CELEBRATION CENTRE COMPLEX
This superb facility was built by the citizens of Rice County on the east
side of Highway 56 in Lyons. It all started because of the vision of a nucleus
of foresighted ambitious residents who desired a better place for the 4-H’ers
to show their wares. But, instead the citizens cried out for a place to
host their special events, so the Celebration Centre was built. Then the
4-H’ers became rowdy and cried out they needed a place to show their
cattle, horses, and sheep during the county 4-H fair. So a
football-sized horse arena was built. Then the horse shows began,
the ropings, the rodeos, and on and on it went. Then the horse people wanted a
place to park their RVs so a RV park was born along with an outdoor arena
to train in. An acre of land was donated on the west side of the front
parking for a park with children’s play equipment, volleyball and horse shoes,
so then Kansas had their very own “Estes Park”. But, even before the first nail
was driven trees from the former Wagner nursery were removed, sidewalks installed,
gardens and trees were planted, and a nature trail came into being.
The most extraordinary aspect of this endeavor is
freedom from city, county, and local mill levies. It was totally built,
supported, and maintained by volunteerism, donations, grants, and rentals.
The corporation was formed as the Rice County Community Foundation, Inc.,
in 1995, and its original incorporators were Craig Zwick,
Kenneth E. Knight, and Jack W. Janssen.