The Maple Leaf Festival is a little more than a month away and organizers are getting excited about what’s in store for festival-goers this year.

Ryan Meininger, head of the Hiawatha Chamber Maple Leaf Festival Committee, announced the entertainment line-up for this year’s event and was excited to let the community know that Nashville artist Erik Dylan is headlining this year’s musical entertainment.

Dylan, a native of Muscotah, has performed at various local events in Northeast Kansas — including the Brown County Fair. He is a singer and a songwriter and artists including Kip Moore, Luke Combs, Eric Paslay, Eli Young Band, Justin Moore, Josh Phillips, Brett Cobb, Riley Green and Hinder have recorded his songs. He was signed to peermusic in 2017.

Also performing at this year’s Maple Leaf Festival is the band Bender — with Ian Bender on lead vocals and guitar, Josh May on electric guitar, Jakob Thonen on bass and Jason Bauerle on drums.

Tom Keller, a St. Joseph, Mo., based musician will be performing an acoustic set and rounding out the day’s entertainment will be Ian and Josh — Ian Bender and Josh May — with an acoustic performance.

All of the musicians will be performing on the main stage — which will be in the middle of Oregon Street on the north side. The musicians will begin at noon and play throughout the afternoon, trading time with other performers on the courthouse steps stage.

Performances slated for the courthouse steps stage include a Morrill Public Library’s Costumed Storytelling, two performances by Magician Barron Stringfellow, Hiawatha Community/HHS Jazz Band and a special event for the little ones — a meet and greet with Elsa from Frozen, Spiderman and Captain America.

The following is a schedule of entertainment:

10:30-11 a.m. – Costumed Storytelling on courthouse steps

11 – 11:30 a.m. – Jazz Band on courthouse steps

11:45-12:15 – Magician Barron Stringfellow on courthouse steps

12:15-1:15 – Ian Bender and Josh May acoustic on main stage

1:15-1:30 p.m. – Meet & Greet Elsa, Spiderman and Cpt. America on courthouse steps

1:30-2 p.m. – Magician Barron Stringfellow on courthouse steps

2-2:45 p.m. – Tom Keller acoustic on main stage

3-4 p.m. – Bender band on main stage

4-5:30 p.m. – Erik Dylan on main stage

Also back by popular demand is the Discovery Zone Mobile Museum — which will be set up on the north side of the courthouse square.

Meininger said this entertainment is free once again — thanks to the generous business sponsors who help fund the event.

Other activities this year include the much-loved inflatables from last year, plus bonus fun that includes a mechanical bull, rock wall, an obstacle course and a wipe-out course. All of these are available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the purchase of a $10 wristband for unlimited fun!

In addition, Rafter B Ranch will be offering pony rides again, there are more than a dozen food vendors plus 50 vendors around the square. There will be a car show, along with a Glazin’ the Streets 5K and Donut Dash Run, starting at 9 a.m. and sponsored by the Hiawatha Parks and Recreation.

Mark your calendar for Sept. 21 for the Hiawatha Maple Leaf Festival. Vendor forms are still available and for information message us through Facebook at the Hiawatha Maple Leaf Festival, call the office at 742-7136 or email

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