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It would be a crime to miss Leavenworth

Courtesy Leavenworth CVB

Eventful Leavenworth: Beards and outhouses oh my!

Bank groups have a ball during Buffalo Bill Days, the second weekend in September. The festival, with Wild West events and activities, celebrates Buffalo Bill Cody, who once called Leavenworth home. Gentlemen, start growing your beards to enter the beard contest. Or perhaps participating in the outhouse race is more your speed.

In the spring, the Fort Leavenworth Homes Tour includes 10 historic buildings and homes on the fort, all within walking distance of each other.

Historical Leavenworth: Museums go round

Fred Harvey, creator of Wild West restaurants and hotels and the famed Harvey Girl waitresses, lived in Leavenworth, and his former home is being restored to become the National Fred Harvey Museum. The beautiful limestone house is open for touring by appointment.

At the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, bank groups take a guided tour of the museum and end with a ride on a 1913 wooden carousel — and it’s fast. One of the most intriguing facts about this museum is that a group of seniors found the carousel in many pieces in another state, raised $100,000 to purchase it and took nine years to restore it. In the end, the city gave them the land to build the museum.

Leavenworth bars: For the jail birds!
Of course, there’s the Big House, better known as the U.S. Federal Penitentiary. There are no tours there, but there are plenty of stories told. Did you know that Robert Stroud, aka the Birdman of Alcatraz, was incarcerated there? By the way, Stroud had his birds in Leavenworth, not Alcatraz. We can only conclude that Hollywood just didn’t like the sound of “Birdman of Leavenworth.”

Surprising Leavenworth: The hills are alive!

Visitors expect to see a flat terrain, so the hilly, lush landscape is a pleasant surprise in this riverfront destination.

Remember Leavenworth: I did time in Ft. Leavenworth!

The CVB likes to tell visitors that they can sum up their year in one ultimate Kodak moment, perfect for Christmas cards for friends and family, with a personalized picture behind bars at the staged Leavenworth jail. Everyone in the group can also get a button that says, “I did TIME in Leavenworth.”

Upon a group’s arrival in Leavenworth, a member of the CVB staff dressed in a convict outfit boards the motorcoach not only to welcome the group but also to give them a souvenir button that is their only passport out of Leavenworth.

Also included is the dire advice, “Put it on immediately!”

Connie Hachenberg
Leavenworth Convention 
and Visitors Bureau