Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival tries recycling bins

The Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival finished its first day Friday with 100-degree heat and fun and games and kids and food and … recycling bins?

“People really seem interested in them,” said Georgia Sanders, spokesperson for the Independence Chamber of Commerce. “A few people have commented to me about them.”

The bins, scattered throughout the 11 blocks that comprise  the festival grounds, accept glass, plastic and cardboard.

One man, Josh Ready of Sugar Creek, paused before one of the bins and considered it.

“It’s a good idea – don’t know if many people will use them,” he said, pitching his water bottle inside.

Because it’s the first year for the bins, it’s difficult to estimate how much material will be recycled. Sanders said the chamber plans to study results at the festival’s end and decide whether or not to bring it back next year.

An estimated 250,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival through Monday, according to organizers. They’ll come to play bingo, a returning favorite (times are noon to 10 p.m. today and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday); they’ll come to look and buy crafts at the tents; they’ll come to eat food at one of the several food stands.

And they’ll come to hear music.

Sanders said today will be geared mostly toward music. Tonight the Eli Young Band will take the stage at 9 p.m. The band reached No. 13 on the U.S. Country Songs Billboard Chart with its single, “Crazy Girl.”

“A lot of people are talking about it,” Sanders said. “It’s gonna be good.”

A complete list of entertainment lineups can be found at

While the weather may pose a slight challenge today with rain in the forecast, it’s smooth sailing Sunday and Monday when the clouds are expected to break and a cool mid-70s to low 80s will descend on Independence.

“Ah, it’s gonna be nice,” Becky Wilden of Independence said while attending the carnival with her niece, Sonya. “We come every day, and definitely we’ll come Monday.”


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