Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Heritage Day ~ Yoder, Kansas

Dear readers, I'll try to scribble less and show you more on this posting.

Yoder Heritage Day was fun - to witness and to photograph. Heritage Day is all about a community family having fun, and allowing outsiders to be part of that fun for a day. I enjoyed myself immensely, and wished my granddaughter was with me, for this event has so much to appeal to youngsters. I'll lead off with a slide show of the parade, followed by photos and brief comments on some of the other activities:

Slide Show ~ The Parade:

Other Events:

Antique Tractor Pull - gotta love this old John Deere. These now ancient tractors cough, wheeze, and strain til they can't pull any further - often with a result of pulling the front end up in the air or the engine conking out!

Junior Tractor Pull - Kids take center stage on Main Street. What fun!

Mutton bustin' - Hanging on for dear life!

Mutton bustin' - the usual result: one kid on the ground, one ewe heading for the safety of the flock.

Pancake & Sausage Feed had festival goers lined up early in the morning, and waiting in long lines up to parade time!

Amish baked goods sold out fast! Best I could do was one piece of rhubarb pie (with home-made ice cream).

Most serious business of the day - the auctions - particularly those lovely Amish quilts!

Buggy Races. Beautiful horses and the competitive spirit of the racers makes for an exciting event.

Draft Horse Driving - a "race" of a different sort. The pace is much slower than the buggy races, but the beauty, strength, and skills of these matched Belgian Percherons are no less impressive. The team of horses and hay wagon are navigated through a slalom course of cones without knocking any over, then backed, yes backed, into a space barely larger than the wagon. Amazing stuff!

Those are just a few of the day's highlights. There was much more - some very serious horseshoe tossing competitions, musical entertainment, a kids' egg race, a mountain men encampment, cattle sorting, and miniature pony pulls, but these images should give the reader an idea what an entertaining day one can find at Yoder's annual Heritage Day.


A few words about Yoder, Kansas: It is located a few minutes south and east of Hutchinson on state highway 96. The community was founded in 1889, and in 1906 became the center for a number of Amish communities. In addition to agriculture (featuring some of the more beautiful farmland in the state), the community is known for tourism, furniture, a meat-packing plant with retail outlet, Amish baked goods, and of course quilts.


I have been asked about photographing Amish. I am certainly not an authoritative source, but, from my research and experience, I have learned it is not against their religion to be photographed; however, it is against their religious beliefs to pose for an image. In the taking of these photos, I was at a tourism event where the Amish understood and expected that numerous photos would be taken. Even so, I attempted to be respectful of their beliefs and their persons. I hope I have succeeded, and I thank all the wonderful people of Yoder for their warm hospitality. I'll be back.


  1. Frank, great to see this event through your lens! You do a super job sharing these kind of vintage Kansas events with the world.

  2. I run the Yoder, Kansas community web site at You have taken some great photos of Yoder Heritage Day. Would like permission to use some of your photos to promote Yoder Heritage Day on the web site. Please contact Adam Schneider at or directly at the Carriage Crossing Restaurant in Yoder at 620-465-3612. Thank you!

  3. What a festival it was perfect in fact I went to that activity and I could meet a lot of people there, also I knew my wife there, by the way she's so beautiful.

  4. this is the perfect day to enjoy all the splendor of our culture, and specially to eat a little bit of all, mmmmmm pancakes... well looks like that I must go to attend some business, if you excuse me.