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LIGHTS ON THE LAKE
Saturday, June 30, 2018

The annual John Brown Jamboree will be reborn this year with a new name, a bigger venue and a spectacular fireworks display. Brought to you by the City of Osawatomie and the Lights on the Lake Committee, the Lights on the Lake festival will take place on Saturday, June 30, at Osawatomie City Lake.

For more than 50 years, the Jamboree has served as the community’s largest annual celebration. And volunteers are working to build on that tradition by delivering an even bigger, better festival in a lake setting.

Organizers are hoping this year’s celebration goes off with a bang - literally. A highlight of the summer festival is the city’s ever-popular fireworks display, which was traditionally performed on the Fourth of July.

“Our fireworks show is becoming well-known and a big area draw, and with an earlier date, we believe we can provide a better show by having more time to set it up,” Osawatomie City Manager Don Cawby said. “With a new format, we’re also hoping to attract those who normally stay home on the Fourth of July to shoot fireworks.”

Another big attraction is the Saturday night country music concert, which will be located on the east side of the lake. This year’s headliner will be country music favorite and Ottawa-native, Travis Marvin, along with opening acts, Katie and the Boys and Hudson Drive. More concert details will be announced as soon as they are available.

All Jamboree/Lights on the Lake activities, including the concert, are free to attend, and convenient paid parking will be available for easy access to events, and food and beverage vendors on the east side of the lake. The west side of the lake will remain open for Osawatomie Golf Course access and normal lake activities.

This year’s event will also feature plenty of food vendors and an afternoon of games and activities leading up to the concert and fireworks display. Other events already scheduled include the 5K run, which is set for early Saturday morning, as is a Jamboree tradition – the parade – which kicks off at 10. Another festival favorite, the Miss Osawatomie Pageant, is planned for the evening of Friday, June 29, in the Osawatomie High School Auditorium. The fishing derby is also scheduled for Sunday morning, July 1, at the lake.

Absent this year are the car show and the carnival. The car show is being moved to June 2, at the request of promoters.  To expand the festival and keep it free to the public, organizers decided to part with the carnival, which gradually became a significant expense.

“The main reason for the change was the lack of volunteers, the cost of a multi-day event, changes in the market for carnivals, and the desire to use the lake for a major event,” Cawby said. “It also helps spread out our events a little more for volunteers and city staff. With the Osawatomie High School Alumni celebration, Memorial Day, Jamboree and Fourth
of July, we were preparing for four major events in a six-week period.”

“We’re always working to improve the festival experience for guests, and we think that merging the two events will only make it bigger and better,” he said