When you’ve got a 25-foot statue dedicated in City Park, you’re a pretty big deal.
Johnny Kaw, a Midwest legend who spreads sunflowers statewide, twisted off the tops of funnel clouds only to let it rain, carved out the Kansas River Valley and harvested acres of wheat in a single thrash with his massive scythe, has been memorialized in City Park since 1966.
Recently, the Friends of Johnny Kaw raised money to renovate the park area into a plaza-type attraction. And on Friday, there’s the Johnny Kaw Plaza Dedication, a community celebration with entertainment, look-a-like contest and ribbon cutting to celebrate the park improvements.
The celebration is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday.
George Filinger, a K-State horticulture professor, created the legend of Johnny Kaw in 1955 to celebrate the Manhattan centennial and serve as Kansas’ answer to other heroes like Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. The Manhattan Mercury printed the initial stories of Johnny Kaw during the centennial. Later, Filinger published the stories into a book. Elmer Tomasch of the Kansas State University art department provided ink drawings to illustrate the stories.
The stories live on, and Kaw will continue to stand in City Park on his new plaza for years to come.
Here’s a look at other area events.
Adult Craft Night: Fun with Buttons, 7 p.m.
Family Fun Storytime, 11 a.m. Saturday.
For a complete list of storytimes and events, visit mhklibrary.org.
Canvas & Cork: Kansas Sunset, 6 p.m.
For information and to register, visit straightuppstudio.com.
Straight Upp Creative Studio.
Concert on the Patios: Everyday Lights, 6:30 p.m.
Liquid Art Winery.
Paint & Sip: Loud Purple Flower, 6:30 p.m.
Also Mount Fuji at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Georgia Sunset at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Also Kids’ Kanvas: Panda, 10 a.m. Saturday.
For information and to register, visit uncorkedinspiration.com.
UPC Film: “Yesterday,” 7 and 9:30 p.m. Also Saturday.
All films are closed captioned.
Cost: Free for K-State students, $3 for adults, $1 off for military ID and children under 12.
K-State Student Union Forum Hall.
K-State Theatre presents “Gloria” by Branden Jacob-Jenkins, a stage reading directed by Ian Boyd Duncan, senior in theatre, 7:30 p.m.
This powerful play follows an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a notorious Manhattan magazine. When an ordinary workday becomes anything but, the stakes for who will get to tell their own story elevate to disastrous heights.
Purple Masque Theatre in West Stadium.
Downtown Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in Dillard’s parking lot.
Also 4-7 p.m. in the Via Christi parking lot.
Featuring homegrown vegetables, local meat, home baked goodies, local arts and crafts and much more.
Fall Apple Day Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Artillery Parade Field, Fort Riley.
Wonder Workshop Program: Rainbows and Stars by Larry Weaver, 11 a.m.-noon.
Also Severe Weather Patterns by Mary Knapp, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Sunday.
For 1st-6th graders.
For information, call 785-776-1234 or visit wonderworkshop.org.
Volland Store Cellar and Barn Tours, 1-5 p.m. Also Sunday.
Tour barns around the Flint Hills on a guided bus tour.
For information, visit thevollandstore.com.
Sip of Bourbon, Batch Two, 8 p.m. VIP tasting at 7 p.m.
The Wamego Whiskey Syndicate and Standard Beverage present this unique whiskey event featuring more than 50 different tasting selections with stations dedicated bourbon and whiskey.
For information and tickets, visit columbiantheatre.com.
Flint Hills Praise Fest featuring Tenth Avenue North, 7 p.m.
Also featuring a variety of Christian artists on two stages starting at 1 p.m.
Jazz Brunch, 10 a.m.-noon.
Art & Architecture Open House, 3-6 p.m.
Tour and learn about this 1930s English Tutor home, and original art within.
Sunset Cottage, 727 Sunset Avenue.
Student Trombone Recital: Elaine Snowden, 3 p.m.
All Faiths Chapel.
McCain Performance Series presents Steve Martin and Martin Short, 7:30 p.m.
Comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short are coming to Manhattan for one night only.
Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 785-532-6428, or at k-state.edu/mccain.
Evan Tuttle presents the Underground Floor Show, 8 p.m.
RSVP at auntiemaes.com.
Movies on the Grass: “RiverBlue,” 7 p.m.