Little Balkans Days announces quilt show, music program

Staff Reports /
File photo of Johnnie Joe Zibert's Polka courtesy of the Little Balkans Days Festival.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Over a year after having to cancel the annual Little Balkans Days celebration amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have begun to release more details of what people can expect at the 2021 festival. 

Besides a special performance by A.J Croce and the popular Little Balkans Days photo contest, which has gone digital this year, festival organizers announced this week that the festival’s 33rd annual quilt show will be Sept. 3 and 4, and that J.T. Knoll will also emcee a series of musical performances at Lincoln Park on Sept. 4. 

The quilt show is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 at the lower level of Memorial Auditorium in Pittsburg. 

Quilt entry day is Aug. 28, at Memorial Auditorium, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Quilts can be entered in 18 categories ranging from hand-quilted or machine-quilted to bed, baby and quilts made for veterans. Youth-made and antique quilts will be on display but not judged. The show judge is Darlene Landrum, Mountain Home, Arkansas. The show is sponsored by the 95-member Little Balkans Quilt Guild. 

12 community leaders will choose their favorite quilt, with a special ribbon awarded. Attendees will vote for their favorite quilt and Best of Show is awarded by the quilt judge. 

“A beautiful donation quilt will be given away on Sunday at 3 p.m.,” Little Balkans Days organizers said in a press release. “The quilts are creative, beautifully crafted and the show is one of the best in the area every year. Vendors will be available with fabrics, notions and quilt patterns.” 

Entry fee at the door is a Little Balkans Days button, which attendees can get for $5 and which admits you to other activities of the Little Balkans Days Festival. The show is on the festival’s free shuttle route. 

Little Balkans Days organizers also announced this week that local writer and speaker (and Morning Sun columnist) J.T. Knoll will host the Little Balkans Folklife Music Program on Saturday, Sept. 4, in Pittsburg's Lincoln Park at the Little Balkans Folklife Festival music stage. 

“The music begins with bagpipes at 9 a.m. and ends with bluegrass at 4 p.m.,” festival organizers said in a press release. 

Featured performances are set to include Orin Weiss (bagpipes), Balkans Brass (brass quintet), Holly Swigart (original coal mining ballads), Johnnie Joe Zibert (polka), Stone Country (country/rock), Kolograd (European folk/ kolo dancing), White Buffalo (poetry, folk, and storytelling) and the Neosho River Boys (traditional bluegrass). 

Free shuttles will travel a route that includes Pittsburg motels, downtown Pittsburg, Lincoln Park, the Crawford County Historical Museum and Pittsburg High School.