It may be, as organizer Naomi Ford said, "the only big celebration that Galva has," but Old Empire Days will be chock-full of activities and fun for the whole family.

It may be, as organizer Naomi Ford said, "the only big celebration that Galva has," but Old Empire Days will be chock-full of activities and fun for the whole family.

Old Empire Days (so named because the town was originally called Empire) started in 1992 and up to this year has traditionally been held around July 4. This year, the dates have shifted to Aug. 26 and 27. The majority of the activities will be held on Main Street in Galva.

"We changed the date to August... because our centennial is the last part of August," said Linda Andersen, who works with the Galva Historical Museum. "We chose that weekend so we could bring in our history, and as part of that, we wanted a historical speaker to give a talk that pertains to us."

Pauline Sharp, whose grandmother was the first female chief of the Kanza people, will speak on the "Kanza People — Then and Now" at 2 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 27) at the Galva Fire Station on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets.

The festivities will kick off with an old-fashioned hymn fest and potluck desserts at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 in Park Henry at the corner of Santa Fe and Park Streets.

Aug. 27 opens with a come-and-go cruise-in downtown that begins at 9 a.m. There is no entry fee and will feature both antique and new cars, hot rods, tractors (especially John Deere and International models), semi cabs and motorcycles, according to Galva car enthusiast Junior Russell.

"There She Blows" is a unique event where spectators guess how long a car will run before the gas runs out.

"They drain all of the oil out of it and get as much out as they can and start it and then they have to guess how long it'll take before it just sputters and dies," Ford said. "It's amazing how many people just stand around and watch that car until it stops."

Food will be found in abundance, from lunch and concessions sold to benefit the McPherson forensic and debate teams, to a dinner of barbecue and desserts sold to raise money for the Galva Historical Museum and the Galva Senior Center.

"This day is the only fundraiser that we have for the museum," Andersen said.

Ford added that raffle items such as wall hangings, artwork, a quilt, a walnut bench, and sports-themed lamps will be given away as prizes, with the money raised also going to support the museum, which will be open from noon to 8:45 p.m. on Saturday.

"It's a good time to learn about Galva, see the displays, ask questions," Andersen said.

"Even if you're from Galva, come in and just look, because there's always something that you can discover," Ford added.

The museum also puts together a treasure hunt that requires participants to follow clues that are based on historical facts about places in Galva, Ford shared.

Another fundraising activity is the car bash, which will raise money to support hospice care for Galva residents.

Students in fourth through sixth grades can participate in the "Future Firemen's Competition."

"They love it because they get down there in teams and they get to put on the firemen's gear and they get to work with the water hose," Ford said.

Children can also enjoy new inflatables courtesy of the Galva Rec, take part in an early pioneer life-themed decorated kids wheels contest and parade, play carnival games set up by the Livewires 4-H Club, get their faces painted, enjoy Kasey the clown, meet Wink "The One-Eyed Dog Wonder," ride in a tricycle obstacle course or compete in bubble gum blowing and cookie stacking contests. Children too young to ride — or even walk — can compete in a baby crawl race.

The kid's pedal pull, which starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, will be "a good chance [to see] one of the last practices before the state fair," Ford said.

Another new activity this year will be the corn hole tournament, sponsored by the Canton-Galva Chamber of Commerce, which will begin at noon on Saturday.

From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, attendees can enjoy a ride on a vintage fire truck. The evening will conclude with fireworks at 9:30 p.m., followed by a family friendly street dance.

"It's a family-oriented event. You can come and meet your friends... and meet new people too," Ford said. "If you want to come and have a weekend or a day with your family and have it family-oriented and come get reacquainted with friends and have a good time, it's all incorporated here."

For more information about Old Empire Days, contact Linda Andersen at 620-654-3328 or Naomi Ford at 620-245-7677.