Young cancer survivor Alex Goodwin will be grand marshal of Mission Sunflower Festival

Alex Goodwin, the boy from England who is receiving cancer treatment in Kansas City, will serve as this year’s grand marshall at the Mission Sunflower Festival.

The Mission Business Partnership is gearing up for its second annual Mission Sunflower Festival. Hundreds of local residents visited the festival last year, giving the weekend festivities an old carnival, town fair feel.

The sunflower seed spittin’ contest is coming back!

The festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 24, with live music, a beer garden and food trucks. The festival continues Saturday, Aug. 25, with a morning parade, all-day fun, carnival-style games, contests, bingo, food, drinks and other activities.

“Most things will be the same as last year — only bigger,” said Kevin Fullerton, owner of Springboard Creative on Johnson Drive. “We’ll have a larger parade, as well as more games, vendors and musicians.”

The grand marshal of the parade will be Alex Goodwin, a boy from England who is fighting cancer and has formed a close friendship with members of  the Mission Police Department.

Other parade highlights will include the SM North N.J.R.O.T.C., the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, Renaissance Festival characters, race cars, members of the Mission city council and other elected officials, children on bicycles, dogs and their owners, vintage scooters, Veterans of Foreign Wars on motorcycles, marching bands and cheerleaders, to name a few.

Other new features of the festival this year include:

  • The Shawnee Mission Rotary Club will host a pancake breakfast.
  • Festival-goers can experience a virtual reality roller coaster.
  • Friday night will include a margarita and nacho bar.

Several additional activities are planned for the festival this year, such as a fishing pond, toss the ring on the bottle, strong man test, skee ball and mini hoop. Other fun contests are planned as well, such as a sunflower seed spitting contest and a window decorating contest.

Artists, craftspeople and makers will also sell their goods in the Mission Market during the festival. And face painters, balloon artists and musicians will also have booths along Johnson Drive.

Fullerton said the Mission Business Partnership started the Sunflower Festival last year as a way for the business community to give back to the city of Mission.
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