Old Settlers Returns to Johnson County


Addison Smith

Public Safety holds flag while participating in parade.

The traditional Old Settlers Day festival returns after being absent for three years due to COVID-19. 

The Old Settlers festival, which is a 114 year old tradition, consists of a parade, carnival, arts and crafts, live performances, and food trucks. Schools in the surrounding districts take part in the parade, often including bands, dance teams, and cheer teams.  

The dance team, cheer team, and marching band made their appearance in the parade on Sept. 10, followed by Public Safety.

Senior drum major Zoey McBee led the marching band in the parade. 

“It’s nice to lead something I am very passionate about,” McBee said.

The last Old Settlers parade was in 2019, McBee’s freshman year. 

“I was excited Old Settlers was back,” McBee said. “It’s a tradition that we have in Olathe that is heartwarming, and it’s nice to see the community in a different setting than we normally do.”

Marching band put effort into preparing for their debut at the parade.

“During rehearsal the marching band would take laps around the track,” McBee said. “Each morning before school we would march around the parking lot to practice different turns, as marching has a lot of technique to it.” 

Senior dancer Ellie Hoff, co-captain of the dance team, was also at the parade. 

“We practiced outside, in the mornings with the band, walking around the parking lot and around the track just to get used to marching and different turns and to stay in our lines,” Hoff said.

Since the last parade in 2019, not much has changed for the dancers. 

“It was a good experience, it was a lot of fun to get to walk in the parade again and just to see people you know, and our team did really well as a whole,” Hoff said.

The dance team’s experience was overall a good one and they were able to enjoy the parade again. 

Following the parade is a carnival with a multitude of rides to choose from. Rides such as a ferris wheel, The Rock Star, The Vipor and a fan favorite, The Freak Out all make an appearance in this Johnson County tradition.