehor-related headline entertainers will be performing during the festival. Just Another Band, Country Road 5, an Elvis impersonator, Thunder Beatz as well the Junior Bobcat cheerleaders, Sarah’s Studio of Dance and White Tiger Martial Arts will also be performing. A complete list of performers and times can be found on the Dairy Days website.

Seven dedicated volunteers have met monthly to get all of the details of Dairy Days planned out. As the event draws closer, meetings are more frequent.

“Our Basehor Dairy Days festival is a great way to bring the community together, and we’re excited to have planned an event that really is bigger than ever before. It will showcase the city of Basehor to a wide range of audiences that we hope will return year after year,” said volunteer Ashley Razak.

Event volunteers are still needed. Anyone interested in helping out can contact Razak at 913-662-1246 or contact the organization at BasehorDairyDays@gmail.com

Volunteers are especially needed to serve as festival rovers who will help patrons by answering questions and giving directions to happenings as well as helping direct parking and picking up the grounds each evening.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com