Quick Links

If one is looking for a reason to visit Kansas this fall, then look no further than the Halloween festival of Neewollah (Neewollah is Halloween spelled backward). There are plenty of places that offer superb Halloween events and celebrations to explore throughout the United States - and Kansas is one of them.

Kansas is not normally on people's radar as a state to visit, but there are still a number of things one can only find in the Sunflower State. That being said, many of those things are often just odd museums and Wizard of Oz-themed attractions. While traveling through Kansas, take the time to visit Liberal, Kansas. The small town is home to the original Dorothy House seen in the 1939 movie Wizard of Oz.


Neewollah - The Hundred-Year-Old Celebration

Neewollah is held in Independence, Kansas, on the last week of October. The tradition of Neewollah began over a hundred years ago, in 1919. It was originally an effort to provide positive activities for the kids instead of the normal Halloween pranks and trick or treating.

  • Location: Independence, Kansas
  • Started: 1919

Center to the Neewollah celebrations were the parades with their decorated cars and carriages. On the parades rode queens and princesses. But the annual event was suspended for a time because of the Great Depression and World War II. In 1958, it was revived, elaborated, and made into a three-day celebration. Today it is a 10-day celebration.

Related: This City Is Called The 'Halloween Capital Of The World' And It's Right In Minnesota

What To Expect At Kansas' Neewollah Festival

Independence is only a small town with around 10,000 inhabitants, but during Neewollah, it can swell to 75,000 people.

With the event comes everything else one would expect. There are over 30 food vendors, many entertainments, the Great Pumpkin contest, a craft show, the Fun Run, the Chili Cookoff, and much more. See the events and activities on their calendar.

One of the important events of the celebration is the Queen Neelah Pageant with girls aged 17-18. The awards given out are Miss Talent, Miss Originality, Miss Beauty, Miss Interview, Miss Fashion, Miss Poise, Miss Personality, Miss Photogenic, 2nd Runner Up, 1st Runner Up, and Queen Neelah.

Come on over to Kansas and see one of the most exciting events in the state. See the folks celebrating and having a good time.

Related: You Haven't Experienced Halloween Until You've Celebrated It In These Countries

The Three Neewollah Parades

Neewollah has three parades the Doo Dah Parade, the Kiddies Parade, and the Grand Parade.

The Doo Dah Parade

The Doo Dah Parade is for adults. In some years, there is an overall theme, while in other years, it's free for all. It is a Mardi Gras-style parade with King and Queen Doo Dah selected to preside over the parade. The crowd is rowdy and full of people dressed in very interesting costumes.

  • Date: Thursday, October 27, 2022
  • Time: 5.00 pm Line-Up, 6.00 pm Start Time
  • Location: Downtown Independence

There are prizes awarded for the best costumes.

The Kiddie Parade

The Kiddie Parade is one of the largest attractions for the Neewollah Celebration. The Children's parade started long ago and today attracts over 1,000 children as participants.

The categories for the parade line-up are, Toddler & Parents, Grades PreK-2, Families, Grades 3-5, Middle School, Wheels (without motorized vehicles), and Pets.

  • Date: Friday, October 28, 2022
  • Time: 4.00 pm
  • Location: Downtown Independence

The parade starts in front of the Memorial Hall and ends at the Methodist Church.

The Grand Parade

The Grand Parade is a two-hour-long parade and starts at the corner of Penn and Chestnut. The Grand Parade is very popular or "exceedingly well attended," as they state on their website. People come in the wee hours of the morning to set up their chairs and claim their spots for the parade day. In many places, the parade is five deep.

  • Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
  • Time: 11.00 am
  • Location: Downtown Independence

At 11 am is the "great flyover." Parade-goers can expect to see free street acts, the carnival, and plenty of food concessions along Penn Ave - these continue before and after the Grand Parade.

The Grand Parade Line-Up is not printed.

So if one is looking for a place to celebrate Halloween, consider visiting the small town of Independence, Kansas.