Superheroes abound during annual Old Settlers festival

A superhero reunion for nearly a quarter-million friends and family? That’s what happened Sept. 7-9 during the 119th annual Johnson County Old Settlers festival.

Held in downtown Olathe, the theme for this year’s festival was “Superheroes: Past and Present.” From costumed super people and dogs to the hundreds of volunteers who committed their time and energy to ensure the event was a success, superheroes were everywhere.

During the three-day event, more than 200,000 attendees celebrated together as they whirled around in high-flying carnival rides, took in headline concerts, watched a parade with over 150 entrants, gawked at antique cars, and much more.

The first Old Settlers was held in 1898.

“It all started with a few families who came together for a picnic on the courthouse lawn, which was a park at that time.” said Sheila Reitmeyer, secretary of the Old Settlers organization and parade chairman. “The families kept coming back every year and Old Settlers just kept growing.”

Reitmeyer has been parade chairman for 30 years.

“I love the parade,” she said. “The concerts and arts and crafts are phenomenal too, and the people are so happy and friendly.”

However, big events like Old Settlers certainly can include glitches.

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