Lovingworth to replace Camp Leavenworth this year

John Richmeier

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Camp Leavenworth festival will not take place this year. But organizers of last year’s festival are planning an alternative called Lovingworth.

“Throughout the month of September, we will be launching a variety of activities, ongoing campaigns for you and your families to take part in,” Keli O’Neill Wenzel said.

Wenzel is the president and CEO of O’Neill Events & Marketing, which organized last year’s Camp Leavenworth.

Wenzel spoke Tuesday during a meeting of the Leavenworth City Commission.

Camp Leavenworth was launched last year as a two-day festival in downtown Leavenworth. The festival was sponsored by the city. And the city government contracted with O’Neill Events & Marketing to manage the event.

“It was an amazing event,” Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said.

He said city officials had been looking forward to having an even better festival this year.

But Kramer said he knew early on during the COVID-19 pandemic that it was unlikely the city would sponsor an event this year that would bring thousands of people together in one place.

“But we didn’t want to do just nothing,” he said.

Kramer said the personnel at O’Neill Events & Marketing came up with an alternative.

Wenzel said Lovingworth: A Community that Cares will feature a variety of activities. She said the activities will allow people to maintain social distancing.

She said things are still being developed for Lovingworth, but there already are some plans in place.

One activity being planned is a passport program which will encourage people to visit restaurants and other businesses in Leavenworth.

Kramer said the passports used for the program will be mailed to residents in the city.

“Everybody will get it in their mailbox whether they want it or not,” he said.

Wenzel said the passports also will serve as programs for Lovingworth.

She said other Lovingworth activities may include things people can do along the pathway at Landing Park as well as a s’mores night at the park.

Wenzel said there are plans for an activity that will allow children to color a design on a T-shirt using fabric markers.

“We think this could be a great thing you can take home and do with your children,” she said.

She said this activity was already being planned as part of Camp Leavenworth before the pandemic led to the cancellation of that festival.

“We’re excited to still be able to do this,” she said.

Wenzel reviewed other possible activities including a community mural project, sidewalk chalk art contest and drive-in movie night as well as activities people can be encouraged to do at home.

She said dates are still being finalized in September for the activities.

Organizers plan to share more details about Lovingworth on the www.lovingworth.com website as they become available.

City officials plan to resume the Camp Leavenworth festival next year.

The COVID-19 pandemic also led officials in Lansing to reschedule a two-day Independence Day celebration that had been planned in that city for late June. The two-day event has been rescheduled for Sept. 4-5.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR