TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Spirit of Kansas event was estimated to be a total 57,000 people, the 18th year of the annual event, according to Shawnee County Parks & Recreation’s press release. 10,000 were at the Blues Festival and various vendors, 950 were at the Boat and Ski Show, 300 were at the golf tournament and 62 were in boats on the water. Additionally, 27,000 were watching the fireworks on park property with an additional 18,000 in surrounding neighborhoods.
The traffic plan for the day was developed by Shawnee County Parks & Recreation, Shawnee County Emergency Management, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department and the Topeka Police Department.
The exit plan “worked well,” but halfway into the plan there was a minor car accident that slowed things down. Lake Shawnee was “cleared” by midnight.
864 people used bus services offered by the Topeka Metro and those people were all back to their cars in less than an hour.
Communication between those in charge of public safety were “terrific.” In addition to all the agencies mentioned previously, Shawnee Heights Fire District, American Medical Response, and several hundred volunteers helped plan and conduct the event.