A Timeline of Historic Delano
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Historic Delano was founded in 2007 to put on a St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Since then, we have organized or assisted with dozens of events bringing thousands of people to Delano.
Here is a retrospective of the journey.
Nancy has these visions... No, not that sort of visions! She sees possibilities in situations and finds ways to make things happen. Just beware whenever you hear "I have this vision..."
It all started with a simple parade...
Things did not slow down in 2015. We continued working with Delano United, the Greenway Alliance and other local groups on the Chisholm Trail Parkway. We started working with other Chisholm Trail communities - both in Kansas and in a Tri-state group with Oklahoma and Texas - on plans for the 150th Anniversary of the Trail. We had a lot of irons in the fire and a lot of meetings to attend!
In February, Karen Cravens (the President of Delano United) notified us that she would be moving away in June. Karen was the primary contact for Delano United when dealing with City of Wichita issues so the rest of us had to scramble to adjust our schedules and take up the slack.
In spite of all of our new-found activities we managed to give the web site a long-overdue makeover and set records once again with the St. Patrick's Parade. The Delano Community Garden was chosen by the Sedgwick County Master Gardeners to be on their 2015 Garden Tour, which of course meant organizing a Garden Party!
Amber Waves, a fund-raiser for Starkey, returned to Delano for their second year in May.
On July 28th we attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the River Vista development. We are excited to finally see some development happening but at the same time we are a little nervous. The project is supposed to be complete by November of 2017 but we are trying to plan a Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary event for October of 2017. The last thing we want is to have construction equipment in our Chisholm Trail photos.
In September we distributed the 2015 Historic Delano Visitors Guide in time for the holiday season.
We added a couple of new locations to Ghost Stories of Historic Delano and added a mini-event in the garden. We printed 500 brochures and ran out of them within the first half hour. We estimate that over 1500 people attended.
We decided that we no longer wanted to do a Christmas event so we worked with a few of the businesses to create a shopping event called Holidays in Delano.
Then we get an invitation from the Wichita Parks and Recreation Department to attend a meeting in January about a new city-wide event...
It never ends!
In February, Karen Cravens (President of the Delano Neighborhood Association and of Delano United and #1 Delano Booster) notified us that her family would be moving to New Jersey in a few months! Karen was a frequent face at City Hall and spent hours reviewing meeting agendas, reading proposed ordinances and generally just keeping up on all things Delano. She kept us all aware of what was going on through the Delano Dispatch and DelanoWichita.com and her efforts will be missed.
Karen's unexpected departure caused us all to scramble to take up the slack. Jim was elected President of Delano United and Nancy became Vice-President. It wasn't too big of an imposition as we were already attending the monthly meetings but it did give us more projects to oversee - and the year was only just starting!
In 2014 we spent some time re-thinking and re-designing the web site and it went live early in 2015. The site features a new color pallette and is interactive, allowing registered users to create and edit business profiles in the business directory. Other changes include better navigation and several "under-the-hood" improvements. The site averages about 70,000 hits every month with spikes around events.
The 2015 St. Patrick's Parade set records again. There were over 2,000 people in the parade and 15,000 spectators. The parade lasted over 90 minutes, there were more than a dozen side events happening, and we had 9 sponsors - more than ever before. To top it all off, the web site received 98,978 hits on the Friday and Saturday of the parade!
The Delano Community Garden had a great year. The garden was chosen by the Sedgwick County Master Gardeners to be on their 2015 Garden Tour, the garden got it's own water supply and it hosted a few events.
For the Master Gardeners' Garden Tour we decided to host a Garden Party. The gardeners spent a couple of weeks really spiffing up their individual plots as well as the rest of the garden. Volunteers made garden-inspired canapés, cookies and other snacks and beverages. Hundreds of tourists visited the garden and asked questions. Everyone loved the one-of-a-kind fence and took a lot of pictures.
On the final day of the tour the garden hosted Delano residents and business owners for a Garden Party in celebration of Delano's birthday.
For Ghost Stories of Historic Delano we decided to set up a fire ring in the garden and tell ghost stories. This turned out to be one of the highlights of a record-setting Ghost Tour.
A good portion of the summer was spent working on the 2015 Historic Delano Visitors Guide. The project was completed and 5,000 copies were distributed in October - in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. This was the 6th edition of the Visitors Guide since we began producing it in 2008
The guide was well received by the public but it became increasingly hard to find businesses willing to support it with advertising so the decision was made that 2015 would be the last year we would work on the project. Instead, we focused on updating the web site and will spend our resources promoting Delano through our online presence.
Wichita High School West had their homecoming the second week of October and this year they decided to include a Homecoming Parade through Delano. This had been considered in the past but in 2015 became a reality. The parade was held on a Saturday and was well received.
Our Christmas in Delano event was always well received but rarely well attended - it is hard to compete with Big Box stores and Shopping Malls on the weekend following Thanksgiving. For this and other reasons we decided to drop the event. Instead, we worked with several businesses to develop a shopping event to replace it that would be held the weekend before Thanksgiving. The new event would be called Holidays in Delano and included such things as ornament making, a S'mores station, free hot chocolate and a visit from Santa.
The Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) holiday cards featured a painting of the Delano clock tower by Hugh Greer (a Kansas artist) and was titled "A Delano Christmas."
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