March 16, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is about a person who won a 1949 Ford at the Merchant’s Expo in Junction City in 1949. Junction City’s weekly newspaper, the “Republic” announced on March 10th in 1949 that on Friday and Saturday of that week, Junction City merchants would stage a show of the latest in merchandise at the annual Merchant’s Exposition sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Two evenings of entertainment were planned for the event, which took place in the Municipal Auditorium.
The always popular WIBW entertainers would appear in a show beginning at 8:00 Friday night. A three hour show would be provided Saturday night, beginning at 7:00 with a 90 minute talent show which was arranged by the Fort Riley Special Service Office. Following that show, six Junction City stores would stage a combined style show beginning at 8:30 PM.
The climax of the Exposition was to come at 10:00 PM on Saturday with the awarding of a new 1949 Ford by the Junction City Chamber of Commerce. Other merchandise valued at more than $500 was slated to be given away as door prizes during the two day event. Among the gifts were an innerspring mattress, three radios, a pen and pencil set, three sets of fog lights, a spotlight, an electric iron, a waffle iron, a coffee maker, a fishing reel and casting rod, tailor made seat covers, a blanket and bed spread set and many other gifts.
Free Coca-Cola was offered on both days of the Exposition. The only charge for all this was an admission fee of 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children to the Friday night show. Saturday’s activities were all free.